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Thread: Seeking experienced advise regarding Fine Arts Shoots

  1. #1

    Default Seeking experienced advise regarding Fine Arts Shoots

    I know this may be ultra sensetive in Singapore ... that is why I now seek advise from those who have knowledge or better yet, experience in such shoots.

    I am presented with the opportunity to do a few different shoots with some very nice people. My theme is specifically 'Classical Fine Arts Nudes and Semi-Nudes either with or without the addition of other subjects (those of you who know my lines of prefessions will know what other 'subjects' I refer to).

    My question is not with regards to protocols or legalities ...

    It is somewhat more fundamental ...

    SIGHZ!!!

    I have to admit, it has been a long time since I did nude portraits, and even then, the art teacher always posed the models.

    Now that I am faced with this opportunity, I start to worry, especially since I do not want the results to end up looking cheapo or of an exotica nature. Compound that with the added subject matters and you can imagine what I face.

    How, would those with the expertise and experience, suggest I approach the delicate problem of suitable poses and expressions?

    I have been looking through tons of references and paintings from the Victorian era and so on ... but I'll be frank, I feel a little intimidated with the sheer scale of possibilities.

    I guess I'm human and it is human nature to worry. If that helps me fine-tune my foresight, with the graceful assistance and opinions of those greater, then I shall be very grateful indeed.

    It takes a strong man to admit a weakness... sorry lah, trying to consolate meself ... heh ...
    Last edited by Feinwerkbau; 18th February 2005 at 12:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    IMHO the Victorian era is still to upfront
    the more recent stuff are better
    eg. can see but cannot see kind of shot.

    maybe try herb ritts

    http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/ritts/femaletorso.htm

    I hope that you find this useful

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    you might find this interesting as well

    http://www.photo.net/nudes/

  4. #4

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    Thanks Ortega!

    H. Ritts is one of my idols.

    I think that the answer to my problem lies not in how to shoot what angle, but in envisioning how to create a piece of work before I even approach the camera, a mere tool.

    I may be wrong ... sometimes it may be better to go with an unplanned flow, so to speak. I fear that such an approach would lead me nowhere, given the nature of the shoots intended.

    Let me go dig up more reference materials on other masters. If you or anyone has other materials or opinions to share, that would be great!

    CHEERS!

    p.s. Just saw the second link. You know don't you?
    Last edited by Feinwerkbau; 18th February 2005 at 12:52 AM.

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    I did a nude shoot many years back with an unplanned flow and the result was only 1 shot that passed.

    Maybe you should gather your thoughts and reference materials and have a chat with your subject to get a feel of his/her expectations.

  6. #6

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    I know, and fear what you mean ... which probably explains why I am somewhat concerned about the pre-planning.

    I was just thinking (spontaneously, un-analysed), perhaps I could expolre existing light/existing settings, aka, older shophouse interiors with stained cracked sinks, wooden floor-boards etc.

    Now, where in the world could I do such a shoot (even in a restored 'conserved' shop-house)?

    Frankly, I would prefer natural light and existing surroundings as opposed to having to build up an entire set and 'create' a suitable studio lighting set-up.

    A tall order, but perhaps someone here may just know of someone with such a shop-house ... and who is willing to explore possibilities for art's sake. While I do not have moolah to offer (if I did, i could simply rent), I would be more than willing to offer a contra deal of sorts within my given range of expertise.

    p.s. I am trying to gather my thoughts and come up with a proposed plan to offer my model for discussion before she comes back to SG.
    Last edited by Feinwerkbau; 18th February 2005 at 01:18 AM.

  7. #7

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    Heya..

    Thought I'd chip in some thoughts of my own here..

    These are the things I'd think bout if I were to prepare for a similiar shoot -

    1. Storyline/Concept - First and foremost and also the most important.. What do I want to say through this picture? What am I trying to say? If I have nothing to say, it will be reflected thus..

    So if you can't think of anything you want to say, think about issues that move you or have affected you lately..

    Then proceed to speak through your model to the viewer.

    2. Model - Is this model appropriate for my storyline? Or will she/he end up changing the whole interpretation of my storyline? If so, I need to change the storyline or study the model to come up with another story..

    3. Props - Do I need props? Will props enhance the storyline? If so, I'd go check up on how to acquire them and etc..

    4. Pose - What poses will I require from my model? It's always helpful to have a visual illustration of what you have in mind to show to the model so that she/he will know what's expected.. Perhaps a print out of something vaguely similiar you find on the net..

    Guess these are the main concerns though I'm not sure if they will be relevant to you..

    Do let me know what you think but most of all, enjoy yourself!

