My tutorial written for 1x.com cca 1 year ago.
Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm f1/8 D, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO400, ambient light ,cloudy
This photo was taken during a photoshooting as a training session in Budapest. The goal of the practice was to see how the available light can be used in the room or studio and in this case how the structure of white textile material looks like with the combination of a nude model.
I worked with Fanny a professional and very talented nude model for the first time. She is very nimble with fantastic movement culture that she has got from dancing. The model was wearing a simple but nice-looking makeup suitable for such art photography. The photoshooting took place in a dance studio that ensured big space for photographing. Before the actual shooting, I spread a large (approximately 5mx5m) white sheet/fabric on the floor and covered the model with a sheet as well. The whole sheet was crumpled so that the surface of the fabric would get a more interesting structure. The idea was as follows: the model makes various artistic motions and slowly uncovers herslef from underneath the sheet showing different parts of her body – as if she imitated the process of birth or hatching. The photo is one step of this birth. The natural light came from the left handside from a relatively small window. The weather outside was cloudy so the light from the window illuminating the model was diffused therefore there were no harsh shadows. I was shooting the model from a standing position so that she could fit the frame. I worked with a standard viewing angle lens because using wide-angle lens results in a greater apparent perspective distortion and here I did not want to play on this. The camera was in manual mode and the light was measured by spot metering. Since I used a 50mm lens, I reckoned with 1/50s as maximum time that I can hold by hand without tripod. At F2.8 aperture size and ISO400 sensitivity, the shutter speed reached 1/60s. This setup suited my needs and I used it to take this picture.
The photo was taken in RAW format, so first I processed the photo in Adobe Lightroom 4.4. In Develop tab, Lens Correction I enable the lens profile. After setting White Balance to Daylight, I added a bit of Tint (+10) then I increased the Exposure (+0,24) and added contrast. I did all these setups in colour mode, because my plan was to make the black and white conversion in Photoshop CS3 using Silver Efex pro 2 plugin. No cropping was done, because I always try to compose the image in the viewfinder during photoshooting. I exported the photo in JPEG (32bit) file format from the Ligthroom in this case, but I can also propose to export the photo in TIFF (64bit) format, for a better black and white conversion later with the Silver Efex. I opened the photo in Photoshop CS3 and duplicated the Background layer for retouch. Using Spot Healing Brush tool I retouched some skin defects from the model’s body. The Spot Healing Brush type was set to Proximity Match and the Mode was Normal. After retouch I launched Silver Efex. In Silver Efex, you are able to make black and white photos with lots of settings. I again added contrast to the photo, around 25 %, then I decreased with highlights cca 5% and shadows with cca 7-8% and increased midtones with cca 5%. I also amplify blacks with 10-15%. After these steps the photo was done as you can see it.
In my opinion, this photo is a good example of how the available light and little apparatus can be utilized. A smart and nimble model as well as a little mood for experimenting is enough for it. It might happen that the light is not sufficient or ideal for illuminating the scene, therefore compromises have to be made. Also the nudity of the model during the photoshooting has to be taken into consideration, for this reason, it is important that the room be heated so that the model can feel comfortable. Neglecting these circumstances, there is little or no chance of taking such pictures whatsoever. In this case it was ensured and the model felt pleasantly. I believe that such trainings, exercises help to develop creativity and may result in taking beautiful and exciting photos.
Photo is published here.