Nude as Creative Canvas: Female Statue
So, in this next example, we're gonna take statue further. And I've done this a couple times, and I'm just gonna give you the caution for the next setup. First of all, in the next setup, and you can bring her out whenever, what we've done, we've covered our subject with clay, like a cracked mud. And there's a very specific, they make fake cracking mud makeup stuff. One of the things that is kinda problematic is that when it dries, your subject becomes freezing cause as it dries, it sucks out all the heat. Were you cold?
She said yeah. It's both times I've done it, so that's one of those things. So what I usually do is when we put it on to dry, it takes a couple hours. This is like a 2 1/2 hour dry time, and you need to sit them right in front of space heaters because otherwise, they're freezing. The other part is, when it dries, it's kinda hard to move cause it dries onto the hair. So I'm just telling you, it's not the most comfortable, and I'm sure she'll agree, but let me br...
ing you out here so you guys can kinda see. So we're playing in this with texture. The idea, what's the concept of the shot? Texture. So she is an old and cracking statue is the idea behind it. Alright, so I'm gonna try to figure out the pose that I want, and I'm gonna play around, but we're gonna use this same light again. And because she's covered in texture, I'm gonna turn you straight to the light. If I turn her straight to the light, you still see the texture, but it doesn't show up as much because all the shadows are being filled in. So if I want there to be more texture, I would either need to move the light behind so that it rakes across more or what we talked about before, is to turn her away from the light and then bring her torso back towards the light so it'll rake across and show more texture. The other thing that you could do as well, is you could use a harder light source. The light source that we used in this and the last setup is a large, deep umbrella with diffusion. There are several different brands that makes things like this. These are Profoto, and all the studio strobes I'm using here today are Profoto D1's and Profoto B1's. So basically what this is, is a big portable window. Like that's how I think of it. It's a big soft light source. So big umbrellas, with diffusion in the front. So if you wanted the texture to show up more, the other thing you could do, is you could use a harder light source, because this big soft light source, it doesn't necessarily give you as much contrast, and as much definition to the texture. But I will leave it. Okay. I was gonna turn her away from the light. Like you need to figure how I'm gonna do it. So I'm gonna turn, let me take one picture, so people can see, this direction. (camera clicks) Oh. Can we turn that back up to say, seven? Yeah. Okay cool. Take a test. (camera clicks) And that closed down just a little. Great. One more. So the texture, is definitely still there, but what you'll notice is, take a look at the texture in the front, okay, compared to the texture over here. Like this is where you get the definition, is when the shadows start to come in play. When you go to where the light's flat, a lot less definition. Also, this is a little bit green, in the way that the clay photographs, so I know for all of these shots I'm probably gonna go black and white, or heavily desaturated. Something like that. What clarity does, is it increases contrast in the mid tones. So if I pop my clarity, look how it looks like all the texture becomes sharper. So now I'm gonna do that. So let's see, I'm gonna try a couple, let's try a couple shots. All right. Can I have the little apple? The half apple? And I'm gonna turn you to your right. Left. Left. I mean you're just so good at that. Okay. A little bit more. Perfect. Can you pop up your knee onto that apple box? Great. Now if I turn her that way, the light's not on her. So I turned her away, and I'm gonna rotate her chest back this direction, great. Perfect. So now the light's breaking across, looks nice, but, at my height, right now, about mid-section level, and the legs gonna probably get too much attention, where I want more attention on the chest and the face. So, I'm gonna do, I'm gonna lean her chest forward. So leaning her chest forward, brings it closer to the camera. There'll be more emphasis on it that way. Can you put your hand on your thigh? Right there, perfect. And so what I want to see, the fact there's a ton of texture, so I'm gonna get her hand in the shot, her chest in the shot, I'm gonna have you put your hand soft to your chest, your hands are arrows, so I'm gonna look to her chest, and what I see, from my eye, I've got a curve, I've got the negative space, but I kind of do this, like it's just nice, I'm following the hand. So if you lift your chin to this direction, let's take a shot, great, and we'll see how the light's doing. And chin towards me just a teeny bit. Great and chin up, and stick it out, just a little. Perfect. (camera