In addition to the more traditional styles of artistic nudes, and the occasional boudoir photography session, one of my favorite forms of photography is what I call “fantasy nudes.” These are typically composites, and as you might guess from the name, often contain fantastical elements, or ideas, including sometimes science-fiction themes. In fact, truth be told, I think it is, hands down, my favorite type of photography. It brings out the creative side of me in every step of the process. The featured image is one such photo.
Today, I’m going to write about a recently-done image for which I just won a first-place ribbon in the Geek Artistique show at the Sorensen Studio in Fresno.
The basic idea for this image was that aliens from another planet kidnap a woman from a farm. In this image, you see a couple of somewhat-startled cattle below, in front of their barn, with a nearby tractor. The cattle stare up as the nude woman flies into the air towards through a bevy of alien scout ships.
I love this project not just because of the final image, but the planning, and thinking, and trying to figure out the “how-to” of making that final image happen.
At the start, I already knew I wanted a “top-down” image, so I shot the woman in studio.
At that point, I made a decision to build my own barn for the set. I used 1,013 popsicle sticks—I know this because they come 1,000 to a box—along with some balsa wood for the larger part of the barn which was barely visible in the final image. I made the two pieces of the barn large enough that I could insert one of my studio flash heads (Profoto B1 units, for those interested) inside the barn. This way the light coming out of the barn door, windows, and cracks between the boards create much of the light for the scene. Another Profoto B1 was pointed down from above to create a circle of light on the ground indicating the beam that was pulling the woman up.
Because I shot this from above, I needed a way to “imply” the spaceship that was abducting the woman. I did this by include four other images of spaceships to give the impression the farm was being swarmed by ships, each manned by a single alien. In reality, I used one spaceship model, shot from different angles. The woman was shot from above (using a ladder) with a wide-angle lens. The entire set was put together on a dark background, and so I composited in a photo I took of a barely-covered-with-grass photo (which I actually took with my iPhone 6s) to create the barnyard ground.
I think you’ll agree that the final product blended together quite well in Photoshop.
And it only took about $200 in parts, plus about 40-50 hours work on the barn, to turn out a first-place winner and gain the $70 prize money!
In reality, the money is irrelevant to me. My day job allows me to cover such costs, including the cost of my studio.
The fact is that I enjoy doing this type of photography, as I said above, because it allows me to work my creative mind.
If you have a creative idea that you’d like to consider working on with me, please drop me a line. I’m always looking for new models!