Announcing Uncovered Visions

Ginger-Lee-13It takes time to launch one site and getting Rural Nudes off the ground earlier this month was a marathon and took about a month longer than I’d expected.  Having done it once though makes things a bit easier the second time around.  Over the long weekend I was able to get my second web site ready to go live and would like to introduce Uncovered Visions.

IMG_0772This new site will be a place to share more of my photography and not just the handful of images I place onto this site or on my profiles at sites such as Model Mayhem or One Model Place.  You’ll see a little of everything that I shoot there.  A lot of art nudes of course, but also glamour, swimsuits, and even the occasional foray into the erotic.  It’s a place to allow me to present more of my work on a more regular basis.

Among the models that you’ll already find on Uncovered Visions are Ginger Lee, Melissa Troutt, Candle Boxx, and Delikah.  Models to come in the near future include Charlie Kristine (including the image from the previous post), Katy T, Xlcr Moon, Velocity, and Deanna Deadly.

If you’re interested in seeing what’s there, then head over and take a look.  As always I’d love to hear any feedback or thoughts on the new site.

Memories and Thoughts for a Week

IMG_1429After shooting at a hectic pace for much of May, I’ve taken the weekend off from shooting and anything photo related to the point of even putting off finishing up some images from recent shoots to enjoy a relaxed weekend.  Therefore no images from the recent shoots yet.  Coming soon though will be some images from the shoots with Melissa and Keira that I’ve already mentioned along with some thoughts and images from shoots with Xlcr Moon and Katy T.

Anyone who know me also knows that I can’t ever completely relax and do nothing.  When I try to picture myself doing so the scene always ends with an image of my head exploding.  So I’ve been able to almost finish up another web based project that will go live tomorrow similar to Rural Nudes.  Look for a post announcing it tomorrow morning, but as a sneak preview the site will be called Uncovered Visions and will be a place to feature all of my photography and not just the handful of images that I share here.

Having gotten these two projects off my plate has given me the chance to start working on something new.  It will be a little while before it’s ready to reveal, but I’m making good progress and hope it will be ready to show this summer.  I’m very excited about this one and how it appears to be shaping up.

Also some exciting things coming up in June including a chance to work with Katlyn Lacoste again and pairing two great models in some outdoor work toward the end of the month.

Again going back into the archives to pull up the above image of Brandy from a shoot a few years ago.  She was one of the first shoots I did after really decided to start focusing more on model and nude photography and stop trying to shoot a little bit of everything.  I just had the one chance to work with her before she stopped modeling, but she did some very good work.

Also for those in the United States enjoying the holiday off today, don’t forget the reason behind the holiday.

Seeing with New Eyes and Shooting with Keira

CharlieK-2One of the most enjoyable parts of meeting and working with new models is getting to experience the familiar through new eyes.  My shoot on Wednesday with Keira Grant offered an example of that.  I’ve been shooting outdoor nudes pretty often for over a year now and maybe have gotten just a bit used to the scenery.  It struck me though how much Keria kept commenting on how beautiful and green things were while we were driving and shooting.  This is probably the best time to see that beautiful green since it’s been warm enough for the foliage to be out in force, but we are not yet into the main part of summer where the heat and lesser rain  brings brown back to the land.  It’s this time of year that pulled me out there to shoot, but I see it so often that it helps me appreciate it more with someone seeing some of these places for the first time.

I worked with Keira near the same location Melissa and I worked at a few days before.  Contradicting my last post, the morning weather was not as warm as I expected so Keira and I did some indoor work first hoping the weather would improve.  The dreariness and chill lingered though and in fact would not go away at all Wednesday.  Still in spite of the weather it could have been worse (like the day before when it was cooler and raining) When we arrived the rise in water levels since Saturday shocked me.  The previous few days had seen a lot of rain and I expected some rise, but the amount caught me by surprise.  In fact water covered the majority of the spots that Melissa had posed on or I had stood on during that shoot and the current was dangerously strong in many places I had waded with no concerns just a few days before.  I’ve mentioned before how I enjoy the way the woods subtly change over time, but change this dramatic in such a short time felt out of place and a bit jarring.

