More First Photos

Hi, everyone. I just returned home tonight from a trip out west visiting family for the weekend. Seeing the Rocky Mountains from the air Friday night, illuminated by moonlight, was an eerie and spooky experience. Seeing New York City tonight, illuminated by thousands upon thousands of lights, was in its own way equally awe inspiring.


Now back to my photography. As I mentioned in my last entry, I mostly photograph fine art nudes and travel images, so I thought I’d post an early personal favorite from each of those subject.

From the mid-60’s image I put up last time, fast forward in time about 15 years and move several thousand miles east across the great expanse of the Atlantic. In 1980, I made my first trip away from home on my own, beginning with a week in London. Like many others, the Tower of London was one of my top destinations, and here you see a group of guards, red coats and black furry hats all, on the march.

While not perfect technically or even compositionally – I think I was hurrying along trying to keep up with them – I have always liked this one. Why? Well, maybe the unintentional pan-and-blur look it has appeals to me, but what I really like is the way that the second guard from the left has his leg up in an awkward position. I just get a kick out of it (pun definitely not intended!). Now that I look at it, they all seem to have their legs that way, but this fellow, with some breathing room behind him, just stands out. I guess it also showed me the power of photography and how it could capture a split-second in time, the results of which are always unpredictable. The photo was made on Kokachrome 64 slide film, and boy did it make red colors pop.

Now move forward another 15 years to 1995 and back to New York state. I began photographing nudes at a workshop in Woodstock, New York, in August of that year. The previous year, I had completed four years of going to business school at night (including summers) because I felt doing so would give me a better chance of finding a new job. (Ha!) Now that I had completed what I felt I needed to do, it was time for me to do what I actually wanted to do – and that was photography. I had come across the Center for Photography at Woodstock and its workshop programs in the fall of 1994, so I decided to sign up for a nude figure workshop the following summer.

The photo I’m posting was from my first nude photo session on the first day. The model, Gabrielle, sits and looks off to the side, leaning forward. It was the eighth frame of film on my first roll of film and I consider it to be my first nude keeper, so it has always held a special place with me.

Still, I wonder how much credit I can take for its success. After all, I didn’t choose the location and didn’t pose the model. The two other photographers with me had photographed nudes before, so I left those things to them. All I did was push the button on my Pentax when I thought I saw something that looked interesting, as I did for this image. On the other hand, recognizing what will or will not make a good image is a skill that is crucial to being a good photographer, so perhaps I should give myself a little credit. The difference between my travel photography and my nude work, as I have written elsewhere, is that with nudes I can alter the scene by changing the model’s position and pose. I didn’t do that here, so it was just my photographic eye at work.


Now that I’ve laid the groundwork for my photography by starting with some early images, I’ll post some more recent work next time. Stay tuned.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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1 Response to More First Photos

  1. Pretty damn good photo for a first nude. There’s no way in hell I’d show any of my first attempts at nudes. Took me years to figure out how to do them in a way that meant something.

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