October 21st, 2014
One last post from my shoot with Ayn at the house. I didn’t just do photos of the house. How could I not also do some photos of the beautiful model who was working so hard to help me make these photos.
So, here are a few photos that are more portraits of Ayn than photos of the house with a nude figure.
Ayn is a great model but also a lovely woman and a friend. She’s a person I respect and admire. And she’s a lot of fun to work with.
And she can make a doorway look pretty damn good.
October 17th, 2014
That one dormer is lovely, but it isn’t the only beautiful spot in that old house. Here is Ayn showing off her lovely figure in some other interesting windows in the house.
Yep, that’s another odd dormer in the background. A different one from the one in the earlier posts.
Here’s Ayn showing off her posing skills in that dormer.
And downstairs there’s a great bay window.
No fisheye in any of these…they were all done with the 12-24. Still all shot at 1600 ISO. I treat everything from 100 to 1600 ISO as just exposure control since there is almost no noticeable difference in the files from my Nikon D7000. There’s a bit of noise at 1600, but no where near the grain of Tri-X at 400. That’s my standard for comparison.
October 14th, 2014
Here are a few more shots from that same dormer in my favorite old house. Ayn was having a ball finding different ways to pose in that little space. For the one above I switched the fisheye to a horizontal composition to see how the fisheye effect looked and then used Photoshop to straighten out the curves a bit so it looks more like a regular ultra-wide angle lens.
For the two shots below I switched to my 12-24mm lens, shooting at 12mm. These are not adjusted in Photoshop, though Camera RAW does do a bit of correction on them automatically.
That 25 percent off sale on my calendars ends at midnight tomorrow…Wednesday. Don’t miss it if you are thinking of buying a calendar. Enter the code: EATYOUREGGS at checkout to get the discount.
October 11th, 2014
There’s a story to go with these photos. Sorry about that.
Some old friends of mine have been buying old houses in my hometown and fixing them up. Several years ago they drove me around town to show me their houses. When they pulled up in front of one house I was surprised. I had tried to buy this house many years ago when I was buying my first house. We couldn’t agree on a price, so I moved on and bought a different house. But I always remembered how beautiful this house was and wished I could have had the chance to shoot some photos in it.
When I told my friend this story she said, “Well, why don’t you bring a model and do some photos now.” So I did. Since then I’ve done shoots in that house a couple times and this shoot makes three. They had rented the house to good tenants for several years, but eventually the tenants moved out and my friends decided to do a complete remodel before putting it back on the rental market.
So I took advantage of the opportunity to do another shoot there. I took my favorite local model, Ayn, over to my old home town and we spent a day seeing what we could come up with in this old house. As you can see, when you have a talented, beautiful and creative model like Ayn there are all sorts of possibilities.
This little dormer in the attic has always been my favorite spot in the house. The plaster work is just so interesting. This time I used a lens that I hadn’t had when I did the earlier shoots. It’s a Pro-Optic 8mm fisheye. I used Photoshop to do some straightening of the curved fisheye look. These were shot with my Nikon D7000 at 1600 ISO with exposures in the neighborhood of 1/15 to 1/40 wide open at f/3.5. It’s a fun little lens for places like this.
I’ll have more from this shoot to share in my next couple posts.
October 10th, 2014
If you are thinking about buying one of my 2015 calendars now is a good time. My publisher is running a sale in honor of World Egg Day (go figure?) You can get 25% off on your order by entering the code EATYOUREGGS at checkout. That’s about as good a sale as they ever offer, so don’t miss this chance to save a bunch. The sale runs through October 15. You can see and order my calendars at my on line store here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/wayward or just click on the calendars in the column to the right.
October 7th, 2014
One of the truths of photography is that whatever materials you use and love will be gone, usually within 20 years or so. Nothing lasts forever in this world. I’ve seen this happen many times over my 50 years in photography. None of the chemical photo papers that I used are made today. Tri-X is still around…one exception to that rule…but Kodachrome, of course, is history. It’s a fact of life. There’s really nothing we can do about it.
One recent victim of this is 3000 speed black and white instant film. I’ve loved this film for as long as I’ve known about it. When Polaroid went belly up I was pleased to find that Fuji continued making a similar film. I have been working on a project using this film for some time. When I heard the news that Fuji had discontinued their 3000 ISO film I immediately bought as much of it as I could find. I’ve been slowly using up that stash since then.
When I did these photos of Kelsey Dylan I was experimenting. These were taken before the Fuji discontinuation, so at that time I wasn’t worrying about not having the film available to work with. For many years I’ve used my Speed Graphic to shoot this film. It delivers great quality, but is a bit of a pain in the ass to use. You view camera guys are used to working this way, but it is a style of shooting that has never been a good fit for my way of working.
