Combining nudes and landscapes
I think I've mentioned a few times in the talk, about the importance of preparation. And there's another word that goes into preparation, which is concept. So, the preparation and concept is part of your thinking. It's not just turning up and saying well I'm so good as a photographer, I don't really need to think about anything until I get on the set. Preparation really is ganna do you well. Conceptual thinking also helps, so that's something you should be practicing. I'm ganna show you now an example of something that was preparation in the extreme. I'd always wanted to do this series of double exposures with landscape and also nudes. And I had done a project on the Island of Skye off the west coast of Scotland, beautiful island. And I shot there some very very simple, textural backgrounds: trees, leaves, rocks, where I was able to think about there would be a nude with, you know, in the back of my head, with these various elements. So I did a whole series when ...
I was doing also Landscape photography as well. So I held onto those for a couple of years and then finally I got it together back in New York to shoot some nudes and incorporate these textural landscapes with the women. So I've done a whole series of these, there's actually 60 or 70 of them. (lighthearted music) I'm just emphasizing concept, thinking about things, preparation and so on. So this is a rather extreme example of preparation where I had this idea of the double exposure and the landscape picture was done two years before I actually got to shooting the nudes. But I had the makeup artist kind of bronze the body because then I knew it would take the tattooing of the landscape, the double exposure onto her skin. And the basic idea for the nude series was also a little bit A Midsummer Night's Dream, a little bit of a tribal, strange, mystical place. That was where the whole idea came from, you know. A little bit strangely, Lord of the Rings or something. So, I had these landscapes, textural landscapes and then I proceeded with the nudes, and then this image here, you can examine it and you'll see how the skin is almost, takes on a tattoo that looks a little bit primitive. And it's a very good use of the computer to compile an image. And, I'm a big fan of the computer, I'm a big fan of the past, 30 years ago, 40 years ago film, but I'm also a fan of all the new technology as well. And just because you shoot a digital camera doesn't mean to say that you can pick up a roll of film next week and shoot a roll of film. Film hasn't gone yet. But this is a good example of preparation. So in the computer, it's actually quite easy on the surface to just do a double exposure, you're basically overlaying two images together. It's a little bit more complicated than that. Because you want to feel that this image is tattooed on the body. So, you really have to isolate the nude from her background and then you're dropping the landscape primarily onto the body. So there is, of course, some very delicate Photoshop work that you have to do. And you have to get the balance the density of the landscape on the skin the skin shouldn't be too dark, it shouldn't be too light, so this is a really beautiful way of working with modern technology and putting together a really interesting image. And it's very very flexible. So I had shot maybe as many as 30 textural landscape pieces for this project, and therefore I had a lot of flexibility when I combined them. (lighthearted music)