Nude photography under natural lighting may seem easier than studio photography. But it is a myth! Of course, you don’t need all this complicated lighting equipment, but you have a task which might be even more difficult! You should consider lighting situation when you choose the place and the model image. Your experience and practice in studio nude photography will help a lot.
1. Daytime direct sunlight will give hard and shapeless shadows similar to those from upper light in studio. Morning and evening diagonal rays reduce softness, but there is an advantage. Morning and evening light creates very intensive colors. The same effect you can get with front light in studio.
2. Oncoming natural light as well as studio lighting creates a favorable atmosphere and mood. Harsh sunlight and direct studio lamps make details sharp. While diffused light on a cloudy day creates soft colors.
3. There are two approaches to nude photography under natural lighting:
- you can show a model and nature as a unity
- or you can use expressive nature details as rocks, trees, etc for contrast
4. Where to shoot? Generally, photographers shoot at the water sources, mountains, in forests. The main problem is to find a peaceful place where there are no people. It is very important, because even an experienced model will hardly feel at ease during a nude photo session if there are people around. And if the model has no experience in nude photography, it is always better to start in studio or at a lonely beach.
As a rule, a nude models feels more comfortable near the water source. Rocky background does not help the model relax, but it allows to experiment with poses which may look absurd on the beach.
5. Use a long-focus lens if the background is too bright. It will help to create a narrow DOF, which means a blurred background and a sharp main subject. If the background is soft, you can use a shot-focus lens.
6. Color-reflection is wide-spread phenomenon. Be careful if you shoot in the forest, under trees or on the meadow, because green shadows are reflected on the skin and can spoil its color. Under the blue sky on the beach, shadows are usually blue, but a red towel, for example, on which the model lays, will give a red tone to the skin.