|I love working in my shower & steam
room, but it's a big challenge. Although both the
shower & steam room are large, as far as showers &
steam rooms go, space is a bit cramped, especially when
you try to add lights.. Additionally, electronics &
water don't mix, and setting up the lighting so that it
is both interesting & safe is tricky. But it can
So, here we are in the steam room. The steam room
door is tightly closed -- normally, that's enough to keep
the steam in the steam room. The door is tempered
glass, and today, we have the light just outside the door,
pointing into the steam room. It's tricky for me to
squeeze into the steam room, leaving the lights appropriately
aimed (I'm not as svelte as I used to be), but as you can
see, we manage.
Keira is sitting on the steam room bench, and I'm at
the other end, only 6-7 feet away. I'm using a wide
angle lens, but distortions are minimized because the camera
axis is parallel to the floor & perpendicular to that
It's always good to start this way. Once the model
gets wet, she'll stay wet for the rest of the sitting.
||Keira manages to ooze confidence.
Sometimes I forget that she's nude.
We move off the bench & photograph on the floor in
front of the bench. Because the light is so close
(on the other side of the steam room door), the little change
in position makes a significant change in the lighting.
So, before we get Keira wet, we play on the floor.
We are still
in the steam room -- that's the glass door behind Keira.
We start to get Keira wet, and the steam room immediately
does what it is designed to do -- it retains steam.
That light, and the diffusion cased by the steam, give this
photo an ethereal feel that I like. Of course, my
eyesight is getting fuzzy in my old age, so I don't mind
mention that we aren't really using the steam generator
-- that would generate so much steam that we'd wouldn't
be able to see Keira at all. In fact, when I use the
steam generator, the temperature can go up to 120°.
Here, all the steam is being generated by running the hot
a problem -- I hate it when my lens steam up, and if I wipe
the steam away, it's back in a second. So, we make
some pictures, but when it really gets steamy in the steam
room, I leave & photograph Keira through the glass wall.
But before that, we work together, with both of us in the
||Much as I'd like to, I just can't stay
in the steam room with Keira -- I want to get her really
wet, but to do so means that there's a lot of steam in the
air, and that steam condenses on the camera. It's
an easy problem to solve -- I photograph Keira through the
glass wall of the steam room, leaving her in there with
the hot water running.
When we get images like this one, with her ribs tapering
to her waist, with her excellent muscle definition, and
with her wide stance, Keira looks powerful to me.
I like this a lot.
This setup does have its challenges:
- That door creates a tight seal when it is closed.
That, and when the hot water is running, means that
the model can't really hear me & vice versa.
- While the strobe light is powerful when it fires,
the modeling light isn't all that powerful, which often
challenges the camera's autofocus.
Still, when it's working, we can produce some interesting
images. Keira especially called these images "fun".
things happen when the model presses herself up against
the glass wall of the steam room.
an observation: when I photographed Carlotta in January,
2008, she was in the exact same spot...
the positioning of the light was different. The door
and the glass wall to the steam room are side by side.
For the picture of Carlotta, above, the light was a large
diffused reflector positioned directly above the camera
position. For the pictures here of Keira, the light
was positioned on the other side of the steam room door
(to the right of the camera position). The Carlotta
setup highlights the condensation on the inside of the glass
wall -- the Keira setup, not so much. Overall, I think
I like the light on Keira better -- the Carlotta light was
too bright at the top of the image, and the condensation
drops on the glass obscure her figure a little too much.
But then again, Carlotta had a lot of fun leaving finger
trails on the glass.
||Here's something I learned: when
we first started working on this setup, my camera had lots
of problem focusing on Keira. At that time, all the
bathroom lights were off, and the scene was lit only by
the strobe's modeling lights, which were just too dim.
All the lights in my house are on dimmers, so I turned
on the steam room lights (but kept them low), and that was
enough to help the camera focus. It also brightened
the white wall sculpture on the back wall. But in
general, you can't tell the steam room lights are on because
the strobe is powerful enough to overpower them.
Again, I was using a pretty radical wide angle setting,
minimizing distortions by keeping the camera level.
However, there is a little bit of distortion -- Keira's
left arm looks super long.
I think I like
this image because Keira's skin, pressed up against the
glass wall, is in the rough shape of a heart.
with Keira -- these "behind the glass wall" images
are a lot of fun.
||For reasons I barely understand, I rarely
photograph a model's back.
For reasons I completely understand, I rarely talk about
a model's body.
But I like this butt picture.
can draw your eyes away, you can see a indistinct bright
spot in the upper left corner -- that's the steam room light
that is assisting with the camera's autofocus.
a curse, but as a photographer, I tend to examine everything
in the image, including the foggy bright spots. That's
me, lately -- I'm becoming more & more of a control
freak, controlling every last pixel in the final image.
||It's been a long sitting, and by all
rights, we should call it quits, but I prevail on Keira
for just a few more exposures. We leave the steam
room but pause in the shower. I've always meant to
explore work there, so we try a few exposures.
However, I quickly realized that I'm too beat, and I
don't have the energy to develop a good (and safe) lighting
The shower does have a big honkin' shower head in the
ceiling -- this shower head pumps three times the volume
of water in a rainfall / deluge. We try using that.