Even with many of the locations I’d planned to shoot not usable because of the water rise, we found a great spot brought about by that same change as these things often balance out.  Overall we produced some great work, a few of which can be seen here and I look forward to the next time I’m able to work with Keira.

No images from shoot with either Melissa or Keira ready to post so the photo above comes from a shoot with Charlie Kristine from earlier in the month.

Outdoors with Melissa and the Butterflies

In the middle of a busy week, but so much to blog about.  Adding to everything else I’ve been a bit under weather and spent much of late last week through early this week finishing the Rural Nudes site launch.

In a really busy stretch of shooting at the moment after a relatively quiet April caused by weather and cancelations.  Saturday I had the chance to work with Melissa Troutt again.  I always enjoy the chance to collaborate with her and every shoot always produces amazing results and this one was no exception.  We went to a new location for this shoot and it worked better than I’d hoped.  This location was off the path of the damage from the storms late last month, but I was surprised at how many signs of the storms were still visible.  We still found some good locations to shoot and images will be up on Rural Nudes in the near future.

As we went back to the car at the end of the shoot we came across an interesting display of dozens of butterflies gathering in groups next to where I’d parked.  They were surprisingly accommodating and posed for a few images before we left the area.  The image above shows one kaleidoscope (and yes that is a term for a group of butterflies and yes I did have to look it up) and the photo to the left of Melissa taking a picture shows how close they let us approach without flying off.

The timing was good as the temperature dropped dramatically the day after this shoot.  Fortunately for my shoot today with Keira Grant more normal weather returns in time for us to to go outdoors today.

Rural Nudes is Now Live!

hannah-perez-sample-2It takes longer to build and launch a web site than you think.

A bit over a month later than hoped, Rural Nudes is now live at www.ruralnudes.com.  This site will focus on high quality outdoor nude photography with beautiful models and wonderful scenic locations.  At launch the site includes photos from shoots with Carlotta Champagne, Kimberly Marvel, Hannah Perez, Melissa Troutt, among others.  More shoots are coming soon including photos with Ashley Graham, Katlyn Lacoste, and Adrina Lynn.  The goal is to update the site with new images at least twice a month and perhaps more.

carlotta-champagne-sample-3At Rural Nudes I hope to provide a destination for those who appreciate the beauty of the female nude shown in a tasteful and respectful manner.  If that sounds like something you would like to be part of visit the site and consider joining.melissa-troutt-sample-2

Back into the Woods

Kimberly-Marvel-17I always enjoy meeting and working with new models, but I especially enjoy when I get the chance to work with a model again that I enjoyed working with before.  Kimberly Marvel is a wonderful model out of California I’ve had a chance to work with a couple times in the past.  She and her husband were travelling through on their way across the country which worked great as it gave us a lookout to use while shooting so we could travel to one of my favorite locations, but one that this time of year sometimes can have a bit too much foot traffic to shoot nudes.

We met just off the Interstate and drove out to the location to find no cars parked, but oddly when we arrived at our first stop, a waterfall, a couple was already there.  We waited a few minutes until they had left and then with our lookout posted worked for about a half hour at the falls before moving on to other locations.  I explored a trail that I hadn’t worked on before, though I’d hiked about a year ago, and located some good spots there we could work with.  Overall I had a great shoot.

Been busy of late on a new project.  If all goes well then it will be live in a couple days.  Stay tuned for the announcement. (Update – now live Rural Nudes)

The Recent Storms in the South

Few things put the world into perspective more than a natural disaster, more so when the natural disaster hits close to home.  On Wednesday you likely saw news reports of the storms and tornados that hit the southeastern United States, but to me they were a bit more than a news report.  I spent Wednesday night like many of my fellow residents of this part of the country watching the weather on TV and keeping an eye on the sky hoping to avoid the worst.  I saw rain blowing sideways from the wind and hail in my yard the size of a closed fist.  That was actually small hail compared to what fell around here.  I was fortunate as I had no worse damage than broken tree limbs, a damaged gutter, and a destroyed bird feeder.

Not all were as fortunate.  I know several who suffered damaged cars and homes.  A tornado hit my hometown and damaged the high school I graduated from and destroyed an adult high school across the street.  Just to my northeast six people were killed by a different tornado.  If you shot with me in my outdoor nude work in the last year, we likely drove through that area on the way to our shooting location.

Seeing a disaster on TV is one thing.  Hearing from people you know or work with who suffered damage and in one case lost family is another.  Seeing places that you have walked and driven through now damaged or destroyed is too.  Still we were fortunate compared to other places like Alabama that suffered much worse damage and more widespread loss of life.  If you can help them and others effected by this storm, please do so.

Clearing the Mind

Warning! Mostly philosophy and musings ahead, but some outdoor images included at no extra charge.

I spent a few days at Fall Creek Falls in Middle Tennessee earlier this week.  The falls is a stunning site, the highest waterfall in the eastern United States, and I’ve visited before, but there was more rain of late than the other visit and it was almost like a different scene.  I traveled light this trip and only took my camera and one lens, but still found time to take a few photos.  Not the normal contents of this site, no models present, but some interesting images in any case.

After getting in Sunday around noon, I had a nice long stretch of free time.  The recent few months have been both busy and a bit turbulent and I’ve only been able to get out into the woods while shooting.  Taking a leisurely walk with no agenda other than enjoying a beautiful, warm spring day felt great.  I had commitment for later in the evening, but for a few hours I only had time.  I started with a nice paved trail snaking along the lake and saw a few flowers peeking out, the nicest being the flower to the left.  From there I continued on past the dam and to the main falls.

I saw almost no one until I neared the Fall Creek Falls itself.  I spent a few moments at the crowded overlook at the falls.  I took a few photos, but the brightness of the day and angle of the sun did not cooperate with me and I couldn’t get the shots that I wanted.  So I hiked down a side trail that went behind the falls.  Here is a photo taken using the base of the small wooden bridge that crosses this as a tripod.  I believe this is Fall Creek, the stream that just downstream from this spot tumbles 256 feet into a gorge creating Fall Creek Falls.

Being in the woods with just you, your thoughts, and a camera makes an amazing way to decompress and ponder life.  Things become clearer when you only have the sound of birds, frogs, and the wind around you with nothing else to distract from the dialogue in your mind.  The occasional other hiker may pass and exchange a greeting, but you mostly have the chance to visit with yourself.  Sitting and watching ducks swimming on the lake a dozen feet away makes it easier to look inward and reflect upon life.  It gave me a chance to weigh some paths that I’ve been pondering and I came back to my room more than four miles after starting a little tired, a lot sweaty, and feeling more clear of purpose and plan than I had in months.  Questions that had me in turmoil now seem in context and a path has emerged from the cluttered brush.

My commitments kept me inside Sunday evening and then much of the day Monday.  Late I made it back out and visited Piney Creek Falls in the same park.  A much smaller falls, but also much less crowded and a bit more unfinished.  There is no paved path here, just a short and steep trail of rock and dirt that ends at an overlook with at with no rails or fencing between you and the canyon.  I didn’t take my camera on this trip, only my iPhone, but that provided the means to take a few photos.  The photo to the left I think is the best of the falls.  Another longer trail leads back behind the falls and to a suspension bridge over the creek just around the bend atop the falls.  The wind made taking a photo there difficult, but I did get one image

As I got back to the room around dark a storm began to blow in.  I sat on the patio and watched the weather blow in taking a few photos along the way.  Without a tripod, I had to function as my own holding still for each photo.  I did manage one very nice view of the lighting over the lake below.  Not long after taking this photo the wind picked up, the rain began to fall harder, and the combination pushed me inside.

