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August 01 , 2010

Fantasy Nude Photography

Use Lighting, Posing, and Digital Compositing to Create Amazing Images


Of the many different types of fine art photography, fantasy nudes are among the more creative and daring. Since we’re dealing in fantasy, anything is possible. It’s not necessary to travel to exotic locales for a shoot or for that matter, limit yourself to locales that exist at all! With a little imagination, simple lighting arrangements and some computer postproduction, it’s possible to simulate location shoots, create imagined locations or take a standard nude shot and make it into an exotic portrait.
One of the benefits of creating images in this manner is that it frees the photographer up from needing a model to be in the right place at the right time. Working with preexisting nature or location shots, it’s possible to photograph a model in the comfort of a studio and then combine the images by compositing. Kirby presents dozens of examples where he employed this method to great success.
While creating fantastical and striking backgrounds are a big part of Kirby’s work, thoughtful lighting plans when shooting the models is what makes the images really standout. He experiments with different ways of using his lights, sometimes creating his own DIY lighting units, and shares the details throughout the book. Matching the light in the studio to the light of the imagined location is imperative. Each photo in the book has an explanation of the concept for the image, details on the execution of the shoot, and a lighting diagram. In addition, the images are also accompanied by alternate photos or before-and-after shots.
Not every image in the book is rooted in fantasy. There are dramatic studio portraits and unique nature shots all created in the same manner that Kirby employs for his fantasy shots. Working in this manner allows for more trouble-shooting options. Sometimes it is necessary to create an image under less than suitable conditions. For instance, say your shoot requires a summery scene in mid-winter. In one of the lessons, Kirby used a previously taken picture of a bright cloudy sky, added lighting to the model as if the shoot were being done outdoors and photographed the model in front of blue screen allowing him the option to drop her into the landscape photo afterwards.
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