January 31, 2008

Frank Piccolo, by Iris Dassault

You can find Frank's work at : his website, One Model Place, Midwest Society for Erotic Photographers


Written by Iris Dassault :

Frank Piccolo is a professonal photographer, located in Windsor Ontario. He has over 20 years of experience as a photographer shooting most film formats from 35mm to Large 4"x5" sheet film and Digital as well.

Frank has a soft spot for fine art photography and he executes his work with a level of precision and detail that really impresses. Believe me, as one of his models, I have witnessed his quest for perfection more than once. His technical depth as a photographer is obvious and undeniable, but he probably surprises me the most with his creative ideas and artistic vision.

"My world"

"Lunar birth"
Art Model IranianLuvGoddess

"Breath taking"
Art model Chantal Melissa

"Rain Barrel"

January 27, 2008

Sarah Ellis by Dave Rudin, UdA Art Editor

It has been five days since my friend Chris last posted an entry here. Unfortunately, he's unable to update the site here due to his hospitalization for a medical condition, and I (and I'm sure all of you reading this) wish him a speedy recovery.

Even though Chris is unable to update the site at the moment, I think he would want it to continue in his absence. So, as he has designated me as a Contributing Editor, I will try to make some postings now and then of models I have worked with and other photographers that I know. (Perhaps some of my fellow Contributing Editors can do the same if they are able to.)

Today I will begin with a very beautiful model who I had the good fortune to photograph twice last year - the lovely Sarah Ellis.

Sarah can be seen at her official site, Model Mayhem, One Model Place and her Myspace.

Yours, Dave Rudin, Contributing Editor

Here (below and one above) are a few of the photos that I made with Sarah last year.

January 9, 2008

Melinda Shine's interview

" My work is about freedom and the beauty of nature combined with the beauty of the human body. I like to try to capture a feeling of adventure." Melinda

"Are You There God ?"

"If Only..."

Dear Melinda, how did you get into photography ?

My passion for photography was a gradual realization. I got a digital camera (a cheap one) for Christmas in 2004 and started taking pictures of every bug, flower and animal I came across. It wasn’t until 2006 that I realized that I loved taking photos so much that it was worth buying a nice camera. It became an obsession after that- always looking for “perfect shots”, and when I don’t have my camera with me I end up regretting it !

Where did you learn your art ?

I am mostly self-taught at the moment. When I got my new camera a year ago I checked out some books from the library and did a bit of reading. The truth is though that I have been so busy with work and other things that I truly have not had the time to learn more technical stuff and hone my craft. I am looking forward to taking some classes and studying more in the coming months, as I will have some time off to do so.

"Peek a boo"

How long could you be far from your camera ?

Not long. I keep it with me as often as possible. The occasions I have left it home always haunt me- if I had just had my camera I could have taken this picture of… always something I want to photograph !

"The Ocean Will Claim"

Like me ! There is always something to write... Who are your favorite photographers ?

I am so new to this field that most of my inspiration so far has been from photographers on deviantArt. I really admire the work of many of the artists on DA, but I especially appreciate the ones who have taken time to comment on my work and offer their advice and encouragement. A few of my favorites are Warren B, Andre J and F.W. Scharpf. The list goes on though…

Great photographers ! Could you talk us about your style ?

My style is like me - carefree, spur of the moment and reckless. It just comes naturally. I love adventure, daring and extreme locations. I see the wildness of the outdoors and it speaks to my spirit. My heart roams in the wilderness, and my body follows as frequently as possible. So do my photos- 99% of my photos - are outdoors.

"Scanning the Horizen"

"Washed Ashore"

So your photography is not only about nudes ?

No, I take lots of nature shots as well. Macros of plants, insects and spiders. Portraits of wildlife and landscapes. Nude photography is very new to me. I was inspired by the nudes on DA and by (of course) the call of the wild !

"A Soft Touch"

What is your way to proceed ?

Most (but not all) of my photos are self-shot with a timer. It is a really fun process for me.

I spend days at a time wandering in the mountains or exploring the beach and I keep my eye out for unusual scenery. When I am in a good location I just “see” nudes everywhere I look. So I set up my camera, sometimes on a tree stump or rock, sometimes on a flexible tripod, and take some shots. It is pretty funny. I have 12 seconds to make it to my chosen spot- so I really have to sprint ! Then I look at how it turned out, and reshoot it with adjustments to my positioning or the camera settings if needed.

Not so easy... It clearly seems you have a great preference for outdoor and color shootings ?

I definitely prefer outdoor shots. I love the work I have seen of other artists done in studios or indoors, but I leave that type of work to them (the masters !). For me my work is about freedom and the beauty of nature combined with the beauty of the human body. I like to try to capture a feeling of adventure. I don’t know how to do that indoors.

I mostly take color because that is what I am used to. I see things in color - all the vivid blues and greens of the outdoors. I would like to do more black and white work as well but I need to learn more about it. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and abilities.


Some words about your models ? I know you have a favorite one...

My models are mostly me… ;) I have one wonderful friend who went on a backpacking trip with me and agreed to model for and with me. She is feisty, silly and not afraid of the mud. She modeled for me for the fun of it though and didn’t want me to post more than 2 or 3 photos of her. Maybe when I learn more and progress I will advertise and find more people to work with. This is still very new to me, so I haven’t fully considered all the possibilities.

"It Takes but a Leap"

"Tell me Sister Water"

How do you feel at the end of a shooting ?

I feel exhilarated and excited about viewing the products after a shoot. Most of my shoots are done while I am backpacking - so sometimes it is several days before I am able to process them. I spend anywhere from 2 to 9 days at a time out in the mountains. During that time I shoot every chance I can get at as many locations as possible.

Have you some challenges you're dreaming about ?

I think it will be a challenge for me to sit down and learn all the technical aspects of photography. So far I am just learning by trial and error. I know there is a lot of information out there, and I want to learn more. The problem is I am not so good at sitting still to study that long ! ;)

"Along the Line"

Do you plan an exhibition ?

I do not have any exhibitions lined up, but when I return home from traveling I plan on making contact with the galleries in my hometown in California. I would love to be able to exhibit my work- it would be very exciting for me to take such a step.

Perfect !... Keep us informed. A message to send ?

I never imagined that I would be taking nude art photographs, let alone that I would be the model in the photos ! DeviantArt has been such a great start for me. I have found so much support, advice and encouragement there. I am excited that you have opened up this new community as well, I feel like my circle of inspiration and support is expanded by it. So thank you !

Thank you Melinda ! Keep going on and come back soon !...

"Nature's Pedestal"

Melinda Shine ©

January 8, 2008

Stephen Haynes' interview

" I want to express the beauty of form, the drama of light, and the passion of woman. When a photograph contains all three, I'm very happy." Stephen Haynes

" Pistol 1-12"

Featured (after a selection on 50 000 photos from more than 70 countries) in the french magazine
PHOTO of january 2008.

You'll find Stephen Haynes at : his official site, his introductory artistic nudes site (for inexpensive subscriptions to the entire portfolio of nudes) ; his amazing blog (to read daily !) "Magic Fine Flute Art Nudes" ; a selection drawn from his immense portfolio, one of the largest collections offered by a single photographer to be found on the Internet ; and an interview at Contemporary Art Gallery, his first feature.

Dear Stephen, tell us how did your passion begin ?

The passion began a long time ago, in 1960. How it began and how it developed really is not very relevant, because I went through a long period when photography was at best a snapshot thing, something to do with family. The passion was reborn, however, in 2000 with arrival of the Canon D30 dSLR and my introduction to digital photography and Photoshop. Computers and photography, for me the perfect combination. I've been on a roll since then.

Where did you learn your art ?

I'm largely self-taught. I've taken substantive and technical masters workshops at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and via Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, but my studio work and work with nudes have come through long hours and experience, thousands of images worth of experience.

"Jazz Hot 15"

Is it your only job ?

I don't really have a "job," since I'm fortunate enough to be retired (technically). But, yes, photography, including teaching a number of local workshops, is my primary pursuit. I do no commercial or other "fee-based" photography.

"Pistol 3-10"

Are you an obsessive photographer ?

My camera does not rule my life here, outside of sessions with models. I'm not an inveterate photographer, walking or driving around with camera constantly in hand. When we travel, then I am sure to have my camera close, since other than nudes my travel photography is my preferred subject.

Who are your favorite photographers ?

Among those who are dead, Weston and Mapplethorpe. I consider Mapplethorpe one of the true masters of studio lighting. I greatly admire the work of a good friend, Guenter Knop. Beat A. von Weissenfluh does some fantastic work -- I'd love to have access to his dancer-models. I enjoy seeing new work by several of my contemporaries, many of them via their own blogs. You've highlighted many of them already on Univers d'Artistes.

For sure ! Is there a messages you want to express through your work ?

The beauty of form, the drama of light, and the passion of woman. When a photograph contains all three, I'm very happy. A touch of eroticism is a good thing, too.

"Duo 1-35"

I saw your photography is not mostly nudes ?

Well, in fact it is mostly nudes. About 75%. About 25% of my work comes from travel photography, including independent trips and tours taken with my wife. I've become rather adept at doing very good photography while on tour, such as my India series.

"Varanasi 23"

What is your process of creation ? Do you plan every detail before a shooting ?

It depends on the nature of the shoot. A first session with a new model is often about familiarization and getting to know each other, and such a session will last about two semi-structured hours going through a series of standard poses and scenarios. After that initial session, with a returning model, I'll structure a session around an idea I think particularly well-suited to that model, and in those instances I'll describe the idea to the model ahead of time and try to work out all details before beginning. Some models I work with repeatedly, in some cases six or more times, and sometimes several models will have an opportunity separately to interpret a single idea.

"Hands 8"

It seems you prefer indoor artistic nude shots ?

This is Minnesota, for god's sake ! There is a narrow window of opportunity to shoot outdoors between snow and bugs in the spring, and between bugs and snow in autumn. I know photographers who ask their models to endure hardships, and models willingly, I suppose eagerly accept pain and suffering in order to make superb photographs. For better or worse, I'm very empathetic with any model's discomfort, so if I'm being eaten alive by bugs, I know the model is suffering equally; if I'm cold, I know the model is even colder. I can avoid all of that by photographing in the studio. This does not mean I won't be using other settings in the future, but I've yet to find those locations.

In addition, of course, the studio is a very controlled environment, and that suits my personality nicely.

"Brooke 4-2"

Maybe some words about your models who feel so natural ?

I rarely work with professional figure models. Some exceptions have been extraordinary, like Abigail. Many of my models, and some who return to my studio time after time, are gals who began their modeling with me, and a few have modeled only for me. I like to coach new models, sometimes to give them their first nude modeling experience. So I'm getting them before they develop a repertoire of poses and moves, while they may even be a bit shy and unsure of themselves, so that I think increases the naturalness of their work. Another commentator described my photography to be of "the girl next door, but nude." I won't go that far, but I do like sincerity and even a bit of naïveté in my models.

"Impromptu Saturday 6"

It's clear. How do you feel at the end of a shooting ?

Sometimes exhausted, but almost always exhilarated. I love it when a model tells me a session was "fun." When a session ends, however, I know that my work is just beginning, with hours of Photoshop ahead. I pride myself in rapidly getting photos back to models who ask for them, often within 72 hours of our shoot.

"Erin at the Wall 2-29"

Have you some challenges you're dreaming about in a near future ?

I'll be working part-time in a new, much larger studio in January. It has immense possibilities for natural light, so I'll be investing considerable time and effort exploring those. I hope to find new ways to market my photography. Selling prints of fine art nudes is a constant challenge. I am fortunate in that I have over 190 collectors worldwide, but I'm always hoping a new person will discover my photography and say, "Now, I must have a print of that !"

You can imagine how I understand ! By the way, when and where will be your next exhibition ?

I'll have single photos in some local exhibitions in January, including "20-20 Vision" at the Icebox Gallery. I'll be putting together a group show of nudes for May. I've submitted photos for a few other shows, competitions and publications, but it would be premature to mention any of those.

Nice ! What about your books ? Is there one to come ?

Actually, I've published over ten books. They are all private monographs; those dealing with nudes may be seen here. I don't have immediate plans for another, but I'm sure there will be one shortly. Here's the cover photo from First Sessions, my most recent :

"Abigail R 3-9"

Click here to purchase the new Stephen Haynes' book.

A message to send ?

I suppose I convey most of my messages via my blog. People should really check that out -- in addition to the photography, there's occasionally an item of interest, as you put it, a "message."

Occasionally ? Daily would be the best word. Thanks a lot Stephen. Thanks for your time, your work and your passion. Come back soon !

His 2008 calendar :

Stephen Haynes has published his new 2008 calendar featuring model Pistol Vegas playing with oversize billiard balls. You can purchase it by clicking here.