Lighting the female nude

Lighting the female nude

Never has the old adage “less is more” been more true than in the art of nude figure photography. When photographing the nude, it is sometimes better to suggest nudity than to show nudity: what is implied often makes more of an impact than what is explicit.

In a recent studio shoot for the forme project, I decided to light the nude female figure from the sides, to use side and rim lighting to hint at the human form and to subtly expose what we normally expect covered up.

The set up for these images is simple – a side light (softbox) from camera right, and a gridded light (reflector) from camera left to spotlight her head, shoulders and hair. I think it creates a moodiness and quiet tension that works so well with the model’s brilliantly emotive postures (great work Kat!).

Have you photographed the human figure? What is your preferred lighting when photographing the human nude?

For those interested in learning how to photograph the human nude, you might like to check out our Studio Fine Art Nude Photography 1-on-1 workshop. Kat is our featured model in these workshops.

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1 Comment
  • Peter Evans

    17/04/2012 at 6:31 pm

    Excellent work here Seng 🙂

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