  8. #8

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    Go back to basics. Back to the very foundation of what photography all all about. Not fim versus digital. Not 35 mm versus medium format. No color versus black & white. Not natural light versus strobes.

    Your project is in trouble because you do not know why you are making the images. Photography is visual communications. What will you be trying to communicate in the images that you are going to make? Clarify that first!

    Coming to nudes. There are different types of nude art (photography or otherwise)

    There is the nude portrait, where the purpose is to show a woman au natural. The main objective is to show the PERSON, without the clothes.

    Closely related, but a little more distant, is the "simple nude". This is far from "simple". Good examples are those of Ruth Bernhard's.

    There is the nude abstract, where you look at body parts, such as the back as an allegory to the sandunes.

    There is the glamour nudes, where everything is stylised, often with an intention to titilate. Examples are Playboy.

    Closely related is the Erotic nude, where sexuality is emphasized to arouse a sexual feeling.

    And of course pornographic nudes.

    There are variations to these so-called themes. But you have first to ask yourself, what do you intend to portray in your work? Then find the way/s to show it in your images.

  9. #9

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    If I am not mistake you have been commission to do a series of nudes singlely or in group for several subjects. Do you know what they are expecting ? Do they have a preference ie they want nudes with a BDSM slant ? Nudes with a soft touch ? Nudes ala fine art style ? Nudes ala classical - look at Horst.

    Grin can not help you much more since this is an area I have not ventured into as I think my overall grapse of concept has not materialised to a point where I can produce stuff that I would be happy with. The meat market type of pic is not where I want this type of work to go nor the even the more pictorial Playboy style. My wife probably could do nudes since she has the better eye of posing and subject management.

    You need to have a focus and have an end point otherwise you may have to tell the subjects 1) you can not do this for them 2) it may take more than 1 sitting.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feinwerkbau
    I know, and fear what you mean ... which probably explains why I am somewhat concerned about the pre-planning.

    I was just thinking (spontaneously, un-analysed), perhaps I could expolre existing light/existing settings, aka, older shophouse interiors with stained cracked sinks, wooden floor-boards etc.

    Now, where in the world could I do such a shoot (even in a restored 'conserved' shop-house)?

    Frankly, I would prefer natural light and existing surroundings as opposed to having to build up an entire set and 'create' a suitable studio lighting set-up.

    A tall order, but perhaps someone here may just know of someone with such a shop-house ... and who is willing to explore possibilities for art's sake. While I do not have moolah to offer (if I did, i could simply rent), I would be more than willing to offer a contra deal of sorts within my given range of expertise.

    p.s. I am trying to gather my thoughts and come up with a proposed plan to offer my model for discussion before she comes back to SG.
    How have you been? Nice to meet you again during PhotoAid after more than 10 years.
    I'm not sure if I can help but why don't you take a step back and think like an art director, think concept, mood, the message. Not about if you can do it ie: where to shoot, how to shoot and what props to get. That way at least you have a concept to start with. From there, if you want, we can meet up and I'll give you the point of view of the photographer. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to do the shoot, I think you're more than able to do the shoot on your own. It's your baby, you shoot, if you need help I'll do what I can.
    Remember how we do it years ago? The art director will come up with the concept and it is up to the photographer to come up with the solution as to where and how to do it.
    If you think I can help, let me know, it'll be nice to meet up again.
    Cheers.

  11. #11

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    Thanks everyone for your time, effort and detailed tips! To be fair, I will not single out any one person's contribution or another as they all contain valid points, but to answer a few questions first:

    No, this is not a commissioned shoot. It is a personal project between a few models and me. We are doing it to expand our range of existing portfolios.

    We do a few shots that I need, and then we do a few shots that the model would like to have.

    In the past, it was easy to do work simply because there was always an Art Director on shoots. I just hung around till the AD got hampered with technicalities, then I take over shoot directions, but still maintaining the AD's original concept. So I was the go-between between the AD and the Photographer, so to speak.

    Now that I am faced with this opportunity, I find it a challenge to come up with the concept, visual directions, technical worries and then at the end of the line, dealing effectively and sensitively with the model.

    Since I have the luxury of time, I think I shall proceed carefully as to coming up with a suitable concept, or at the very lease, visual directions.

    Thanks for the offer YQT. Yes, it would be great to catch up for some kopi and prata after 10 years! Let me develop some ideas first; at least I won't be wasting your time ... hopefully

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    Don't worry, we can just have kopi, it's never a waste of time to catch up with old friends.

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    yeah count me in for coffee.

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    Let me know when is a good time to meet up next week, and where.

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