Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Implied Nude

The implied nude image is very popular in today’s boudoir photography. The image by definition does not show body parts that would be considered part of a nude image. These photographs allow the client to appear very sexy while remaining modest. It creates a photograph they could “show their mother.”

There is a art to creating the this look, and the photographer should be aware of the variety of ways to create this look. The primary methods are props, poses, shadows and Photoshop. Sometimes a combination is used to create that perfect photograph.

The easiest way is through the use of props. A perfect example was the recent issue of GQ where Jennifer Aniston used a men’s tie to cover her body. A sheet is often used, held to cover key areas, yet exposing as much as possible. In my studio I often use a simple wooden chair, where careful posing can hide the few key inches here and there.

Poses are where a photographer’s skill comes more into the mix. For a great image, it really needs to look as if the pose was not trying to hide body parts, but the hiding was merely incidental. The typical example of a “bad” image is the hands grabbing the chest to hide it. A draped arm like is this sample covers the body, yet remains classy.

Shadows are the most difficult method for a photographer to master. Understanding exactly how the light will fall is key to success. I prefer to work with modeling lights when possible to allow me to more easily visualize how the shadows fall so I can fine tune the pose and the light placement. Other times I go from experience in environments where this level of control is not possible.

Finally I include Photoshop. Typically this is used to remove a thong strap from a photograph for the client to create the look while allowing their modesty during the shoot. Many women, who are comfortable being topless at a photo shoot, do not want to be totally nude. With the use of Photoshop they can still get the photographs they want to have created and be within their comfort zone.

It is pretty easy to see how a combination of these methods can be used to create a greater variety of options for implied nude photographs. Most of my images usually use a combination of methods, allowing me to make sure there is something unique for each client.

Boudoir clients often want to be very sexy, yet still be conservative. Implied nudes fill that need making them a great addition to boudoir and glamour photographer’s bag of tricks.

Orcatek Boudoir and Glamour Photography - Phoenix

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Canon 50D does Barrett-Jackson

I love January in Phoenix as it is the time of year when all the car auctions come to town. I enjoy the opportunity to see so many wonderful cars all gathered in one location. Last week I spent some time at Barrett-Jackson with my Canon 50D.

The lighting is all over the board at these auctions – full sun, open shade, tungsten, and mixed. I knew this would give the 50D a good chance to be tested. I had done some shooting with it outdoors and in studio, so I knew it worked well in these environments, but the indoor shots with random lighting seemed like it would be a challenge.

With prior cameras I would just crank up the ISO and shoot in AV mode keeping an eye on the shutter speed vs the focal length, tweaking the ISO where I could get away with it. The 50D now has an auto mode for ISO that I decided to get a test shooting the stage. As the cars move across the stage the lighting varies dramatically, and I wanted to get the cars in the clear, so I there was no one spot that they could be shot.

And not being a bidder, this meant I had to shoot from the cheap seats, so flash was out of the question. So I decided to switch the ISO to auto and see how the camera behaved. The ISO swung from 400 to 1250 depending on where I had the camera pointed and what aperture I selected. It kept the shutter speed within acceptable hand holding for the focal and length and never seemed to falter.

Upon reviewing the shots I was quite pleased with the results. Even though the noise level is acceptable for this type of work at the highest range the camera selected, it was nice to have even cleaner shots available when the light was better. I can really see where this feature can come in handy and why the Nikon users have always spoken so highly about the usefulness of this setting.

Auto-focus is also something I got a chance to test under the poor lighting and the 50D did great. I was very happy to see that it locked quickly and accurately under some tough conditions. The images were focused correctly and the camera only hunted when it faced the toughest targets where there was no contract to be seen. Experience has taught me to just focus on an edge and then recompose to the low contrast area as needed.

I will feel quite comfortable using the Canon 50D for this type of event in the future. Next week I hope to spend some time with my 5DII in the studio.

Orcatek Photograrphy - Phoenix

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Imaging USA in Phoenix

Once again it was time for the Professional Photographers Association (PPA) to have their annual conference Imagine USA. The event was held here in Phoenix this year and it gave me a chance to try out our no light rail system from Valley Metro.

The light rail was easy to use and full, but not crowded during the times I traveled. They did check my ticket on two occasions during the convention. If I had to travel to Phoenix on a daily basis I could easily see using this. Wish the voters had approved it back in the ‘80s. Now we would have a great system instead of the limited line we have now.

The convention was great as usual. For those who haven’t been before it consists of a tradeshow where you can see all the latest and greatest products. And a series of seminars/classes were you can learn from the best in the industry.

The tradeshow was very helpful for me as I was looking for some new providers for some of the products I use. I was able see the products to make educated decisions on which vendors to choose. Sometimes it was a very difficult choice as several vendors had very high quality products at similar price points. In this case I am going to order studio samples from each to see how there service performs.

I also saw several products I had wondered about after seeing them in magazines. Some were better than I expected, and others were good but had something I found that kept me from buying.

The seminars and classes were overall pretty good, but there were a few that were bad and I left part way through and switch subjects. The classes covered business, techniques, Photoshop and trends. Several of the speakers I wish I could see in a smaller venue to really pick their brains as their knowledge was so incredible on the topics they discussed.

I ran into lots of other photographers that I know and it was good to get caught up on what each of them was doing. Since it was here in Phoenix I skipped the parties where a lot of the networking takes place.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Valentines Day is Coming

Welcome back to my blog. I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Even though Valentines Day is over a month away, it is a good time to start thinking about giving photographs as a gift. Between scheduling, select proofs and production of your gift, it does take some time for the process.

Of course boudoir and glamour photographs are very popular for lovers. These special photographs are a gift that is always well received. There are so many options within this area that your photographer can help you choose the perfect package to fit your needs.

But Valentines need not be limited to boudoir and glamour. Traditional portraits also make a wonderful gift. Everyone wants a nice photo of that special person in their lives. A professional portrait is a great way to say “I love you.”

And couples portraits are also a great idea. A photograph of the two of you showing your love for each other in your eyes will make you both feel great each time you look at it.

So don’t miss out and book your with your photographer soon.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix