Masked Merrique

Studio Nude, 2010

Today’s photograph is that of St. Merrique in my studio last year, wearing one of the masks that I had bought in Venice the year before.

In this image I was trying for something a little unusual.  Normally, I would not think of photographing a dark skinned model like St. Merrique against a black background as I’ve done here, fearing that the model’s skin tone would blend in too much with the background.  In this case, however, that’s exactly what I was aiming for, as I really wanted to highlight the whiteness of the mask, getting it to stand out as much as possible.

There are, however, certain limits to that.   I may have wanted to punch up the contrast a bit more on the scan to make the mask stand out more, but that would have resulted in losing detail in the mask, which I don’t want.

Finally, I asked Merrique to hold back her arms as she is so the photo would look similar to a sculpture bust.

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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