I have a Polaroid pack back that goes into the back of the Graphic, sliding in like a film holder in front of the ground glass. I use a 90mm lens because I like a wider focal length for this work. The 90 is close to a “normal” focal length with this format. The rangefinder on the Graphic works, but not with this lens, so I have to use the ground glass to focus and compose. Of course, that means the camera must be on a tripod. I can’t view the composition without taking the back out. I just don’t enjoy working that way.
So, I had a thought. Why not buy an old Polaroid camera and use it? They are cheap on ebay. So I did. None of them work really well, so I now have 4 or 5 of them in various stages of decay. I found a source for the unique batteries they take. And I started using them with the Fuji 3000 film. These photos are one of my first tests of those old Polaroid cameras.
What I found out was that those old cameras all suck big time. I know Polaroid made a few high-quality cameras…and everybody who cares knows which ones those are and the prices for them are way up there. The cheap ones are the ones that suck. And that was the case with all the Polaroid cameras I bought and tested.
So, after a few packs of film I went back to the Speed Graphic. I still have some of the 3000 film and am still working on my project, slowly using up the last of this great film. Any models out there who would like to participate in the end of an era of the world of instant photography, please get in touch and maybe we can work together on this.
It’s sad to see this material go away forever. But time marches on.
A note on the calendars. There’s a sale on right now you can 15% off by using the code: FINDACURE when you check out. That sale only goes through October 9. Also I noticed in my sales report that someone in France bought one of the calendars of Kelsey. Seems we both have fans in France. My work has always been very well received by the French. Just click on the calendars to the right if you’d like to get one for yourself or as a gift.
October 4th, 2014
I’ve published some calendars again for 2015. These calendars are a great way to get copies of some of my best photos at a very low price. And they are nice to have hanging on the wall all year long. Above is a calendar entirely of my favorite model, Brooke Lynne.
And this second one is all photos of Kelsey Dylan, another of my favorites. Both the Brooke Lynne and the Kelsey Dylan calendars are updated from the 2014 calendars featuring these great models. There are new photos along with some of the all-time favorites.
And I’ve updated the Figure in Nature calendar that I do every year with a lot of new photos, but still a few of my old favorites. There are a lot of different models in this calendar including Stevie Macaroni on the cover and inside, as well as Blueriverdream, Ayn, and many more. This is a great assortment of my best work with the best models in the world.
And, finally, an all new calendar this year featuring one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Starved Rock State Park. I’ve had the opportunity to work there several times with some great models and found I now had enough fine photos to put a calendar together with just photos from that one place. The models include Claudine on the cover and inside, and also Kelsey Dylan, Ayn, and others.
You can go to my store to purchase a calendar by clicking on the one you are interested in above, or use the images of the calendars in the right column to go to the store any time.
October 1st, 2014
Sadly this will be my last post from this amazing shoot at Starved Rock. I got to work a lot with the wonderful, fun Claudine on our last day of shooting there. She is always a blast to work with and is a very accomplished model.
Claudine is pretty much up for whatever it takes to get a photo. She doesn’t mind getting cold and wet and dirty…as you can see here. If she lived a bit closer to me I’d be working with her all the time. But she stays very busy modeling in Chicago, so that’s not likely to happen.
I’ve published my 2015 calendars. They are ready for you to order in my on-line store. There are four calendars to chose from this year, including one that is all photos from Starved Rock. I’ll have more about them in a future post.
And, remember, I’m now on Ello. You can find me here: https://ello.co/davel51
September 29th, 2014
Back in February the editor of Clear Nude magazine, Allicette Torres, sent me an e-mail asking me to review her new magazine here on the blog. She sent me a link to allow me to view the magazine without paying for it. I looked on line and was very impressed. So impressed that I decided I wanted to look at the printed version before I did the review.
I ordered the printed magazine from Amazon. Unfortunately it arrived at about the time I was leaving to attend the memorial service for my mother-in-law. In all that activity the magazine was pushed aside and I forgot about doing the review.
I was reminded of it last week when another e-mail arrived from Ms Torres thanking me for my contribution to the current issue of the magazine. This came as a surprise to me, but I soon learned that my favorite model, Brooke Lynne, had sent one of my photos of her to the magazine to be used to illustrate an interview with her as the featured model of the issue. You can read a bit more about that in the previous post here.
So, here’s my view on this magazine:
As I said, I was quite impressed at the first issue on line. However the printed copy was a bit of a let down. The reproduction was not all that great, mostly, I think, because of the low quality paper it is printed on. There’s nothing to indicate who is doing the printing, but I suspect it is printed by Amazon. I was also bothered by the many photos printed across the gutter in a way that pretty much ruined the photos because the subject was lost in the gutter.
