It’s time for another post from my 2014 trip to Iceland, so I’m continuing to post photographs in the order that I made them.
The photos I’m displaying today were made on a beach in southern Iceland that is well known for its black volcanic sand and stones. I had been to this place on my first trip to Iceland way back in 1995, and when I decided to try to photograph nudes in Iceland, this was the number one place that I had in mind.
That first art nude trip was in 2013, but I didn’t get any photos here. It wasn’t because I didn’t try, for I surely did. In fact, I tried twice. My models and I stayed near this spot for one night, so first I went with one model late in the evening on the day of our arrival. It was still light out because of Iceland’s extreme north location, when it never really gets dark in early summer. There was nobody else around on the beach, either.
Unfortunately, the summer of 2013 was the coldest one in memory in Iceland, and on that evening, it was cold, windy and blustery – not exactly good conditions for nude modeling, so we didn’t even try for any photos.
I went back the next morning with the other model, and while it was not quite as it had been the evening before, it was still pretty rough. Still, after waiting there for a while, the model decided to give it a go for a very quick roll of ten photos – but it was now around 8 a.m., and as she was about to begin to disrobe, another person showed up on the beach.
We waited for that person to leave, but before he did, another tourist showed, followed by another – and another – and another – and ……. We waited for about 45 minutes but did not have one single moment to ourselves. Finally, we gave up and went back to our car, where I took off my baseball cap and flung it down in a fit of frustration.
Not getting any photos here was one of the reasons why I decided to return to Iceland the next year, and in 2014, I was able to get the photos I wanted. Of course, it wasn’t easy. I went this time with Zoe West, and as I stood there close to midnight with nobody around, finally able to get some work in, I thought to myself, “I am finally here, ready to go. What kind of photograph can I create to make good on this special moment?”
Well, here are my first efforts. I knew beforehand that I wanted to use the sea stacks in the background as important elements in the composition, so I used them as framing devices, with Zoe standing in front of the larger one. I think that I had thought of having her full figure framed by it, but that would have required a much longer lens than I had.
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.