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Saturday 11 October 2008

The Human Form

I have several images printed and framed on the wall in my home. Most are nature and landscapes but a few are of the human figure. A few years ago I started a project photographing the body in nature. Yes it has been done many times before. Some of the great masters of photography (Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, and Alfred Stieglitz just to name a few) all did nudes in the environment. Regardless of how many images are out there of this subject, I enjoy the challenge this type of work brings.
I find it challenging to bring these two elements together - the body, and the landscape. While being aware of the responsibility of working with the body, I want to ensure I’m creating art. I also want to ensure the model is comfortable with what I’m doing.
When people come into our home and see my work on the wall, most are a little uncomfortable with the nude in nature images. I’m sure this has a lot to do with our culture. Maybe if I lived in Europe, I would get a very different reaction. Most are a little reluctant to look. But I can’t think of a more beautiful and interesting subject. It is different from what I do day to day. I think we all need to have little projects to energize our creative muscle.

I have worked with people I know well and with models that are paid for their time. The first few times I did this kind of work I was nervous and very self-conscious. After a few tries I was able to slow down, relax, and really see what I was doing. The process becomes collaboration between the model, my assistant, and me. We work together to get the best pose and the best look.
It’s wonderful when all the elements come together.

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