Back Light, the easy way to create a striknig nude image

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Rim lighting of the nude is a very simple lighting arrangement but one which is very powerful.

The reason it works so well is that it really pulls out both the physical form, the shape of the subject and also reveals tone and texture in the figure too.

With the face turned away from the light, it also helps to make the image more anonymous, which is often a strong part of fine art nude photography.

You can range from a full length study all the way into tight close-up and abstracts of the body.

In this first image I've left the light source in the shot. This breaks the image out of being classical fine art into a much more modern style of art nude.

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People's backs are fascinating, full of hills and hollows. The trick with this shot is to keep moving the model within the light. You may need to turn them and move them within the lit area.

You are looking for the moment that the light breaks across the body.

In this image looking across the central torso you can see the model's left edge, then shadow into the spine, then the models right edge. But that same light is also giving a lovely "peach" effect to Carla's bum. Then look up to the shoulders and arms - the way all the form - indeed anatomy - of the shoulders is revealed is wonderful. Look for abstract shapes within an image as well.


key points

Always look for a sweet spot of rim light falling across the body, small twists and turns from your model can produce dramatically different images.

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You can learn how to develop your own lighting, posing and directing skills with our extensive and intensive range of video programs available on DVD or download.

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