Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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How do I make skin stand out more? I take photos of nude subjects and I'm trying to highlight the male and female anatomy more clearly, but the lower regions aren't coming out like I want them. Do you have any suggestions on creating more even lighting?

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closed as too broad by Hugo, Dan Wolfgang, Michael Clark, John Cavan Jan 23 at 14:14

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question is too broad. It's like saying "I don't like the bread I made, what do I need to change?". Either ask for general advice on shooting anatomy macros/pornography or tell us what is wrong, so someone can give specific advice. – Unapiedra Jul 11 '13 at 19:54
you really need to post example, dude. – Michael Nielsen Jul 11 '13 at 20:07
How are you doing the lighting so far? – Unapiedra Jul 11 '13 at 20:15

You need a weaker diffuse lighting to lift up the signal-to-noise ratio and preferably a medium format camera like Hegre uses. That really makes the skin details pop. Nude shots are not like glamour shots. Here you really need to see the fine little cute hairs and goosebumps. Secondly, you need 1-2 stronger directional light sources to add some depth to the scene, and make the features, such as the penis, breasts and most importantly the female thighs shades from one side as to make the lush curves stand out and seem more elaborate.

Furthermore, I have been told (by our own Stan, so maybe he will explain this better) that skin tones are achieved by using layers with gradients of reference skin tones, so control this aspect better. This is a lot of work, but it may be necessary.

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+1 As for the skin tone thing, it really depends on the genre. There are markets both for idealized erotic beauty and for a more clinical, warts-rashes-and-all approach. I don't "get" the latter, but I guess that just means I'm not part of the target market for it. – user2719 Jul 11 '13 at 20:46

You get more even lighting by using a large area light source. This could be a window but more commonly used are soft-boxes, beauty dishes and umbrellas. They give different results but all give even light.

Here is some more information about light modifiers: Soft boxes vs umbrellas, pros and cons

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