50 metres of rope goes a long way - artistic and different

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For art nude work I believe that less is more as far as props are concerned.

I like to keep my shots simple and to use props sparingly.

There are really two kinds of props; what I call the "Old Masters" and then the "Graphical".

"Old Masters" are props which are symbolic. What I'm referring to are the old classical painters where every object in the frame was a symbol for some aspect of the subject. The symbol might be religious, political, indicating learning, referencing biblical or classical works. But whatever the prop it served double duty as an item in the picture and a symbol of significance.

"Graphical" props are items like the ropes in this picture. They are simple, not distracting in their own right and add something to the both the image and to the models posing.

The ropes suggest being tied, restrained, held back and my favourite image of the set shows the model distressed and trying to pull away.

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Rotating the model in the same place can give a completely different look.

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There is also a dance of orbits, the model can move, the light can move and the camera can move. All three parts orbit around each other creating different images as the placement of each changes.

In this case the model has moved from a sideways position to the camera to pulling more directly towards the camera. This has changed the camera's view of the subject. It has also changed the models relationship to the light - creating a stronger sidelight.


key points

Props should serve a purpose and not just be gratuitous distractions in the image.

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