November 5, 2011

Erik Flak's moments

I have known Erik Flak (Phydeau on deviantArt) since I joined dA in June 2008 and we have become online friends and collaborators - we are both involved with the dA group Fine Art-Photography and the one I recently founded with Iris Dassault, Models-Photographers.

Erik has been taking photographs for some years and I have particularly admired his underwater nudes, one of which was recently awarded a Daily Deviation (a DD as it is known) on dA.


I have asked Erik to tell us a little about himself and his work.

"My name is Eric Flak, and I'm currently located in North Carolina.  I've been doing photography since I was 11 after winning a cheap toy camera in a contest.  There really wasn't much I could do with that camera, so my parents got me an SLR and a tripod that Christmas, along with some books on photography.

I took pictures until I went to college, at which point I was required to pay for my own film and developing.  I slowed down a lot after that.  Later, point-and shoot digital cameras came along, and I gave up on the SLR all together.  Point-and-shoot cameras aren't bad - I managed to get the occasional good shot - but they really just don't have the control of an SLR.

Lush love

During those years, my main artistic outlet was through drawing.  I liked to draw people, and in particular nudes.  A friend introduced me to deviantART in 2006 so I could show off my drawings.  I quickly became addicted to the site.  I had no idea there were that many talented artists in the world.  dA changed my view toward photographic artistic nudes.  I didn't know there were that many people doing that, either.  It was the first time I got involved in a discussion of art vs. pornography.  Until then, I had made the assumption that with very rare exceptions most photographic nudes were of the prurient variety.  I changed that way of thinking quickly.  The artistic nude gallery is probably the reason my interest in photography was renewed.

My most popular deviation at the time was actually not a drawing, but a composite image I made by morphing 32 faces together.  I did 3 of those, using the same celebrities at 3 different angles.

I decided that I wanted to do the project again, only with more control of the variables as opposed to the random weirdness I got from internet searches.  While I was at it, I thought it might be a good idea to do it full-torso.

I asked for volunteers, and the only responses I got were all along the lines of, "Eh, seems like you just want girls to send you naked pictures."  There's a dozen reasons why that was ridiculous, but I didn't argue with them.  I just said to myself, "Well.  I guess I'm going to have to do it myself.  And that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks:  "Why the hell am I NOT a nude photographer?"  I decided that moment to finally break down and buy a DSLR.


I didn't just jump into it, though.  I spent almost 2 years learning to use the camera well, and practicing hard.  Sometimes I used myself as a model.

My biggest challenge is money.  I can't afford to hire models, and the bible belt isn't exactly crawling with models willing to work for trade.  Thankfully, my main model, Cassandra, has been kind to me a few times.  What they say is true.  The more times you work with a model the easier it gets.  We're more like friends than just photographer and model, now.


I'd like to eventually broaden the types of models I work with.  Different ages, weights, ethnicities, and not just women.

My favorite photograph is one of the first I ever took of a model.  I knew I wanted a specific look, but I wasn't able to articulate what exactly that was.  I had her positioned on the edge of the bathtub for over ten minutes trying to get it.  Finally, there was this moment.  I suspect she was running out of ideas of how to pose in such a confined way, and for a second she stopped posing.  That brief moment when she was in her own head was what I wanted.

The Moment

I titled the piece "The moment" not just for that reason, but because it was the turning point for me.  Until then, I thought I wasn't going to hack it as a photographer.  I was worried that I   was wasting her time, and that I'd be percieved as the "GWC".  After that shot, I felt unstoppable, and the rest of the shoot went beautifully.  It was my moment, too"

Thank you Erik, for sharing that moment with us.

August 29, 2011

A Zen Eye Photograph : Eric McCollum

Introducing Eric McCollum from Washington DC.

I am a photographer based in the greater Washington, DC area in the United States.  

I began taking photographs as a child and studied photography briefly in college in the ‘70s but left it behind as other pursuits took my attention.  During that time, however, I had the amazing experience of taking a course in the History of Photography from Beaumont Newhall, then teaching at the University of New Mexico.  It was a wonderful chance to touch the very roots of American photography.  

About 7 years ago, I came back to the camera as I was searching for a creative outlet.  I specifically decided to concentrate on the nude figure, there is the mystery of the nude, the performance of the shoot, and the wonderful intersection of light and skin.  I like to think my images have to do both with form and intimacy.  I collaborate with my models, they inspire me and I want some essence of who they are to linger in what we create together.  

Eric's favourite images

I was inspired years ago by an image of Wynn Bullock’s – a nude girl sitting in meditation pose on a beach with the sea foam coming in to create patterns around her.  I never forgot it.  Beth in the water is my homage to that image from my past.  I love the chaotic flow around her as she sits still.

Meditation Model: Beth Caldwell

I have found the selective focus of the Lensbaby often fits my vision.  I like the tones and texture the Lensbaby gives to this image.

Nude with Black Flower
 Model: Katileania

I was drawn to the mystery of the pale figure emerging from the shadows in this image.  Shot beneath the trees beside a stream just before a thunderstorm.

By the Stream
 Model: Zinn Star

Another image shot beside a stream, this time with the wonderful model Rhus.  We in the Washington DC area in the US are truly blessed to have so many fine figure models available to us.  I like the emotion in this image and how Rhus’ gaze is turned out of the frame.

I don’t only work in natural light.  I find the studio is also a wonderful arena for my work with a feeling of intimacy that locations sometimes don’t provide.  In this image, I was playing with the tone and texture of the stark white dried blossom against the background of the figure in shadow.

