From the sublime to the primal

Anne Duffy was in town for a few days so I took the opportunity to give my art-nude portfolio a bit of a boost and arranged a shoot. Gian had some slick wardrobe for Anne to wear and we'd scoped the location the weekend before for compositions, light, timing etc.

G and I woke at some ungodly hour and drove into Sydney to pick Anne up at 7. A 20 minute drive and then a 15 minute walk got us to the spot, complete with wheely bags full of clothes and way too many cameras.

The first sequence was tailor made for Anne.  The roof of an old concrete building and a vast sky and ocean as the backdrop. Space. Anne worked her wonders on the roof while I shot from about 40 metres away so as to get her to right size within the frame. For about 15 minutes, on and off, the light was magic, shining through a thin layer of cloud giving a massive soft box effect which lit the edges of Anne's contours in her elegant poses. There are a handful of excellent images from this sequence but one absolute epic stand out shot where the light, Anne poise, the clouds and  f#%£¥n everything came into alignment. 

A few moments of truly magic filtered light, an amazing model and a centred composition creates something quite powerful.

The last couple of shots are common in my current workflow - backlighting - I love it when light is flying around everywhere and it's that hard to control that the results are really hit or miss. Shot this a bit differently this time. Funny how changes in technique and workflow are best worked out on the fly out of impulse and/or necessity, but I'll be using these techniques every shoot now.

Before we shot the last pieces of wardrobe, we shot some more nudes, except for the boots :) I love the feel of these images, they're raw and wild and yes, primal. I deliberately didn't edit them much at all, preferring to leave them rough around the edges. One of the shots looks like Anne is literally emerging out of the scrub, her limbs reaching out and upward mimicking the curved forms of the branches. A big burnt out sun patch completes the shot. Overexposed? Yep, purists would be disgusted.

The second last sequence was the neck piece and boots. I found a perfect spot where Anne could literally climb into the base of a tree and make like a predator, which she did do very well indeed. G worked the reflector like a pro and we kept shooting into the final wardrobe set which was Anne's home made kinky strappy thing. The black lines of the kinky strappy thing worked great with all the black twisted branches around the place.

We sorted wardrobe for the next couple of looks and kept moving. The next sequence was simple but again relied on the model having a solid repertoire of moves, another reason to shoot with Anne. In fact she moves from pose to pose so quickly it's challenging to keep up with the shots. We shot straight against a concrete wall in bright sunshine - poor Anne's pupils copped a bashing. The results aren't great but I know where I want these shots to go so will keep plugging away.

The last look incorporated a pair of chunky  boots from Gian and a beautiful neck piece off Anne's which had a tribal feel. The location was a burnt patch of Melaleuca growing out of the sand. Melaleuca has amazing twisted gnarly shapes to its branches and when burnt provides an amazing place to shoot something 'primal'.

Primal emergent.

And that was the end of a fairly intense 2 hours. Oh, then the walk out back to the car.