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Additional difficulties encountered when working with outdoor nudes are the weather and lack of privacy. Changeable temperate climates, cold skin and goose pimples are tough on models as well as images. Mediterranean and subtropical conditions are certainly more accommodating and pleasant from most points of view. Warm summer mornings are generally a good time to work. The light is wonderfully soft and oblique, the air is fresh and most people are still in bed. But make sure the models have suitable garments to wear when relaxing. It is surprisingly cold walking around naked. The golden glows of evening are also rewarding, but it may be more difficult to find privacy at this time of day.

Two nudes in treeA suitable location should be selected well before the session, and with the feelings of the models in mind. Some will disregard onlookers, but others may become tense and distracted. I have worked with outdoor nudes mainly on Mediterranean islands where the models are able to relax and local people are remarkably tolerant. Nevertheless the local culture, and those who may be offended by nudity, should always be respected.

Many different approaches can be adopted outdoors, but the most successful images achieve a good relationship between model and environment. Rocks can be used to suggest shapes, and their rough surfaces contrast with human softness. Water offers the possibilities of freshness, reflections and partial concealment, and ruined buildings with broken windows and flaking paint suggest remoteness and vulnerability. The broad landscape itself is also a rewarding canvas. A small figure in a vast, stark or cold landscape again suggests vulnerability and frailty. A more harmonious relationship suggested by similar tones, and comparable shapes and lines, results in a much warmer atmosphere. With care, and appropriate use of sympathetic shapes and contrasting textures, a body can be blended into a landscape as a tree fits into a wood.


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