Liz Ashley

Here are a few images from my recent shoot with Houston based model Liz Ashley.
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She was traveling in my area last April to shoot a pin-up project with some vintage aircraft.
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I was happy that we could arrange some time during her visit to do a shoot together.
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Liz is primarily a classic glamour model, but she is equally talented when shooting art nudes. It is the latter that I wanted to explore with her.
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Never having worked with her before, it was difficult to predict how she would do with what I had planned.
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A few of my ideas would require strength, flexibility, grace and even getting wet!
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Liz took to each concept with creativity and enthusiasm, making our time together a real pleasure.
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There is no doubt that Liz is in good shape, but I was really impressed by her incredible strength and sense of balance.
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This made it easy to expand upon some basic ideas beyond what I had hoped for, resulting in some very successful images.

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In all, it was a fun project and Liz did a great job. My only regret is that we didn’t have more time together.
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Perhaps our paths will cross again one day!

Posted in AJ Kahn, emotive photography, Female Nude, Fine Art Photography, Human Form | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Rain Set; Behind The Scenes

One of my favorite set designs has been the “Rain Set”. It is a rather simple set up, but it has yielded some dramatic images.
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To work with water, I had to move out of my studio into the garage. There, I assembled a 10 foot high canopy made of PVC pipe on which a soaker hose was wrapped around the top. To keep the water from spraying in all directions, I placed a plastic tarp over the top. This helped confine the water spray into a mostly downward direction.
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For the model’s comfort, I attached the soaker hose to a warm water source from inside the house (much better than the cold water spigot from outside!).
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The rest of the set consisted of a black background and floor. In some cases, I used a shallow pool on the ground to capture the falling water and create interesting ripples. This was constructed from wood planks and lined with plastic tarp material (as seen in the photograph below).
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For lighting, the key sources were mono-lights fitted with barn doors off to each side and slightly behind the wall of “rain”, One soft box was placed in front of the model at about a 45 degree angle to act as fill light. In some cases (although not shown in the image) I placed a portable flash directly behind the model. This produced the most dramatic lighting of the water droplets and created a halo around the model.
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Of course when working with water, my biggest concern is safety. I made sure there was no way for the lights to accidently tip over or even get near the water. To ensure this, I had each mono-light on sturdy tripods and reinforced with heavy sawhorses to act as blockades. These were positioned far from any source of water.
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The final element of course is the participation of the model! My primary thought was to use models with a background in dance and ask them to move, leap and play as dramatically and gracefully as possible. Without these skilled models, the results would not have been as successful. Thanks to models Marlo, Kate and Heidi for all your efforts!

Posted in AJ Kahn, Dance Photography, Female Nude, Fine Art Photography, Human Form | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Waiting For New Life

On my commute to and from work, I drive past this sad little plot of land.
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It can’t be any more than a couple of acres, but I always notice the abandoned structures just rotting away.
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The structures seem to collapse a little more each day and become less recognizable as a once vibrant and useful property.
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Soon, I imagine that nature will reclaim this land as it’s own.
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I often wonder what this place was like during it’s prime.
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Who owned this land, and how was it used? Why was it abandoned and what became of the owners?
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Spring is just around the corner and soon this land will be overtaken by a field of tall grasses, flowers and wildlife. This atmosphere of renewal will be a welcome reflection of better things to come for this land.
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Meanwhile, I wanted to spend some time capturing this land at perhaps it’s darkest hour. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, thinking that some day I will not remember what it was like. As with the natural consequence of suburbia, I imagine there will be a gas station or convenience store there before I know it.
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At least now my memories will not fade.
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Posted in AJ Kahn, Landscape Photography | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

April-Lea

In May of 2011, I had the pleasure of working with talented model April-Lea.
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She is well known in the art community, not only for her modeling, but also for her superb skills as a fine art photogapher.
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Her work in both fields has been published throughout the world.
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What strikes me in her modeling is her innate ability to draw the viewer in.
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There’s a sensual component to her emotive poses that I find intriguing as well.
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I feel that this style is also reflected in her photographic work.
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I’ve always admired April-Lea’s skills on both sides of the camera, and it was an honor collaborating with her.
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April Lea’s photography can be found here: http://aprilleaphoto.carbonmade.com/

Posted in AJ Kahn, emotive photography, Female Nude, Fine Art Photography, Human Form | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Location vs. Studio Projects…

When it comes to art nude photography, I have traditionally been a studio shooter.

There’s something to be said for the comfort of the studio environment.  I have control over my lighting and there are no surprise weather changes.

My equipment, props and other niceties are right at my fingertips.  I can plan for the shoot in advance, testing for the best lighting, exposure and perspective.

Perhaps the most important comfort is that the model enjoys plenty of privacy, with no risk of an unwanted audience.

Everything sounds perfect, right?  Well, not exactly.  Often times there’s something missing.

That’s where location work comes in.

It’s an entirely different process for me that I really enjoy.

There’s a certain thrill to shooting on the fly, with little expectations of outcomes or preplanned visions to get in the way.

You have to be flexible with the changing lighting conditions, weather patterns and even what props or backgrounds are used.

I have found that the results are often just as successful than a carefully orchestrated studio shoot.  So I ask myself, which approach is best?

I guess it’s a matter of style and preference for each photographer to decide.

I have come to realize that I really need both approaches to keep my mind fresh and creativity flowing.   To find a balance between the two will be my goal for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully, both approaches will be rewarded with renewed perspective.

Posted in AJ Kahn, Dance Photography, Female Nude, Fine Art Photography, Human Form, Landscape Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Geometry And The Nude?

For those who follow my photography, you may notice the inclusion of geometric shapes into many of my images.

There’s something intriguing to me about the human form juxtaposed against these mathematical elements.  

The energy I sense from the flowing lines of a figure can often be constrained or at times even amplified by the shapes of its surroundings.

To explore this relationship can be quite rewarding.

Rather than having a specific outcome in mind, I love to start with a basic concept, then have the model freely interact with the geometric element.

Allowing the model’s spontaneity and creativity to take over often times yields the most uncommon results.

This approach is a true collaboration in which every participant contributes creatively to the end result.

Is it possible that the inanimate prop also plays a role in the collaboration?

 I believe so, because this object has allowed all participant’s imagination to thrive!

 

 

Posted in AJ Kahn, Female Nude, Fine Art Photography, Geometric Shapes, Human Form, Male Nude | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Underwater Figure Study

The figure photographed underwater.  This is something that has intrigued me for quite some time.  When done right, there can be an otherworldly quality to the images.  It reminds me of a dream-like state.  Although the effect is different, it somewhat reminds me of what one can achieve with infrared photography.  It’s almost surreal.  Having seen some of the beautiful underwater work of photographers such as Howard Schatz and  others, I have been inspired to explore this direction myself.

The following images are from my first attempt at what hopefully will be a new direction for future projects.  Models are Lea Dodson and Unbearable Lightness.

 

 

 

Posted in Female Nude, Fine Art Photography, Human Form, Underwater Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments