December 18, 2013

Dave Rudin's interview

" In a world that often seems chaotic, I try to give my images a sense of beauty, of elegance and of grace - hence the name for my website, Figures of Grace. While this may apply literally to my work with the nude figure, my aim is to instill a sense of grace and elegance into all of my images."

"Nude, Joshua Tree"
Art Model Madame Bink

Art Model Carlotta Champagne 
Dear Dave, how did your passion begin ?

I began photographing when I was small after my father gave me a camera. He later gave me his 35mm camera, a Minolta SR-1, after he bought a new camera for himself. I used 35mm equipment for a long time, especially while travelling, mostly in Europe.

In 1994 I completed a graduate business degree after going to school at night for four years (including the summers). I went back to school for career reasons - not because I enjoyed it - but after four years of that I wanted to start doing something again that I really enjoyed : my photography.

"Nude, Nevada 2 "
Art Model Carlotta Champagne

My goal is to show that there also exists a world of beauty, something to show that life is worth living - and I think that's a thing we all need, too.

"Nude, Malibu"
Art Model Maria Eriksson

Make of your passion your job ! That said, sincerely, how long could you be far from your camera ?

To be honest, I'm not someone who photographs all the time. I only have time off from work (and enough money) to travel three or four weeks out of the year, which is when I do most of my photographing for the year. Sometimes I will also photograph models on a weekend day.

As I develop all of my film myself, and as I have a limited budget for my photography expenses, I can only do so much in the way of actually photographing.

Of course, even if I'm not using my camera all of the time, I am still busy developing film, organizing and scanning photos, making prints, etc.

Art Model Maria Eriksson

Dave, what inspires you ?

For my nude photos I think I'm just inspired by beauty, and that beauty is something I try to convey in my photos in my own way.

When I'm travelling I try to find interesting looking people to photograph - people who are beautiful in their own way, you might say - plus interesting looking places.

Your portfolio contains many outdoors shots. Is it your favorite theme, woman in nature ?

When working with nudes, I like locations that are interesting in and of themselves but would also be harmonious to include with a nude. This can be a purely natural landscape, such as the rock formations where I've photographed in Nevada, or a place that includes interesting architecture, like the ranch where I photographed models in New Mexico several times.

Art Model (and photographer !) Kat Love

Art Model Maria Eriksson

Who did influence your style ?

There are a lot of photographers I admire. Edward Weston was great at many types of photography - still life, portraits, landscapes, nudes. One of my top favorites was the fashion photographer Horst - almost all of his photos have a beautiful sense of elegance that I try to include in my photos. I admire Lucien Clergue for his nudes, Helmut Newton for his erotica, Ansel Adams for landscape, Henri Cartier-Bresson for photo-journalism, etc. I also like the work of contemporary photographers like Linda Butler, Howard Schatz and John Swannell.

Art Models Theda
and Kate Mandala

Great masters indeed. About your inspiration, is there a large part of improvisation during your shootings ? 

When I normally begin a photo session with a model, I don't have a preconceived idea of what I will be doing. Often I will be at a location for the first time.

Basically, I just try to do what inspires me at the moment depending on the landscape, weather, etc. 

When I work in a studio I try to plan a little more, but often I just try to think of something on the spot.

"Nude, California 2"
Art Model Kat Love

You're addicted to BW, isn'it ?

My work with the nude figure receives the credit for turning me into a primarily black and white photographer. I decided from the start to photograph this in black and white as the masters of the genre had primarily done. This led to me doing my own developing and printing and coming up with my own vision for black and white.

Now when someone asks me why I don't photograph in color, I simply answer, "Why should I ?"

That's clear. Do you find easily your models ?

A lot of the models I work with have been recommended by other photographers I know. There are also a lot of models here in New York where I live (though a lot ask for too much money so I can never work with them !). When I travel and try to work with models I use websites such as Model Mayhem to find people to work with, though sometimes it can be difficult to find models who are both available and affordable.

Art Model Rhowena

Art Model Lydia

What kind of ambiance do you install to warm the often shy atmospher of the beginnings ?

I just try to be respectful of the model, work slowly (often with a tripod) and don't force the model to do anything she doesn't want to do that's too uncomfortable or difficult.

"Untitled Nude"
Art Model Rei

What is your artistic dream ? Your challenge ?

To have my work seen and appreciated by many people and to gain some recognition for it.
If I were to divide photographers into two types, I might choose those who depict the world as it is and those who depict the world as they would like it to be. I definitely fall into the latter category. The world is (and, I suspect, has always been) a place where one feels helpless to change things.

With a camera, I feel empowered - not to change the world, but to create my own world on film and paper.

"Studio Nude 2"
Art Model Alison

A book to come ?

I'm not sure. If there will be a book, it will be self-published via one of the internet companies that do this. I recently ordered from Koday a 5x7 inch book with 100 of my nude photos. This will be a small prototype for a possible book, just to have an idea of how a book may look. I've already made a small book with some of my travel photos from Asia.

Nice ! Thanks a lot Dave for your precious answers. It's good to know you better... Come back soon, this site is yours.

"Nude, Ohio 4"
Art Model Jacqueline Chantelle

No comments: