Fine Art nude in the landscape workshop
07/04/17Fine Art Nude in the Landscape Workshop with Mike Brown and Model Romi Muse
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In June 2016 I ran two One-day "Fine art nude in the landscape" workshops at a location in West Cork with the wonderful model Romi Muse. Romi is maybe not what some would call a typical art nude model, she is free spirited, free thinking and doesn't conform to the typical art nude genre in many of her shoots. She is a seasoned traveller, originally from Chile and now living in Barcelona [when she's not on the road modeling].
I had lead workshops at the same woodland location on a couple of occasions there is always potential for some interesting images there. Too much of what we see nowadays in the art nude genre is all about finding graphic structures and placing the model in them or placing a model in window light looking serene and making the perfect figure of 8 with her shape. These images can be very pretty but don't engage the viewer for long as they tend to be too simplistic. While we would do some shots of this style, I wanted to explore more. I was hoping to create some more abstract images, with more interesting compositions which would ask questions of the viewer. I knew Romi would be perfect for this.
We started in a field of oats which were already about two feet high. With the photographers lined up and ready at the side of the field, I spoke to Romi and asked her to go into the oats, crouch down, disrobe and then to surprise me [us]. She certainly did! Having gone out of sight in the oats she emerged feet first! Just her feet! This was indeed a surprise and made for some interesting images before she came up above the oats head first. She then moved into various shapes giving all the photographers ample time to get some great images.
We then moved on to a pathway alongside a high stone wall. After first doing some leaning poses which were very nice, Romi took a leaf covered branch from one of the trees and used it as a prop in her poses. This provided an interesting and beautiful contrast to her nude shape.
For myself I almost exclusively shoot art nudes in black and white. I feel colour is mostly an unneccessary distraction and also occasionally makes an art nude image into a glamour image. I have no problem with others choosing colour if that's what they prefer and without doubt there are some art nude images which work well in colour, its just generally not my choice. One of these cases is perhaps when I asked Romi to pose on the barn building with its coloured doors. Again, she just knew what to do instinctively. Balancing in front of the upper door on a ledge which was barely 6 inches wide, with the door closed behind her and a 15 foot drop to the concrete below, she made a fantastic selection of poses for the photographers!
Into the woodland and we looked for some wild images among the undergrowth and against the trees. Making the foliage the bigger part of the images at times or using the abstract shape of Romi's body against the trunk of a tree to create our pictures we had so many possibilities. Romi of course excelled this.
During the workshops we did a session in the walled garden where I shot some purposely out of focus images and showed them to the group to give them some alternatives in their compositions. Not everyone's cup of tea but you can experiment with the amount of de-focussing you use to create some all sorts of effects.
We finished up using some of features of the location including piles of discarded tree cuttings, some stacked planks, walls with interesting lines of ivy and staining from the rain falling from the corrugated roof above and finally some of the old machinery in the yard. In all of these Romi worked so hard as to leave us all tired from shooting images. Some of these had an edge of eroticism to them and this can add an extra element to the images without making them glamour shots.
On both days we were lucky with the weather with only a few light showers on the second day. All the participants went away with so many images I'm sure they were processing for months to come. More importantly they made images which were interesting, unique and beautiful of an exceptional model in a great location. All of them said they couldn't thank Romi enough for her hard work and dedication and that they had enjoyed a wonderful day.
I will be running some more fine art nude workshops in 2017 in both the studio and on location. If you are interested in attending one of them please let me know by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call me on 0868295039. I will again be hoping to bring some interesting models in to work on these and have a few in mind already.
Below is just a small selection of images made over the two days.
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