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Digital Photograper - - Artistic Nudes -

Mike Parker ex­plains how adding wa­ter, paint and wax can cre­ate beau­ti­fully in­ter­est­ing nudes

Wa­ter & oil “This is a clas­sic tech­nique of­ten used in fit­ness pho­tog­ra­phy to get a beaded sweat look. Start by ap­ply­ing a thin layer of baby oil on the skin. A spray bot­tle is then used to ap­ply wa­ter on top of the oil. Ex­per­i­ment with the amount of oil to get the look you want. Keep in mind the more oil you use, the more re­flec­tive the skin be­comes and the more chal­leng­ing it is to light. With large amounts of oil, at glanc­ing an­gles the skin re­acts like a mir­ror, which can also be an in­ter­est­ing ef­fect. To achieve the high-con­trast look of the light­ing, I of­ten used one or two soft­boxes placed on ei­ther or both sides and slightly be­hind the model. Fill light was pro­vided by a white bounce card if needed.”

Uv paint “Ex­pand­ing on the oil and wa­ter con­cept, I wanted to get some colour into the images. The first tech­nique was sim­ply to add dif­fer­ent colours of UV dye to mul­ti­ple spray bot­tles, again ap­plied on top of the oil layer. The sec­ond look was achieved by us­ing a wa­ter and corn starch mix­ture with the UV dyes. The oil layer was re­moved and the UV mix­ture was ap­plied with a squeeze bot­tle. The light­ing kit was built from parts at a hard­ware store, us­ing large flu­o­res­cent black light tubes. The key light was placed on one side and slightly be­hind the model, high­light­ing the form, along with a dim fill light placed on the op­po­site side and slightly in front of the model. It was chal­leng­ing to pho­to­graph with black lights since the flu­o­res­cent glow ap­pears much brighter to our eyes than to the cam­era. Very lit­tle post-pro­cess­ing was needed be­sides ad­just­ing ex­po­sure and sat­u­ra­tion.”

“Spe­cial skin-safe, lowtem­per­a­ture wax can­dles were used to en­sure safety. Wax was built up slowly with the model in both stand­ing and ly­ing po­si­tions, which cre­ated the unique cross pat­terns. A com­bi­na­tion of dim, con­stant­light um­brel­las and can­dles lit the scene. Can­dles alone of­ten don’t pro­duce much light, re­quir­ing higher ISO and much more noise for some cam­eras.”

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