Olivia In The Shower

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Page created January 23, 2015
Sitting date: 
 June 12, 2014


I do enjoy working in my steam room.  It is a logistical challenge -- the space is cramped, the exposure calculation is tricky, keeping the equipment dry & safe is difficult, and it's difficult to find places for the lights, the camera, and me.  In addition, with the steam room door closed & the water running, it's difficult for the model & me to communicate with each other.

On the other hand, the images we create tend to be very abstract & evocative.  Like this.  This is the two of us just getting started.



But this happened.  The glass window looking into the steam room mostly cleared up.  That was not what I expected -- I expected it to get fogged up and remain fogged up.  Look -- you can see the white wall sculpture of the Three Graces there behind Olivia!  Usually, it's so steamy in there that the sculpture just becomes a white flur.  I was expecting something foggy, like the pictures featured in the previous session -- Sarah's Kissing Session.  Instead, we clear air.

At the time, this confused me.  I asked Olivia whether the water that was running was hot, and she tells me that it's set at its hottest.  Now -- I have a theory:  we were working during the warm months, and the glass & the air inside the steam room was already warm when we got started.  So, my guess is that we need a bigger temperature difference to get the steam & fog.  But I thought of this weeks after this session -- it's something I'll have to test out in the future.





Note to self -- interesting things happen when Olivia presses her chest, her arms, and her hands to the glass.  Pressing her nose to the glass -- not so much.

Models are left pretty much on their own when they are in the steam room, but being warm & wet -- that's a sensuous experiences for many of them.









Olivia has a very expressive face.  I'm not sure what she's thinking in this one.  Got a guess?  Let me know.


I am always looking for alternative cropping.  Well, let's start with a little honesty -- pretty much every image you see on this web site is cropped somewhat.  My first camera was a rangefinder, and one never could be sure how much is captured in the image, so I started with the assumption that I needed to take half a step back & include a little extra in each exposure I made; thus, every image gets cropped down to my original vision.

But sometimes, I go further (and sometimes, I go much further).  I tend to want to include the minimum necessary information in each image.  So, here's an example.  Study the image above -- is everything in it necessary?  Is that soap on the bench necessary.  Is all of Olivia's lovely figure necessary.  Below is an alternative cropping that I like.  What do you think?


Hey!  Wanna see a silly picture that we made, one that makes us both laugh





While I miss the steamy / foggy effect, I am enjoying these images.  Olivia is exceptional coming up with movement on her own (with minimal interaction with me), and her figure is still breathtaking.






Another cropping exercise.  I like the simmering expression on Olivia's face, which is enhanced by the "lit from above" lighting.  But I figure that the area from Olivia's waist and below isn't contributing much to the image.  Hence, the alternative cropping on the right.

And the artistic effects, below, are just for fun.  Enjoy.






I'm including this specific image because I don't like it.  Don't get me wrong -- I am very happy working with Olivia, but I have technical issues with this image. 

I often play a game:  I look at a piece of art and I try to guess the gender of the artist.  I'll claim that I am right ~80% of the time.  Men & women just seem to have different styles & priorities.  One clue that I use is this:  men tend to be more tied to gravity, and their images tend to be perfectly horizontal or vertical; women are often much more free about such things.  Try it out for yourself.

So, I don't like this image because I've accidentally tilted it to the left by a few degrees.  That's going to bother me.  Sure, I can use my photo editing software to straighten it out, but I tend to want to get the original image as close to perfect as possible, and that means not only the tilt but also the focus, the exposure, and everything else.

In these circumstances, getting things right is unexpectedly difficult.  The space is tight, so I'm using my camera's widest setting, roughly 24mm.  Now, if one keeps the lens axis horizontal, that minimizes any wide angle distortion.  But more often than not, I use the window edges to judge the horizontal, but being at the edge, that straight line becomes curved when it is placed at the edge of the image frame.

It's nice that we got Olivia down on the floor (see the mat that I use to spare the model's knees?).  But while the light is kinda nice when the model is kneeling, it's kinda blah when the model is just a foot or so lower.

But this commentary is supposed to be educational, and one's mistakes are more educational than one's successes.  Enjoy.




Here's a favorite image from the whole session.  It's so much a favorite that I'm sharing a slightly larger version.  I like the jog in her stance, the introspective look on her face, her muscle tone, her perfect figure.

I'm often asking myself about how long I should keep going with a setup.  Ever since I switched to digital, I have practically no limits to how many exposures I can make for a session or for a setup.  So, I am constantly asking myself when I've done enough, and my first clue is if I find myself making similar images over & over.  To be honest, now as I am drafting these pages, I do find that the interest in these images had started to plateau out.  But then along comes this image.  I like it a lot.  I'm glad I didn't stop working.

I find that with digital, I have the opportunity to press on through momentary roadblocks -- that's something I couldn't do with film.

Okay -- below is an artistic effects version of this image, using my new favorite "airbrush & ink" effect.  Enjoy.




Here's another cropping exercise.  The row below represents my first cropping, but I found a more radical cropping, in the row below that.  Did you see it?




Admittedly, this is a much more radical cropping than usual, but I have to admit that I like the "airbrush & ink" version a big lot. 






I look forward to seeing Olivia again.


(Remember -- feedback is always appreciated) 

All images (c) 2015 Looknsee Photography

Olivia, First Visit Out Takes

Nearly 200 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.