Color Management For Nude Photography – Coloratti Ralph Man
by Dave Mobbs – November 10th, 2015
Getting the perfect nude photograph
X-Rite Coloratti Ralph Man is an award winning photographer who specializes in capturing stunning nudes. Here, he shares his thoughts on what’s important to achieve that stunning nude photograph.
When it comes to nude photography, it’s always about sensuality and aesthetics. The first thing that’s important is that a beautiful model with an almost perfect body is shot at the right location. Secondly, as a photographer shooting nudes, you must understand how to get the model to move well. The third key element, and one I’ll talk more about, is correct exposure. If you have these key elements, then a big part of your shoot is already perfect. Good makeup and styling finishes off the good look.
As you can see, there are several things you need to take a good nude picture.
Understand what you want and work with the model
To have a great shoot, you need to be connected to the image; you need to know the effect you want to achieve and be able to judge the image. In my experience, a model needs to feel comfortable and relaxed which will help them pose the way you want for the shoot, you need to treat them well and make sure they feel safe in your company.
I also believe that the photographer is responsible for ensuring that makeup, styling (fashion) and model match well. You take inspiration from stylists and make up artists but the direction and vision need to come from the photographer.
For me, the camera is only there to support me to get good quality shoots, without problems. During a shoot only the style, exposure and work with the model should be important. You don’t want to be messing around with your camera settings. For this reason, I am using not only my medium format PhaseOne, I also use the Olypmus om-d system camera. Whatever you use, having confidence in your equipment is key to creating the perfect image.
The most basic factor for a good picture is the exposure. The light makes the big difference between a technically good and a poor image. Whether you choose daylight, steady light or professional lighting is almost irrelevant at first. You need to practice and need to know how light actually “works” – playing with what works for you and your style will mean you feel comfortable when setting up the light for your shoot. I mostly work with ambient and flash lights from Profoto.
A good Image, is as many things, only as good as its weakest part. If all the elements we’ve discussed are correct, but on the final image you see for example, that the skin tone is unnatural, you can destroy an almost perfect image. So it’s really important that you work with the right tools. This of course includes a perfectly calibrated monitor for on screen color, and control over the captured image, so you have something good to work with in Raw. To achieve both these things I use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and the X-Rite i1Display Pro.
You might say that in nude photography, many shots are done in black and white – and that’s a style I like. In such cases, the ColorChecker Passport is less important for me, although I do recognize the need for a good white balance from the start. Monitor calibration however, is even more important with black and white photography. For me this is because my black and white shoots sometimes show a slight tonality, for example in the warmer tones. Because of this, a calibrated monitor is essential if you do not want any bad surprises afterwards.
About the Author.
Ralph Man is self-tought and has occupied himself with photography from an early childhood. Even during his apprenticeship as a carpenter, his passion for photography always played a very important role. After completing his studies, he took up employment as a carpenter whilst still nurturing his talents and developing his photographic skills. Once confident and experienced enough to express his ideas through this medium, Ralph Man turned his passion into a career. He has since been working for advertising, magazines and exhibits his work in galleries. Ralph is also a valued member of the X-Rite Coloratti group.
Learn more at – http://www.ralph-man.com