Kira:  Getting Started

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Page created September 26, 2008
Sitting date:  June 16
, 2008



Floofie (a childhood nickname) is a local graduating college student.  She's been around for a while, but at first, she limited her posing to "implied nude".  When she expanded her repertoire to include "fine art nudes", we decided to get together & see what develops.

When working with a model for the first time, I love, love, love doing this "Getting Started" setup, where I photograph the model in the clothes she wears to my door, and then continue to photograph her as she removes her clothing.  I just love the transition from someone you might see on the street to a figure in a fine art photograph.  

I also love this little cramped corner in my living room.  That window that you can barely see is just about the only one that faces somewhat south, and the light it produces is often great.  Some days, on sunny days, the light is strong; on other days, when it is cloudy, the light is softer, like it is here.

So, favorite window, favorite setup, exciting new model -- what's not to like? 


Some admissions:
  • I've been having eye troubles, so I've moved to digital photography practically exclusively, mostly for the autofocus.  But autofocus notoriously has trouble in low light situations, like indoor photography.  Unfortunately, my eyes are no longer sharp enough to see whether the preview image on the camera's tiny LCD screen are in focus.  Some of these pictures are not in focus.  Deal with it -- pretend that I'm trying to make impressionistic photographs.
  • Also, in low light, I've chosen to use a slow shutter speed (as opposed to increasing the camera's ISO sensitivity settings).  Sometimes, I like the slightly blurred motion.  It's a choice.



Usually, I get really excited when bright direct sunlight comes in through this window.  This day is somewhat overcast (typical of the Pacific Northwest) -- however, it's bright enough to provide some lovely soft light -- I love how those green slacks pop amidst all those browns & tans.  

We also get our first glimpse of Floofie's slim, svelte & lovely figure.



I'm mistaken -- this day isn't overcast:  see the bright light on the floor just to Floofie's left?  That tells me that we worked early in the day -- later, that light will creep up that back wall.  Still, that light is especially lovely, and you'll see that it is well suited to Floofie's figure.

I especially love this image -- I love the "clean" look & the natural gestures & the lovely light & the composition.

Floofie is a graduating art student -- she paints.  As an homage to that ability of hers, I'm inspired to apply artistic effects to this favorite image -- see the next few images:



Paint Brush Effect

Sketch Effect


This image, and the one that follows, are particular favorites.  I love the natural gestures, lovely light, and lovely figure.  That light bouncing up from the sunlit patch on the floor is especially pleasing.

I always wonder about how a model will approach this "Getting Started" setup, especially one who previously set her limits at "implied nude", but Floofie moved with confidence & without hesitation; she worked like a seasoned professional.

Floofie has the kind of figure that I just love to photograph:  slim, fit, svelte, youthful -- in short, pretty much the opposite of my body.  Her figure reminds me a lot of Jessica's, and Jessica is a favorite of mine.




Notice how quickly the light is moving towards & up that wall?  When dealing with natural light, you've got to move quickly & be prepared to react, because ...

the sun waits for no one.

This image inspired some cropping decisions.  There are some photographers who just fill their frame with image & are done with it.  More power to them, but I don't do that.  I love to experiment with alternative cropping & unusual proportions -- look at all the tall skinny images on this page, for example.  Anyhow, this image to the right is fairly close to full frame, but I experimented with a slightly closer cropping (see the next image, below).  At the time, I think I liked the closer cropping, but today, as I'm editing these pages, I think I like the cropping on the right.  Go figure.





Every photographer I know starts out working with ambient light -- the light they see, whether it's sunlight, window light, or artificial light.  Those photographers who show promise are typically those who can recognize good and/or interesting light & who can take advantage of the light they see.  

I like this photograph -- there's soft light on Floofie's face, but her figure is raked with harsh direct sunlight coming through the window.  The window light also creates interesting shapes on the floor & the wall that contribute to the composition -- in fact, these shapes created by the sunlight are critical to this particular image.  This image is also a technical challenge (creating the appropriate amounts of detail in both the directly lit & not directly lit portions).

I like it.



Okay, the original image was fuzzy -- the camera had trouble with the light (and I wasn't paying close enough attention).  There was a time when I would have moaned about the fate that ruined this image -- the image would grow in its "could have been" value to outweigh all the other images of the sitting.  Now, I'm mellow.  I apply the "Brush Strokes" effect, and here's an interesting image.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

Use your imagination.  It's good to exercise your brain. 



I am immediately comfortable working with Floofie.  We had talked quite a bit as she was getting started with her modeling, and now that she was adding fine art nudes to her portfolio, I think we were happy finally to get together.  I'm liking a lot of these images.

I had planned to working with both natural & strobe lights, but the natural light was so great today, that we did a lot of work with the window light.  We move across the living room to use the light coming in from the windows in the front of the house.

Living Room, Natural & Strobe Light


(Remember -- feedback is always appreciated) 

All images (c) 2008 Looknsee Photography

Floofie, First Visit Out Takes

Over 150 more images from this sitting are available in the Out Takes Galleries, which are available to those who have made a donation to the upkeep of this web site.  See this FAQ question for more details.