I made a trip to Ohio last week to visit my good friend Dave Levingston. I had been there several times before, but what was different about this trip was that I drove there, rather than going by air. I think this was the longest distance I’ve ever driven in a single day – about 630 miles, done in nearly 12 hours – topping my previous long drive from Brunswick, Maine to Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Sadly, this trip originated as a happy one but ended up being bittersweet. My primary reason for going was to see the six photos of mine that were put up on display at an art gallery close to where Dave lives. I had visited the gallery quite a few times on earlier visits, and when I was there six months ago, I brought along a bunch of 11×14 fiber prints with me, to show to Rob, the gallery owner. He selected six of them that he liked, which he later matted, framed and put up on the wall. It was those that I was going to see.

Tragically, Rob passed away from cancer just a few weeks ago and his family closed the gallery. So, rather than going to see the photos on display, I instead went to pick them up to take them home.

Still, it was a positive trip overall, with both the company of a good friend and the opportunity to photograph some nudes in different locations. One model I worked with was Kelsey Dylan (who I like to call “Kelsey Zimmerman,” or “Zimmy,” for short), who had stayed with me here in New York the week before I left and accompanied me on the long drive out to Ohio, her home state. We had been taking turns choosing songs to play on my iPod, but when we crossed the border from Pennsylvania into Ohio, we stopped what we were listening to and put on an appropriate song for the occasion by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young:

“Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in O-hi-o.”

I had never worked with Kelsey before, and Dave was good enough to take me to a couple of beautiful locations that he had used previously. The day before I photographed her, Dave did a studio session with her, during which time I went out on location to photograph Revielle, who I had worked with in Dave’s studio on my previous visit in February. I worked with Kelsey the following day.

Last Thursday, August 19, was a special day for me as I celebrated my 15th anniversary of photographing nudes. (See my previous blog post to read about that.) So, I went out with Dave and model Jypsie Nahmana to do a 15th anniversary photo shoot. I had photographed Jypsie, along with another model, at the very same location in February. The big difference was that there was snow covering everything and it was freezing cold back then. This time, thankfully, the temperature was a bit warmer and more conducive to being nude outdoors.

All of my serious photos from these sessions were made with medium format black & white film, but I did make a few quick snapshots of the models with my little pocket digital camera, which you can see here. I was going to put one of the nudes at the top, but I’ve decided to dedicate this post to Dave L to thank him for his hospitality in allowing me to stay with him for several days and for taking me out to a few beautiful spots for photography.

Therefore, you’re seeing the face of “The Beard” (as some of us like to call Dave) at the top. He had asked me to take a few photos of him at his studio as he wanted some new portraits, and as he was wearing a black shirt, I asked him to stand in front of a black background to try to achieve the ‘floating head’ look. I think I succeeded here, with the aid of some burning in with Photoshop, to reach that. He’s illuminated by some of the very nice window light that his studio gets.

The other photo of Dave shows him standing on a rock with a waterfall in the background, during our outing with Kelsey. As I have noted before elsewhere, Dave is the photographer who invented the genre of photographing naked chicks on rocks, so I think it only appropriate that he be photographed on a rock himself. (Thankfully he’s not nude. Trust me on this one.)


Kelsey Dylan

Kelsey Dylan

Jypsie Nahmana


In other news, I’m thinking of doing something this weekend that I haven’t done for months: develop film. Come back next week to find out.

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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6 Responses to O-hi-o

  1. Thanks, Dave. It was a pleasure, as always, to have you visit. Looks like you did good with the spots I took you to and those Ahia models.

  2. Bill Ballard says:

    Dave,The trip, though bittersweet as you say, looks to have gone well.Cheers –

  3. I agree with you on seeing Dave nude. Kelsey however is a treat to view.

  4. Thom says:

    Dave,Was a pleasure to meet you a few weeks ago. Kelsey also, of course. Now who did you say was your favorite tenor?…:-))

  5. Dave Rudin says:

    PS My favorite tenor is Carlo Bergonzi.

  6. Great portrait of DaveL!!! He should make that his official biopic from now on.

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