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Manipulating Nudes

Creativity Encouraged

Manipulating Nude Photos

In this image of Playboy model Laura, I used Nik Software Silver Efex Pro to provide a black and white film effect.

I see it everyday on photography forums online, “shoot RAW, fix it in Photoshop, don’t worry about it, that’s what postproduction is for,” etc., etc. At the hundreds of photography workshops I’ve taught in the past twelve plus years, I’ve heard it too, time and time again—my response, “Get it right in the camera.” Think of postproduction as the place where you develop the photograph, not create it—reserve postproduction creativity for turning photos of nothing into something as your last resort, or for image making playtime.

Even with that hard nose response and shooting ethic, I too am guilty of playing around in Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Lightroom® and with my bundle of Nik Software filters—but I use those tools not as a crutch, but as a creative outlet when I’m either bored, want to experiment, or quite frankly, had such a difficult shoot that I couldn’t get it right in the camera.
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10 Comments

  1. Excellent perspective on post production. We should do everything we can to get it right with the camera first. With digital camera’s it’s easier then it ever was with film. Then develope it in post production.

    • Dan, thanks! Yes, digital photography gives us more possibilities today than we had with film.

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    • Make sure your white-balance is set to automatic, shoot it manual. Also, make sure your strobes are fully charged before fired. There are several possibilities and I’d have to know your set-up. Check your EXIF data to see if all photos are using the same shutter-speed, F/stops, white-balance, ISO, etc. I hope that helps. Also, the duration of the flash is your shutter speed for your subject in a darkened studio, not sure how much ambient light is affecting your shots.

  3. I agree with you a hundred percent, shoot it clean. I got into the business to spend my time behind the camera not in front of a computer monitor.

  4. i like your approach. i think that a balance between talent and technology is what the artist should strive for. although, admittedly, it’s touch when the technology is abused and passed off as talent.

    nevertheless, very informative and will continue to follow…a good and informative read….

    cheers!!

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. rg

  5. I love the attitude of “get it right in the camera”. I love trying to be creative on scene, with camera in hand. My mind goes into all sorts of directions, thinking of all kinds of possibilities. I hate being stuck behind the computer, so I’d rather get as much accomplished in the camera. Thanks for the great article!

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Rolando Gomez Philosophy on Nude Photography
Editorial Nudes is not a website where you’ll find pornography, nor is this a website where models are underage, this is a website that showcases another genre of my art, though I want to clarify, nudity should never be a requirement for photography. Nudity is not for everyone, but for those that can appreciate the beauty of the human form and can handle it with maturity and common sense. I hope you’ll enjoy how I view nudity through my camera lens, often in a more editorial format. Read more about my philosophy on nude photography here.

Photographer Helmut Newton Had It Right On Nude Photography
While many famous photographers are known for other genres of photography, such as fashion, commercial, landscape and photojournalism photography, almost all have shot a nude photograph at some point in their careers. Whether it was fashion nude, editorial nude, Playboy nude, fine-art nude, implied nude, or some form of nude photography, some photographer captured a nude photo somewhere.

Then there were those like Helumut Newton, who were catapult into more fame for their nude photography than their commercial or fashion magazine photography. It’s been said that Simon de Pury, the head of the New York/London auction house Phillips de Pury & Company, while having a discussion with Helmut Newton about the then upcoming inaugural show for his Zurich gallery, asked Newton, “…What else do you have?” Newton replied, “My landscapes, but nobody wants to see those.”

Newton was correct and soon “Sex and Landscapes” was conceived for that inaugural show in 2001. While undoubtedly the late Newton has help put the “PC” in nude photography over the years, it’s not that nude photography is so bad in our private conscious, it’s the difficulty of the use of the word in our vocabulary and the use of nude images in our visual arts—like a fear, our own society is the guilty culprit and it’s time for us to “grow up” and accept the beauty nude photography brings, especially when captured correctly.

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