NSFW: Kate Errington Fitness and Bodyscapes 03 April 2014

I’ve worked with Kate Errington before and it’s always been both fun and productive. She mentioned that she was going on a fitness binge to compete in a bodybuilding contest, so of course I had to agree to shoot her. We did some fitness and some bodyscape shots, all of which I’m extremely pleased with.

The great thing about fitness is that the very nature of the subject lends itself to creating strong, powerful images of capable women doing capable things. Which is what I like to shoot. There’s nothing more boring than shooting models who are performing for the male gaze; I’m interested in capturing what’s unique and interesting and exists away from the camera.

The studio had acquired a large piece of brushed aluminum and a large piece of black acrylic, both of which we incorporated into the shoot. To be honest, I think I like the black acrylic better – it creates a floating, subtle reflection and blends easily into a roll of black paper. The brushed aluminum doesn’t resolve nearly any detail, but it does reflect swatches of color and bounces a lot of light up, it’s nearly like a reflector that you don’t have to hide.

For the bodyscapes, first I wanted to highlight her muscle and definition and secondly idea was to try and abstract her form to the point where the line between design and figure is blurred. Naturally, a very tight grids and very faint fill light worked best for this. I also took the opportunity to work with the displacement filter to create accurately textured designs on her skin. I tried working with 2 channel displacement maps, but I found the effects were simply too strong for what I was trying to achieve, so I finally used a normal single channel monochrome map. Once again, Nik Silver Efex was super helpful to manipulate the map to push the texture up and down while preserving the microdetails in her skin.

As always, click to enlarge: