January 4, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things, by Dave Rudin

Photographer and UdA Art Editor

"Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things"

This was always my favorite stanza from Rodgers and Hammerstein's famous song "My Favorite Things." (Most people think of Julie Andrews singing it, but you really should try to listen to the instrumental recording laid down by John Coltrane.) I just liked the sound of "schnitzel with noodles," even though it's not one of my own favorite things.

Good photography, on the other hand, is. As the nude figure is one of my primary subjects as a photographer, I have my own personal favorites by other photographers who have worked in this genre.

Here are a few of them :

If there is just one photograph that comes to my mind when I think of the term "art nude," this 1936 photo by Weston of Charis Wilson is it. This is, to me, perfection in form - though I've read that Weston didn't like the shadow falling on her right arm.

"Hugh Hefner's Projection Room"

It's difficult for me to choose just one photo by Newton as my number one favorite, but this one - "Hugh Hefner's Projection Room" - is up there on the list. Just the idea of a Playboy Playmate standing up there naked right next to Erich von Stroheim in Jean Renoir's classic World War I film "Grand Illusion" is fantastic. (I doubt that von Stroheim would have minded.)

"Nu zébré" (Zebra Nude)

A photo by one of the great pioneers of the art nude photograph who I have studied with and have known for a number of years. This image, "Nu zébré" (Zebra Nude) shows his mastery of form and lighting. I even think I met the model once at one of his gallery receptions.

A very beautiful image by this Mexican photographer.

"Rock Face"

This British professional may not be as well known as some other photographers of the nude, but his work is top notch. Find a copy of his book Naked Landscape if you can. I like this studio image, "Rock Face," as the whole idea just seems rather amusing.

"Odalisque I"

One of my favorite photographers of any genre is Horst. Almost every photo he made had a great sense of class and style to it that I would love to emulate in my own work. This 1943 photo, "Odalisque I," exhibits those traits.

For those unfamiliar with such things, the crescent shaped markings at the top are crimp marks, created when film (usually undeveloped) is bent too much. I guess it shows that pros can mess up film just as much as I can.

Alex Ingram -

A friend of mine who lives in the Highlands of Scotland, Alex produces outstanding work with the nude. I saw this photo on his website before I ever got to know him, and it's still one of my favorites.

The model here is Alison. She has retired from modeling, but thankfully I was able to photograph her on a visit to Alex in 2004. She remains one of the best models I have ever worked with.

Pascal Renoux -

A lovely photograph. The model, the pose, the setting, the lighting, the limited focus - everything is perfect.

Ted Preuss -

A fine example of the excellent work by this Chicago based photographer who prints in platinum. Ted's work is also very classic and elegant, as can be seen here. I had the pleasure of meeting Ted in 2008, but I've admired his work for longer than that.

Yuri Bonder -

A beautiful portrait - strong but simple - by this Russian-born Israeli photographer, who sadly passed away at a very young age just a few years ago.

Dave Levingston -

I prefer nudes that are in black & white, as I feel that the monochrome medium brings out the shapes and textures better, without an excess of color to distract the eye.

One photographer who knows how to handle the nude in color - and who does it exceptionally well - is my good friend Dave Levingston. Here's a photo he made of a model in the swamps of Louisiana - not high on color content but very well composed.


A very diverse and fascinating photography book dedicated to a worthy cause !

f - eleven

Designed and Edited by Wolf189
Cover book by Dave Rudin

" Several weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a new book project that would include photographic work by a group of people that I’ve met online.

The editor, coordinator, and brains behind the project is Wolf189. I think you'll also agree with me that Wolf189 did a terrific job in putting everything together and laying it out. With such a diverse group of contributors including Dave Levingston and Art Model and UdA Art Editor Brooke Lynne, there are a variety of styles : portrait, erotica, landscape, travel, fashion, documentary and, of course, art nudes.

I'm also proud to say that one of my photos - a picture I took in Japan - was chosen to be on the cover."

To buy the book, click here

All profits from book sales will be donated to "Friends Without A Border"

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