Inspired by ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue (where professional athletes bare their bodies in discreet ways), Sarah and I decided to go in that direction at the beginning of our most recent photo shoot.
Our original plan for the shoot was to do body paint, which is mostly what we did. But a few days before the shoot, Sarah sent me a “body issue” type image and said “Isn’t this awesome?!” I texted her back and wrote “Yes it is!” Reading her mind (she doesn’t send me random images just for fun), I quickly followed up with “We can do that, with or without paint.” She said “Yes sir!” and that is how the decision to create this image came to be.
The photo Sarah sent had a white background, but I went with the drama of a black background. We tried several different poses with different camera and lighting angles. I also wanted a version with a subtle reflection of Sarah in the studio floor so I put my camera right on the floor for some of the images. They ended up being Sarah and I’s favorites. Metering was straight forward and I describe that in the body paint article and in more detail here.
The photos in ESPN’s body issue are mostly in color, but I also have a fondness for black and white images so I created a B&W version too.
To convert the image to B&W, With the image open in Photoshop I created a black and white adjustment layer (in the menu at the top: Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black and White).
When the Black and White properties panel opened, I went through the various Preset options and the Red Filter preset looked best. Then I tweaked the various preset color sliders until I had the look I wanted, and saved the file.
Photo Data: Canon 5D Mark III. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L lens at 24mm. 1/125 second, f/11, ISO 100. Alien Bees 800 studio flash units with 20° and 40° grid spots.