June 19, 2017

The colors of Dave Levingston

Member of UdA since 2007

Dave Levingston
published in Photo

Dave Levingston is a Master and a close friend since the opening of this magazine.  I remember how impatient he was to know if Photo published him. I bought one and my "yes, you're in !" made his day. Dave is always happy and funny, simple and humble. He never said me no and always thanks me to believe in him. Dave is in my heart forever.

From California to Maine in the most outstanding natural landscapes, with a perfect master of light and colors and always working with wonderful and creative art models, Dave Levingston photographies the female body with a great kindness and an awarded talent. By the way he shoots also splendid indoors photographies as you'll see it.

I love his endless inspiration, his colors and his pleasing words that you may read in his active blog Exposed for the Shadows.

Dave, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wamful frienship and your confidence ūüėÉ

"Another Fuzzy Farm Photo"
Art Model Angeliqua Oryx

"The wave"

A photographer for more than 40 years, I have concentrated on photographing the female figure, often outdoors in natural settings, since 2002.  I believe that artists discover, rather than choose, their subject matter.  For me, women, and specifically the female figure, are the subjects that have repeatedly drawn my attention throughout my years as a photographer.

I photograph the female figure for many reasons.  I believe the female body is the original aesthetic object, the source of all our ideas of what is beautiful.  Therefore, the female figure provides the perfect subject matter, just as it has been an important subject since the beginnings of art.

"Eden in a slot canyon"

I choose to work in color rather than black and white because color is more challenging.  I’m interested in the abstraction of objective reality…finding the truth of abstraction in the things we see (but don’t see) every day.  Black and white is too abstract by its nature to be truly useful in this work.  And, besides, the world I see is in color.

While I don’t focus on the erotic in my work, I also do not shun it.  The idea that a photograph of a nude woman could be without any erotic content seems absurd to me.  In some of my photographs I like to allow the model to express her own unique personality.  My best photo shoots are with creative models who contribute their own ideas to the work, leading to a creation that goes beyond what any one artist could produce.  I’ve been privileged to work with many wonderful models who often work much harder to create these images than I do.


 "Brooke in the hay"
Art Model Bella Brooke

 "Sappho Eve"

"Nemesis and the Moon"
Art Model Nemi

In recent years I’ve worked a great deal outside the studio, exploring the relationship of the figure to the natural environment.  The nude figure seems to me to inherently belong in scenes of natural beauty.  In my photos I seek to integrate and show the interaction of light and shadow, form and patterns and color.

My work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe.  Collectors there and in South America own my prints.  I am regularly published in Europe, including in French PHOTO magazine.  My work is in the permanent collection of the Kinsey Institute, was included in the Erotic Signature books and international traveling exhibit in 2008 and 2009 and has been shown in a several venues in Dayton, Ohio and in the Detroit area over the past several years.  Most recently my work was included in the book f-eleven published in December 2009 and f-eleven volume 2 published in April 2010.

I am one of the 15 named plaintiffs in “Free Speech Coalition et al v. Holder” which has been filed in federal court in Philadelphia. This lawsuit is aimed at having the law known commonly as “2257” and “2257A” declared unconstitutional.

In recognition of my active participation in that lawsuit to defend the right of free expression for photographers, Carrie Leigh’s NUDE magazine awarded me their first annual “Arts for Humanity” award for 2009.

"2257 lawsuit"

"Candace in the studio"
Art Model Candace Nirvana

I’m interested in light and shadow, the essence of photography. I am interested in the tension between light and dark, both in photos and in people.

Both light and shadow are needed to define the form of the body and the person. Without the shadows that are within all of us, the light is meaningless. In my work I try to examine the dialectic of light and dark ; the necessity of each to the other ; the dance of relationship that counters value judgments and makes us examine the concepts of good and evil.

I choose to work in color rather than the traditional black and white because color is more challenging. I’m interested in the abstraction of objective reality…finding the truth of abstraction in the things we see (but don’t see) every day. Black and white is too abstract by its nature to be truly useful in this work. And, besides, the world I see is in color.

Art Model Sarah Ellis

"Green Hawaii"
Art Model Leona Anne

Art Models Hope Hoffman and Rachel

I’ve become known for my photos of nude models outdoors. This is one of the photos that originally started creating that reputation.

I’ve been a photographer, and I’ve photographed nudes, for far longer than I like to think about…much longer than many of my current models have been alive. But it was this shoot in Maine when everything from all those years finally came together and at long last my personal style was defined.

Art Model Theda

For me, the real joy of this shoot was the experience of working with nature.

You can never predict what weather, sun, plants, insects…nature…will present when you go out for a shoot. The fun is to take what nature gives you and work with it to make the photos that are there to be made.

That’s what I love about working outdoors. It’s a Zen thing to me. I think of it like surfing. You can’t succeed if you fight the waves. But if you understand the waves and connect with the power of them, you can have a blast and go somewhere.

Art Model Charlye Raine

The indoors of Dave Levingston


"Serene Kat"
Art Model Kat

"Mystical Doorway"
Art Model Charlye Raine