I’ve been fascinated with outdoor location nudes for several years now and over the last year and a half I’ve really tried to put into practice many of the things I’ve read and learned about. Some have been horrible failures, while others have become some of my personal favorite images. I know I have an emotional attachment to the images, but that’s hard to let go.
Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a photographer I respect tremendously about the art nude genre and asked for some critique on my images. I was terribly flattered when he told me they were beautiful images and that he liked them very much. I’ve had a number of conversations with other fantastic local photographers about the genre as well and only wish there was more respect for it in this part of the world. There is, after all, no market for nude wall art in Halifax. Most people here are still very conservative and are afraid to share their appreciation of the nude with others openly.
Then again, there are those who revert back to being a teenager when viewing a nude breast. There’s a joke I use often when I see a response like that to nude art. Q: Do you know why men can’t get mad cow disease? A: Because men are pigs. Truer words were never spoken. 😉
All that said, I have been trying to create a successful set of images at one of my favorite waterfalls in Nova Scotia. Wentworth Falls, not far from the ski hill and an easy walk into the woods on a well defined path. The two biggest issues with this particular falls is that it’s 90 minutes from Halifax and it’s *way* too easily accessibly and often frequented. I visited there about a year ago and had three other photographers interrupt the shoot and finally gave up and came home, with little to show except a bit more experience for the effort.
I’ve been shooting with a number of models, local and not so local, in both location and outdoors settings as much as I can over the last year and I’m happy to say I think I have created a few very interesting pieces over this last year. I’ll be updating my Art Nude portfolio page over the next few days to reflect some of this new work and specifically wanted to share the latest installment here with you today.
When my wife and I first visited the falls on a Sunday drive about 4 years ago while looking for scenic places to photograph, I took several photos of the falls, one of which hangs in my living room to this day. Oddly enough, as I sorted through and edited the photos, I told Cherie that I really believed there was something missing. It took me a little while to figure it out, but what was missing, in my minds eye, was the nude. The shapes of the flowing water as it ran past the sharpness of the rock was beautiful, but to me it seemed unfinished. I’ve been trying to finish it ever since.
Here’s an example. This first image is just downstream of the falls. I really liked the shape of the birch tree as or grew at a twisted angle from where it should have been and the silkiness of the flowing water help the twisted tree find serenity. Not a spectacular image, but certainly interesting on it’s own. Right? Here’s the unedited original scene.
So once I had the shot set up and exposed the way I wanted, I brought in Liz – who had been comfortable and toasty warm while I took my good old time setting things up. 😉 And here’s the unedited posed scene.
See the difference? The second image, at least to me, seems more complete. Although we both really liked the warm tones of the overcast evening light through the canopy of trees, I still very much love black and white. So here is the final edited version ready for print.
Liz Paris and I have been trying to find time and a concept to shoot for nearly 2 years and unfortunately, it was only when she told me she was moving away to find a job that I was finally able to force myself to make the time. With a full time day job and a seemingly full time weekend summer job with my other passion – stock car racing – I haven’t had a full weekend off since May.
Twice Liz and I had to reschedule the field trip to Wentworth due to weather but this past Tuesday evening, we decided to throw caution to the wind and just make the trip. She is leaving, after all this weekend and time was rapidly running out.
We spent a little over two hours at the falls this week. Exploring and setting up the scenes and poses. Although the air temperature was in the low 20s, the water flowing through the mountain was significantly cooler but Liz was a trooper and even though once she got wet and started shivering, as soon as I started counting down for the shot, she literally froze and held her pose for 2-3 seconds while the shutter was open. I wish she wasn’t leaving… There are SO many more photos to be taken. She will be missed for certain.
Hope you enjoy the images as much as I do.