June 10, 2016

New commented shoots of my dear friend Dave Levingston

His site has a very active blog, Dave is prolific
Member of UdA since the beginning

When I asked to Dave for a new article, he immediately answered me a big one yes. I love his enthusiasm and his joy. And he never forgets to warmly thank his Art Models he admires, his Muses.

Dave prefers to photograph outdoors, but to show you all of his talent, I choose some photos in studio.

Before to read him, here are his 4 books I strongly recommend :


" I am 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.

- Chris! My new  favorite!
- Ok my Dave!

 As you know, I’ve been working on catching up with older shoots in my posts here. But yesterday I did a shoot with the lovely model Liv Sage at one of my favorite places, Blackhand Gorge. I haven’t really even looked at the whole shoot yet, but this one photo did stand out when we were doing it. I couldn’t resist jumping the line and posting it. Thanks Liv.

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.

There’s something about those large round bales of hay that just cries for a photograph to be made. But it’s harder than it seems to get something that works from them. Fortunately there was a nice collection of round bales at my friend’s farm. So, Kelsey and I took advantage of them.

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.

Dave Levingston winner in PHOTO March 2016

I’m very proud that of the 12 photos I entered in this contest, 11 made it through the judging process to become finalists. PHOTO Magazine has a policy that only one photo from a photographer can be a winner and appear in the magazine. So it’s pretty special to know that they had to chose just one of the 11 of mine that were finalists for the magazine. Any one of those 11 photos would have been equally deserving of publication.

Published in PHOTO (and it is not the first time ! I remember his impatience and how much he was happy when I told him "yes, you are in") :

I once again have a photo in this issue where they publish all the winners of their annual contest. I was very pleased this year that most of the photos I entered were selected as finalists in what they say is the largest photo contest in the world. As it says on the cover above, they had more than 50,000 entries from more than 70 countries.

3 of the 12 selected :

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.

This photo was taken at the end of the last day of about a week of shooting in the Poconos in Eastern Pennsylvania. The sun was getting low when I saw it forming the shadow of those few leaves on a concrete wall at an abandoned farm. I hustled Brooke  Lynne into the spot to take advantage of that fleeting light. I love the result, so I’m very pleased that they chose this photograph for the show.

And, finally, my all-time favorite photo with more than one model. There are actually only two models in this photo of Carhenge, but I did multiple exposures in order to get what I was after with this photo (you may want to click on it to enlarge it to get the full effect) :

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