Model: Katileania

There is something interesting about the masked nude figure . . . the contrast of anonymity and exposure.  Rhus’ pose brings a hint of dark energy to the image.

Sometimes it’s fun to play a little on the glamour side of things.  Katlyn Lacoste is a terrifically versatile model and we had fun one day with  the white plastic chair.

Model: Katlyn Lacoste

Cocoon Series #17
 Model: Rhus

My latest project is the Cocoon Series.  The prop is a nylon body cocoon that lends an air of mystery as well as a sculptural space to the body.  This image was lit from a single window in an old warehouse.  As with much of my work, the figure emerging from deep shadow draws my eye.

August 27, 2011

An announcement

Alex by David Holmes

Hello everyone
we would like to make an announcement. Chris is on sabbatical. It will be myself, Roswell, Mosa and the contributing editors who will run UdA.
Apologies to those who have already sent pictures and information about themselves and who are still waiting for a feature. We have been in a transitional phase and some of us have been away. The features will appear as promised. We actually have a full programme of features and we are always willing to take into consideration any suggestion from followers. Please keep in touch with us. We will have features about male nudes, features of photographers who do not work in the 'classic' fine art nude mode and also features of visual artists - painters and sculptors. Everything that is a celebration of the human form. 
We now have a Facebook page, please visit and like us! We are on Twitter as @Univdartistes Please follow us! and we have a new email address which you should use to send us suggestions for features etc. univdartistes at (substitute at with @)

Have a great weekend!   Alex for the UdA team

August 16, 2011

Intimate moments

Daniel Ilinca
"Play it again"
Art Model Ana-Maria Ilinca

"Serene Kat"
Art Model Kat

"Mirror III"
Art Model Lady Carot

"Room 5"

François Benveniste
"Caught red-handed 2"
Art Model Liloo

Scott James Prebble
"How could sink that low"
Art Model Muse

Epona Imagery
"Creepy Tub"
Art Model Lady Eastwick

Pavel Kiselev
"Portrait in the mirror"
Art Model Nadya

Alexander Bergström
Art Model Lisa

Akif [HAKAN] Celebi
"Butterfly, Kiss The Sun 5"
Art Model Neri O

"The View"

"To share a Dream ?"
Art Model Dorothy

August 7, 2011

Welcome to Roswell Ivory

I am delighted to welcome Roswell Ivory, model and writer - read her blog at WordPress - as a contributing editor of UdA. Roswell is one of the most active models on the UK art nude scene. I have interviewed her on behalf of UdA and asked her to select her favourite images in her portfolio.

It has been five years since I was spotted by a talent scout at a festival and began modelling- and if I said I loved every minute of it, youd probably roll your eyes and skip to the next article in the hope that the model doesnt use that old chestnut again… so I wont…

I often get freezing cold, swelteringly hot, soaking wet and very tired when posing, because thats the life of a nude model. But what I do love, other than the travel, the meeting people, and yes occasionally (ok, usually) even the photoshoot itself, is seeing the shots at the end and knowing those bruises were worth it and will continue being worth it for years to come.

So bring on that muddy field, frosty November waterfall and jagged cliff edge, because scenery usually looks better with a naked lady!

My favourite images in my portfolio

 This is the picture that still gets the most feedback, even today. 

I had met Titus a long time ago but it was a year later that we did this photoshoot. Sometimes, youre posing and the photographers clicking away and you both stop because you know you have The Shot right there. This was one of those moments.

by Gregory Miles Brown

I was in Spain with three photographers and two other models on an art-nude expedition. The original plan was have the material billowing in the wind except there was no wind and therefore no billowage! It was my idea to tie the material to the metal ring but I cant remember who decided I should lean back. Either way, this is one of my favourite shots in my portfolio.

I cant possibly convey how tired I was before this shoot (spending the night in an airport is not fun), but as soon as I began posing, adrenaline kicked in. Were in Barcelonas Parc Labyrinth which is full of statues of Greek deities and has resident herons! (I was watching one which was eyeing the fish in the pond, and trying not to disturb it as I moved around). 

Backroads of Cornwall with photographer G Haskew, when our road was closed and we had to take a detour. This piece of Middle Earth loomed in front of us and at some point during my spiel of Lord of the Rings fangirl bliss, I managed to take my clothes off and pose!

(You can tell I wasn’t planning to shoot that day- I’d plaited my hair before bed the previous night which is why it’s wavy!)

I like that this image combines art-nude and fetish as these genres provide the majority of my work. I didnt think I'd get a chance to show off my “pony boots” during an art-nude booking, but I was glad I did. (Yes, I can walk in them too…)   

I was shooting with Sylvie Blum at around 6am and remember bursting out laughing just before this shot. I had been bullied throughout my childhood and teen years and at that moment was thinking about how far Ive come since then. I think, right there, you are seeing the happiest woman on the planet.

One of the last shots from the Spain art-nude trip. All week, Id been after some simple but sultry images and here is one, taken against the wall of our villa by John Tisbury.

I love the natural world and never feel more at home posing than when Im out in the wild somewhere! I just love the impact of this location (which looks exactly like this- minimal photoshop), and its just down the road from me!

Another from Barcelonas Parc Labyrinth. We came across this little shelter and I fell in love with it! So I posed inside, outside, in the doorway, against the wall and hanging from the window bars… Ive always liked experimenting and challenging myself on photoshoots- Id rather try something and look ridiculous, than do the same pose and expression in every photo. 

Another from Paris- against the bridge of Alexander III. Despite the seriously early hour, there were people bustling about and so we could only spend around five minutes at each location! I made the coat myself…