The third issue, which I just received from Amazon, is better. The paper quality is still a problem and hurts the quality of the photos, but it appears they learned the lesson about the gutter and stopped ruining photos by printing them across the gutter. That’s good news.
But still, I think the on-line version of the magazine is a much better viewing experience. And that’s from an old guy who still likes to hold a printed publication in his hands to look at it. But, the quality of the photos is simply much, much better viewed on a screen. I’m sure higher quality paper would fix that problem, but it may not be an option for their distribution method. So it goes.
I talk about print quality first because, after all, that is a major consideration for any publication that is about photographs. And that is primarily what Clear Nude is about.
But, there’s more to Clear Nude than the (not quite) pretty pictures. There are some serious attempts at writing about the genre of nude photography. And it’s obvious that the editors are open to a wide range of opinions and approaches to the subject. I applaud them for that, even though I have to say that at least one essay in the current issue angered me. But that’s a good thing. It’s wonderful to have a publication out there where divergent views of nude photography can be expressed, even if some of them are wrong.
But I do recommend the magazine to your attention. I suggest, unless you really want to hold a printed product in your hands, that you just stick with the on line version of the magazine. You can buy it at their website here. The digital issue costs only $5.99. That’s quite a bargain for a quality product like this. As I write this Amazon is offering a discount on the regular price for the printed version. You can just click on either of the covers above to go to the Amazon page to place an order if you want the printed version.
Ms Torres and her staff are doing something good and important with Clear Nude magazine. I hope you’ll help support their efforts.
September 27th, 2014
I’m proud to announce that the photo above is published in the current issue of Clear Nude magazine. This is an excellent magazine and I highly recommend it to your attention. It’s available both on line and in print. You can order the print version on Amazon too.
In my next post I’m going to talk a lot more about the magazine. But for today I want to talk about the photo that they published. The photo was one of many illustrating an interview with my favorite model, Brooke Lynne. It is one of Brooke’s favorite photos from our trip to the desert southwest. It’s not one of my favorites. But that is ok.
I have a different view of the relationship between photographer, model and photographs from most photographers. I think differences are good. I do things my way and I’m happy to let everyone else do things their way, so you won’t hear me trying to talk other photographers into working the way I do. It’s a choice and we all get to make our own choices.
I consider my models to be co-creators with me of the photos we make together. I’m serious about that. I share copyright with my models. They get all the photos and they have full rights to do anything they want with the photos.
So, Brooke likes this photo for some reasons that don’t really matter to me. She is very pleased with her pose. I understand that. It’s a really difficult pose and was hard to get into, and even harder to get out of. She did it like the master of posing that she is. She’s an amazing model. This photo demonstrates that. But this photo does not work for me as far as what I’m looking for in a photo. My goal is to show the beauty of the model in relationship to the beauty of nature. The model has to fit into the scene and reflect the forms of the scene in her pose. That’s not really happening in this photo. In fact, to my eye Brooke stands out too much and doesn’t blend or relate to the forms around her. She’s sort of at odds with them.
But, and I can’t emphasize this enough, that’s ok. This photo is Brooke’s just as much as it is mine. I’m glad she finds something in it that works for her and I’m very happy that she has had it published in a great magazine. I am not complaining in any way and I never will.
That said, my differences with Brooke over this photo do not end with the selection of this shot. I would also crop this photo differently. In fact, nearly all the shots I took of Brooke here were cropped differently in the camera. I find the sky a distraction in the composition. It seems to me discordant. It draws my eye up to the top of the frame and away from Brooke, who is really the subject of this photo.
But that’s just my opinion. Brooke is completely free to crop it as she sees fit. Again, I’m not complaining, just commenting on how two people, both involved in the production of a photo, can have different ideas about how it looks best. I’m sure Brooke picked this frame because it has the most perfect execution of the pose to her eye. She did crop some of the sky out of the original frame, so I know leaving some sky was a deliberate decision on her part. And I’m fine with that.
I know most photographers are much more territorial about their photos. I have never really understood why the subject, who is working hard and has agreed to be nude in the photos, shouldn’t have at least an equal right to the photos. After all, the model is really doing all the hard work and I’m just taking photos of her while she does it. So, that’s how I work.
And, here’s how I would crop that photo…I get to have my opinion too, of course.
And here’s another photo of Brooke taken near where the one above was shot. This photo shows more of what I’m looking for. It’s our differences that make life interesting. We should learn to enjoy them.
I’ll have much more to say about Clear Nude magazine in my next post.
And, I’m now on Ello. Are you? Come on over there and connect with me if you want. Find me at https://ello.co/davel51