Figure photography in fine art is a type of photography where the subject photographed is a human model. There could be other elements to the photograph as well; however, here, the focal point of the picture is the human body. Figure art photographers today are always in high demand, and you get to see their work often at upscale businesses and art galleries.
Bruce Weber – An insight into figure art photography and its basics
Bruce Weber is an ace fashion photographer and filmmaker. He regularly publishes collections of his photographs in books, and his work is showcased in major galleries across the globe. He was introduced to The New School for Social Research by Diane Arbus and also studied with Lisette Model in the 1960s. At the outset, he pursued theatre in Ohio at the Denison University and switched to filmmaking at the New York University.
His book “Bear Pond” is a landscape and figure studies photography collection. There are more than 100 outstanding photographs in this book reproduced in tritone. The photographs have been taken in the Adirondack lakes region. He is known for the classical print advertising campaign of Ralph Lauren, and his work has been successfully exhibited in the finest art galleries in Europe and the USA.
Understanding figure art photography
When it comes to figuring art photography, it is often known as nude photography, though not all photos are entirely nude people. The photographer might take photos of specific parts of the body like the feet, the side view of the face, the arm muscles, etc. These photographs are not sexually explicit in nature.
You will never see these photographs in magazines that portray erotic photography. Figure art photography strives to display the beauty of the human body and rarely shows the face of the subject in the image.
Role of the subjects in figure photography
The subjects in this type of photography are the study of the physical structure of a human being. They are more of composition over a portrait. The bodies in these photographs are shot with light extremes- very light or very dark for highlighting a specific part of the human body. The bodies are oiled to depict the subtleties in form and texture most of the time.
Learning the art
Amateur photographers might master the art of taking pictures of the human body. However, it is easier for you to grasp the basic skills of photography first. According to Bruce Weber, most new photographers face the hardest part of overcoming the embarrassment of taking photographs of nude individuals. A majority of models in fine art have worked for many years in the field, and they are comfortable being a subject of artists generally through their presence and work at fine local colleges.
If you want to take classes in figure photography, many colleges offer the course to art students and those interested in this type of photography. The cost of the course varies as it depends upon the number of hours and weeks you choose to take. The class generally covers the fundamentals of photography and progresses gradually to working eventually with live models.