Basic setup for nude shots NSFW
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    Fenriswolf
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    Basic setup for nude shots NSFW

    by Fenriswolf » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:04 pm

    Hi there,

    As I said in my intro, I've just got an EOS 500D. Yup, Canon. :P Now, I am very much still out of my depth with how to get what I want with my camera, but trial and error will get me there.

    What I would really like advice on though (and I assure you I am Googling furiously as I type this, haha) is what I need to get decent nude shots indoors in terms of lighting/anything else you might need apart from model+photographer+camera.

    I imagine proper lighting/umbrellas etc are bloody expensive, so I'm hoping there's a fairly budget way to go about it.

    I really appreciate any advice you have to give.

    Cheers

    Edit: Oh god, do I pretty much have to get a specific lens to really get results? :?
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    by GeoffM » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:48 pm

    No need for expensive lights etc, just use natural daylight it's free :D

    Some reflectors would be advantageous as a fill light but you don't need to purchase these either. You could use sheets, aluminium foil, paper to name but a few.

    Regarding lenses, a short prime 50, 60, 85 or fast zoom 24-70 f2.8 would be best but it would all depend on the space you have to move around in and wether you want full body shots or more abstract partial body shots.
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    by Ken182 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:13 am

    Hi there, I'll excuse the Canon as you are only just starting out :wink:

    I see you are in NZ so I will suggest you contact this guy:

    Mike Langford and get some input locally on your questions.

    Mike is a really lovely warm affable character who can give you suggestions on photography groups who you can hook up with and do workshops with.

    cheers
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    by Fenriswolf » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:25 am

    GeoffM wrote:No need for expensive lights etc, just use natural daylight it's free :D

    Some reflectors would be advantageous as a fill light but you don't need to purchase these either. You could use sheets, aluminium foil, paper to name but a few.

    Excellent. I'm not sure about the natural light, my house certainly isn't suitable and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't be comfortable outside but I'll ponder it!

    Regarding lenses, a short prime 50, 60, 85 or fast zoom 24-70 f2.8 would be best but it would all depend on the space you have to move around in and wether you want full body shots or more abstract partial body shots.

    Hmmm. Thanks. I am a bit worried about how much I can potentially spend on this hobby. :shock: :lol:

    Ken182 wrote:Hi there, I'll excuse the Canon as you are only just starting out :wink:

    I see you are in NZ so I will suggest you contact this guy:

    Mike Langford and get some input locally on your questions.

    Mike is a really lovely warm affable character who can give you suggestions on photography groups who you can hook up with and do workshops with.

    cheers

    Wow, that's really cool actually, thanks. :) I know one pretty amazing photographer but he specialises in landscapes and he's more my partner's friend than mine and doesn't run workshops or anything so it's really good to have a recommendation.

    Thanks guys. :)
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    by Dalzine » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:34 am

    Canon has a good introduction to Prime lenses in their 50mm f1.8 lens. It's generally around the $100AUD - $150AUD mark and is a great "Bang for you buck" lens. You will be able to shoot indoors during the day in most situations without using extra lighting.

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    Re: Basic setup for nude shots

    by W G » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:38 am

    Fenriswolf wrote:What I would really like advice on though (and I assure you I am Googling furiously as I type this, haha) is what I need to get decent nude shots indoors in terms of lighting/anything else you might need apart from model+photographer+camera.


    Welcome to the wonderful world of the nude.

    What you will need will largely depend upon what style of nudes you aim for. A lot of the weekend warrior exploits you'll see on the internet are a bit 'blokey' and tend to strive for some sort of lad's mag editorial style.

    That can often require extensive, but predictable, kit.

    If your heart lies more in the art nude them less is more. Keep it simple and organic. I shot a project on very large film once lit by nothing more than candles. If that can be achieved on large film so simply then for digital it is a walk in the park.

    Your eye will eventually dictate the ideal focal length but somewhere around 50mm is where I suspect it may live. Have a look at the Canon 60mm macro, it could be good. I am a fan of macros so I am biased.

    In the 'art' style you can certainly start with just one light and a couple of sheets of card from the stationers to use as reflectors. If you stay away from camera shops you will be okay moneywise.
    Walter Glover

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    Re: Basic setup for nude shots

    by Fenriswolf » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:47 pm

    Slow reply from me, that's not normal! Thanks again for your advice. :D

    Dalzine wrote:Canon has a good introduction to Prime lenses in their 50mm f1.8 lens. It's generally around the $100AUD - $150AUD mark and is a great "Bang for you buck" lens. You will be able to shoot indoors during the day in most situations without using extra lighting.

    Dale

    Thanks! Aaaaaand... I bought it. Heh. Took a couple of shots of shit lying around the house and wow, it's cool. What a difference!

    W G wrote:Welcome to the wonderful world of the nude.

    What you will need will largely depend upon what style of nudes you aim for. A lot of the weekend warrior exploits you'll see on the internet are a bit 'blokey' and tend to strive for some sort of lad's mag editorial style.

    That can often require extensive, but predictable, kit.

    Haha, well, I'm a bit of a snob about anything I do... :oops: So no, while glamour-y, laddish photos are nice enough to look at, they're not something I'm interested in for myself. These are the two artists who I, one day, would like to be able to shoot like: John Stutz and Heather Corrina.

