We grow personally by studying things around us. If we want to study something we are better off isolating our subject from its surroundings and then fragment it into smaller sub-topics . The theory goes that by understanding and mastering each isolated topic individually we can then set that knowledge free and observe what it does to our holistic understanding of the subject in question.
Take people photography for example. The most striking images are often images isolating the subject. That is – most honest and authentic images of people are taken against a plain coloured wall or in a totally empty room or studio. By removing all items and visual symbols from our visual field we isolate a person and can then study that person in much more detail. We can read a person by looking at that person’s skin, face expression, body and body posture. Then if we want to alter something in that person we can use other technology, surrounding and symbols. Clothes, locations, accessories, make-up – all add a different perspective. So does the lighting, focal length and aperture of the instrument that we use to capture that image. By putting it all together, what was previously a subject in isolation is now evolving by borrowing meanings from its surroundings.
In the case of nude photography this method of isolating a subject is essential but often brutal – only models with very good bodies and personal charisma can stand this test. Shooting against the white wall is a hard test for a model because there is nothing to interact with, nothing to hold on to, or stand behind. Its demands a lot from a model to be able to be fully nude and act with attitude with no other cue than a photographer and possibly some music in the background. Frankly, except for the photographer’s own communication skills, there is nothing else that can help him engage with and bring out the best in a model. It is a big challenge for both.
In this set, we’ve shot Katya against a white wall and she looked fantastic in that soft window light. The light and shadows interacting with Katya’s skin make you see every curve of her amazing body. Because she is posing standing she gets that extra tight tone to her muscles – which makes her body look stunning. Looking at those pictures I can’t help but feel the joy of wonder of such an anatomically perfect body. With these images we could study her anatomy scientifically. We could measure her body proportions and ratios, we could observe her skin under different lights, we could study how lights and shadows interacts with her body curves. Or we could forget that this is Katya Clover and just look at the beauty of a female body. By isolating the nude female body from its social and moral surroundings we set that body free to represent our human race.
You can see Katya’s full set “Set Me Free” here