November 5, 2011

Erik's moment

I have known Erik Flak (Phydeau on deviantArt) since I joined dA in June 2008 and we have become online friends and collaborators - we are both involved with the dA group Fine Art-Photography and the one I recently founded with Iris Dassault, Models-Photographers.
Erik has been taking photographs for some years and I have particularly admired his underwater nudes, one of which was recently awarded a Daily Deviation (a DD as it is known) on dA.


Abandon

I have asked Erik to tell us a little about himself and his work.

"My name is Eric Flak, and I'm currently located in North Carolina.  I've been doing photography since I was 11 after winning a cheap toy camera in a contest.  There really wasn't much I could do with that camera, so my parents got me an SLR and a tripod that Christmas, along with some books on photography.  I took pictures until I went to college, at which point I was required to pay for my own film and developing.  I slowed down a lot after that.  Later, point-and shoot digital cameras came along, and I gave up on the SLR all together.  Point-and-shoot cameras aren't bad - I managed to get the occasional good shot - but they really just don't have the control of an SLR.

Lush love
During those years, my main artistic outlet was through drawing.  I liked to draw people, and in particular nudes.  A friend introduced me to deviantART in 2006 so I could show off my drawings.  I quickly became addicted to the site.  I had no idea there were that many talented artists in the world.  dA changed my view toward photographic artistic nudes.  I didn't know there were that many people doing that, either.  It was the first time I got involved in a discussion of art vs. pornography.  Until then, I had made the assumption that with very rare exceptions most photographic nudes were of the prurient variety.  I changed that way of thinking quickly.  The artistic nude gallery is probably the reason my interest in photography was renewed.

My most popular deviation at the time was actually not a drawing, but a composite image I made by morphing 32 faces together.  I did 3 of those, using the same celebrities at 3 different angles.  I decided that I wanted to do the project again, only with more control of the variables as opposed to the random weirdness I got from internet searches.  While I was at it, I thought it might be a good idea to do it full-torso.  I asked for volunteers, and the only responses I got were all along the lines of, "Eh, seems like you just want girls to send you naked pictures."  There's a dozen reasons why that was ridiculous, but I didn't argue with them.  I just said to myself, "Well.  I guess I'm going to have to do it myself.  And that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks:  "Why the hell am I NOT a nude photographer?"  I decided that moment to finally break down and buy a DSLR.

Home
I didn't just jump into it, though.  I spent almost 2 years learning to use the camera well, and practicing hard.  Sometimes I used myself as a model.
My biggest challenge is money.  I can't afford to hire models, and the bible belt isn't exactly crawling with models willing to work for trade.  Thankfully, my main model, Cassandra, has been kind to me a few times.  What they say is true.  The more times you work with a model the easier it gets.  We're more like friends than just photographer and model, now.
Lush

I'd like to eventually broaden the types of models I work with.  Different ages, weights, ethnicities, and not just women.

My favorite photograph is one of the first I ever took of a model.  I knew I wanted a specific look, but I wasn't able to articulate what exactly that was.  I had her positioned on the edge of the bathtub for over ten minutes trying to get it.  Finally, there was this moment.  I suspect she was running out of ideas of how to pose in such a confined way, and for a second she stopped posing.  That brief moment when she was in her own head was what I wanted.






The Moment
I titled the piece "The moment" not just for that reason, but because it was the turning point for me.  Until then, I thought I wasn't going to hack it as a photographer.  I was worried that I   was wasting her time, and that I'd be percieved as the "GWC".  After that shot, I felt unstoppable, and the rest of the shoot went beautifully.  It was my moment, too"

Thank you Erik, for sharing that moment with us.



November 4, 2011

WAYS OF SEEING (female nude)


 this is part 1 of 4 from a a video, I highly recommend watching