    If your heart lies more in the art nude them less is more. Keep it simple and organic. I shot a project on very large film once lit by nothing more than candles. If that can be achieved on large film so simply then for digital it is a walk in the park.

    Wow! Candles... that's impressive. Could look amazing if you got it right I imagine. Certainly food for thought.

    Your eye will eventually dictate the ideal focal length but somewhere around 50mm is where I suspect it may live. Have a look at the Canon 60mm macro, it could be good. I am a fan of macros so I am biased.

    Re: using macros for full body nudes, how does that work? The dude at the camera shop was like O_o when I asked about it. An article I read recommended 80-100mm, but the shop guy reckoned you'd have to shoot from really far away?

    In the 'art' style you can certainly start with just one light and a couple of sheets of card from the stationers to use as reflectors. If you stay away from camera shops you will be okay moneywise.

    lol @ the camera shop comment. Hmmmm, yes! I might have a talk to a lightbulb specialist (we have a shop in town) about getting something with a high K rating and just chucking it in a lamp, don't see why it wouldn't work.
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    by Dalzine » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:26 pm

    I found a nifty source for reflectors and flags. You know those cheap mounted canvases they sell at dollar stores? Generally blank canvas stretched over a wooden frame that they sell for those that want to try painting. They make great reflectors, as long as you don't need them to be portable.

    If you want flags then just paint them black. The best part is you can usually find them at garage sales for a dollar a piece and they range from a square foot to six foot high by a few feet across.

    Bargain.

    Dale.
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    by Fenriswolf » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:47 pm

    Wow. Never would have thought!
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    Re: Basic setup for nude shots

    by W G » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:48 pm

    Fenriswolf wrote:The dude at the camera shop was like O_o when I asked about it. An article I read recommended 80-100mm, but the shop guy reckoned you'd have to shoot from really far away?


    Rule 1, Page 1: Guys in camera shops are in camera shops because they can't make a buck making pictures. They are box shifters and only know what it takes to close a deal and leave you set to upgrade on your next visit. That is if they are still there on your next visit and not driving a cab.

    What you have to do is try things and see what works for you and what works in your situation. There are no hard and fast rules — unless your objective is predictability and repetition.

    It is a fun envelope you are looking at exploring. Go discover where the boundaries - YOUR boundaries - are.

    Most Macro lenses focus from infinity to quite close - sometimes down to life size or bigger. They very often have higher resolution than other lenses. Their possible shortcoming - if it matters - is that they generally are not super fast. But then with super fast comes lower resolution .... it is swings and roundabouts.
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    by heartyfisher » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:14 am

    :-) WG is one of the grandmasters of photography that happen to like our little community here.. but he does say things like, pawn to g6 on move 8 is the obvious move for the pirc defence. :lol: but he will also explain if you ask :-)
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    by Dug » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:21 am

    The cheapest lighting setup is natural light and a good background.

    the second is natural light and a big sheet of polystyrene foam as a reflector :D

    Many great photos have been taken with no lights or the basic lighting it depends on the look you are going for.

    have a look at the work of edward weston most of his nudes are very natural and beautiful.
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    by uberphoto » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:11 pm

    to take good nudes you need great understanding of light.
    Since you are asking the question here about lights I guess you don't understand light yet. Having the best lighting gear won't help if you don't understand light.

    Practice with natural light, understand flat lighting, and directional lighting. Then work on subtracting lighting.

    Once you got that sorted out try to learn how light and shadow affect the human figure. Basic stuff like broad light vs short light etc. Practice on faces, see what kind of light is more flattering or dramatic etc.

    Then move on to nudes.
    Chris :)
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    by Dug » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:35 pm

    Nudes can be a good place to start learning lighting.

    If you have a good patient model and lots of time there are worse subjects to practice on. :D

    Nudes and old homes work really well together. See if you can find some empty houses or spaces to work in.

    Do you have any real estate agent friends ? :wink:
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

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    by Fenriswolf » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:15 pm

    Haha, our house is ooooold. It is unfortunately full of crap too!

    I am planning to learn by pointing my camera at willing people - I posted this thread only because I had an idea I really like the idea of and the woman I asked likes the idea too... just has to work out whether she's brave enough. She'd be an amazing subject.

    I shall definitely be researching what you mentioned though uberphoto; it's good to have a place to start.

    Re: camera shop people, I can see that, though I imagine it varies. I can say I have been on the receiving end of such opinions when working at a vet clinic (we have an unusually large retail section and a fair amount of regulars didn't click it was primarily a vet) and it can really take away from your love of a job you are in fact very knowledgeable about. (We do have some non-nursing staff on the front and some of them really are dimwits but I can assure you I know more about medicine and behaviour than 99.99% of our clients - and more about the latter than most of our vets.) [/rant] ;)

    I will certainly be taking most of my technical questions to here!

    I took a few pictures of my partner today and that was... interesting. Will have to experiment a bit more. :)

    Edit to add: flat and directional lighting seems fairly self explanatory, as does using shadows to emphasise shapes and other things I can see in photos but don't know how to explain... I want to, and will, understand the technicalities of how to create what I want, I just am starting with nudes because I was inspired. :)

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