 

The stormy skies in this image reflected my mind as I’d arrived Sunday, turmoil and questions.  As I went to bed Monday night I felt more the tranquility of Fall Creek above.  But that spot still lies just above the chaos of a roaring falls.  My mind is calmer and my direction clearer, but the questions are still there.  I have a path and a plan now.  It’s not perfect of course, nothing in the real world is, but it fits where I am and where I need to go.  Time alone will tell where it leads me, but I feel more confident than I had before.

 

I left late morning on Tuesday reminded about the outdoor beauty that had brought me into the outdoor nude work I’ve done much of the past year and increased desire to do more now that weather has reached a warmer level.  I also feel ready to move forward and a calmness I’ve not had for months.

Flow

Melissa Against a WallIt doesn’t happen at every shoot or with every model, but sometimes while working with a model the two of us enter a state of flow where everything seems to just vanish except for the shoot (for a good overview of the idea of flow I suggest Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experienceby Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).  I’ve always found my best work comes from here.  It’s a fragile thing though and easily broken by the smallest outside interruption like a cell phone beep or a knock on the door.  When we’re in the flow an amazing amount of good work can be done in a short amount of time.  The model and I operate almost as a single unit to produce images, lost in the act of creating the images and operating at a level below thought and on instinct.  This image from a recent shoot with Melissa came from exactly one of those moments.

The photos come may come fast or slow, but the transitions move so smoothly that the normal evaluation of each individual photo becomes irrelevant.  Instead of the click, evaluate, change/correct, click process it works more like click, change, click.  In spite of the loss of that evaluation step, I usually find the images are as good if not better than done during the rest of the shoot.

I think this happens because for two reasons.  First is that while in the flow state I’m more focused on the process than the result.  I don’t analyze each image on the back of the camera, I just work on getting the current image onto the camera and I also stop thinking as much about each image.  I see those little moments that might otherwise pass by while I’m planning and just take images as they appear.  Second, the model and I are working as a single unit and I don’t have to pose each image.  I can be reactive to her and let her lead and she can react to my changes without needing verbal instructions.  In the shot with this post for example the pose evolved when I simply moved against the wall Melissa is leaning on and photographed her from a different angle than before.  She adjusted to this new angle without me having to ask or tell her what I wanted.  She just knew how to move for the shot.

When I go through the photos after the shoot I almost always find one photo that just stands out.  It’s not always one that I expected, but as soon as I see the image, the final version just appears in my head.  This photo of Melissa did just that when I saw it.  I saw the above version almost at once.  It has nothing in common with the photos taken on each side of it other than the subject and I think is one of my favorite two or three that I’ve taken with her.

Keep in Mind When Visiting Tennessee

Nyxon in Gloves

I’ve had two issues come up a few times when working with models travelling through the state.  Both have happened a few times of late so two tips when traveling TN from east to west or vice versa.

TN is a large state east to west compared to north to south.  It will take you about nine hours to drive from the southwest corner in Memphis to the northeast corner at Bristol.  For comparison in that same nine hours from the northeast corner in Bristol you could nearly drive to Philadelphia or drive to Jacksonville, FL with time to stop for a meal.  I live about an hour from the northeast corner of the state meaning that I’m (rounding up) about an hour from Knoxville, an hour and a half from Asheville (if you’re coming from North Carolina), and three and a half hours from Nashville.

Looking at the map will tell you the above, but less well known is that Tennessee has two time zones.  The western two thirds of the state lies in Central Time which is the same time zone as Chicago.  The cities of Nashville and Memphis lie here.  The remaining portion of the state is in Eastern Time just like New York and Atlanta.  The Eastern Time zone includes Chattanooga and Knoxville along with me.  So if you’re driving here from Nashville, it will be an hour later that the three and a half hour distance will indicate before you get here.  On the bright side driving from here to Nashville you’ll end up getting there in only two and a half hours on the clock.

Image above from recent shoot with Nyxon partly spent playing around with gloves.  She had no problem with time zones or the size of the state and was right on time.