clicks) So pretty. So she's got such a dainty placed hand, that looks very statuesque. Notice, though, what the light's doing. It carves out her forearms, but it also carves out all that texture. I think it looks awesome. So let me, just, change this to black and white, pop up my contrast a little bit, fill in my shadows so I can see in there, and let's pop up some clarity. So I think the first shot looks good. But I'm just gonna play around with just a few more shots, and we'll switch to our last one, which is the messiest of them. Even though this is real messy. It's messier. Okay. Lemme do a couple more. I'm gonna try a couple more with more dramatic poses, we'll try a couple with a little more curve, so keep on setting me up, and if it hurts too much, you tell me, okay? Can you put your hand on the thigh again? The right hand on your right thigh. Great. And pull it back. Perfect. Now I'm gonna be arched, and lean your chest forward, and turn your chest towards me, just a little bit, relax your shoulders, and bring your other hand across. Perfect. Same thing, lift your chin this way and chin up, and stick it out. Close your eyes. Thank you. (camera clicks) Perfect. And now put your hand across to your other shoulder, great. (camera clicks) Beautiful. And try, you can lift your chest up and arch your back just a little more, perfect. And elbow down on the top. Great. So I'm just trying to look for more curve, but the elbow was breaking up my curve, yeah, try this, let me see, oops. These are not how I wanted these to pop up, hold on, try this again, so what we're looking at, the way the hand is a little flat, there might be ways to have it be a little more elegant, so I'm just gonna try to play with the hand a little bit more, and that hand, can you slide your hand on your thigh, on top of your thigh? One of the rules for hands is, you usually wanna see the pinkie side. And so by moving her hand over on top of the thigh I see more of the pinkie, instead of on the sides of her thigh, I'm seeing the top of her hand. So it'll look just a little bit more elegant. And wiggle your fingers? Set them back down? Perfect. So it's just before she had them a little bit too posed, too rigid. I mean she's supposed to be a statue, but. Okay. So let's try up here, and see pinkie. Yes, beautiful, great. (camera clicks) And tuck your elbow in for this one. And then, touch it to your, touch it to your chest here. And lower lower lower, and bring it over just a little more, right there. Great. Close your eyes. (camera clicks) And turn your torso back towards me just a little. Good, and lift your head up and away, chin out real hard, trying to define her jawline, cause statues have a really strong jaw, all right let me try one more completely different pose. Let's try, let's see. I'm gonna turn you this way again, but I'm gonna go a little bit more structured. So can you put your right knee up? Great. Can you put your left hand on your right knee. And lean way forward. Perfect. And then try, let's see, let's try this. And put that hand up a little bit more underneath, and John, can you bring it in a little more? And in front. Yeah, let's try this. (camera clicks) I definitely don't like it as much. It's not curvy, and it's not, my eye doesn't know where to go. I'm getting stuck in the negative space, it's too many triangles, it's more of a guy pose. The other one was much nicer. So I'm gonna try, another one. I'm gonna have you do this, pop up your hand there, great, stick up your head, but turn towards me. Let me see. Oh, pull in.
It's okay, I can do it.
Okay. I think I'm gonna do a figure study on the chest. So I'm gonna have you put one hand on top of the chest, and one hand here. And then kind of curl your fingers out. (audience member comments) Yeah, so she doesn't like break, yeah.
Break through the clay.
Beautiful. Oh my gosh. So we'll do one more of those. Great. (camera clicks) Stick your chin up just a little bit. And turn your torso towards me more. Good good good. Arch your lower back if you can. (camera clicks) And John, Peter, one last fill light over here. Just a little fill. And then I think we're good for the next one. Can I see for your top hand the pinkie more?
She's like sure. Okay. Just as low as it goes. Okay good. Let's see how that looked. Good. It just softens the shadows, that's nice. All right. And then can you drop your left arm. Just hide it. Tuck it behind. Good. And, curl your fingers on your left hand, so I can see them. There you go good. Perfect. (camera clicks) Cool. All right. So I liked, I decided, like this one, I was looking at here, right, it's way too structured, no curve, here it ends up being just little bit more, curvier, softer lines, simple is better, and the dark shadow isn't necessary, so I could try it in black and white, pop up my contrast, pop up my clarity, something like that. And you know how it looks like she has no arms? I kind of like it, because the statues that have no arms, like I'm cool with that. It's like the Venus de Milo feel.