Monochrome nude photography presents various compositional opportunities. In this image, the texture of the body is adjacent to those of the sand and vegetation. Presenting the nude female form in nature follows an artistic tradition that predates photographic processes.
This image presents the figure in close proximity. Her body intersects the frame on all but one side. The cropping of her elbow particularly adds to the feeling of closeness. This close composition imparts a feeling of familiarity.
The subject is at ease and unconcerned in her natural state. Her face is given priority through the fairly shallow focus, which begins to fall off near her navel and lower down her body. Nonetheless, this artwork is unrestrained in it’s presentation of nudity. One might conclude collectors of this artwork share a similar ease.
The majority of tones in this image are middle grays. There are a few darks, and even fewer bright spots. The only areas of pure white are some small flowers. The only pure blacks are deepest of the shadows. The image has an overall warm cast, but not quite sepia tone, which dips into steely-cool (bluish) darks.
I am often inspired by Anne Brigman’s monochrome nude photography, presenting a female form in nature. I am intrigued by the integration of the body with the landscape. Additionally, it is interesting to present a person as part-natural, part-social. Located in a desolated area, the primary subject is the only evidence of humanity. And, as with Brigman’s photographs, this is an intentional distortion of reality.
No garment or technology gives clues to her era. However, there are more subtle clues about her. In any generation, our posture and style are subtle personal choices that reveal something about us.