DID YOU KNOW THAT EVERY MAJOR SOCIETY, PAST OR PRESENT, HAS OR HAD IT’S OWN BODY ART CULTURE ?
From henna tattoos in India to war paint of African tribes and ceremonial bodypainting of aboriginal Australians.
This fact always impressed me and made me wondering how I could combine this with modern culture and my photography.The answer came to me in early 2016 while I was photographing for a local club at a neon party , where all the guests where painted in phosphorescent paint and the club was all lit in blacklight (UV light).
THE FIRST SHOOT
The next morning I found out where to find the needed colors , I already owned a 15W Blacklight so that was taken care of .Long story short , a week later the colors I ordered arrived. My friend Fotini volunteered to be my model , and Anna who is experienced in painting took care of the body painting. So we all met at Anna’s apartment where we were gonna start the shoot.
THINGS WE USED
Paint : Amsterdam ,Acrylic Specialties , Reflex Orange & Reflex Green
Some simple brushes , round tip and flat in different sizes
Canon 5D mk1 & 50mm 1.8 (On a tripod most of the time)
For some shots I used a white reflector to illuminate the model .
All images were taken in a room of Annas apartment where we shut the window stores so it was completely dark. I quickly realized that the 15W Blacklight was hardly enough to illuminate the model so I really had to push the cameras settings, shooting wide open and at high ISO’s.The hole shoot including painting , removing the paint and painting again for different look took us about 6 hours ,and we all agreed that it was totally worth it !I my self was pretty happy with the results of the first shoot . I was sure I wanted to do another one soon.
THE SECOND SHOOT
3 months later Dominique and Maria volunteered to be the models for the second shoot and they’re friends Esmee, Anastasia and Aggeliki to paint them , So the creative team for the Second shoot was ready.To overcome the lack of light I had on the first shoot I ordered a 35W Blacklight, that together with the one I already had should be more than enough to illuminate the 2 models. Also I borrowed a 4x4m black cloth that I used as a backround.Finally we met at my apartment where I set up a little studio with the black cloth and the 2 lights, and started the painting process.
THINGS WE USED
- Paint : Amsterdam ,Acrylic Specialties , Reflex Orange & Reflex Green
- Some simple brushes , round tip and flat in different sizes
- 15W & 35W Blacklights left and right of the models
- Black cloth for background
- Canon 5D mk1 & 50mm 1.8 (On a tripod most of the time)
- For some shots I used a white reflector.
- Use a tripod and tell your models to sit still.
- Get enough light to illuminate you model from all sides.
- Have your model wear a black top and shorts, or even better nothing at all so that nothing except the colors glow in the UV light.
- If you light your model only with UV light , only the colors will show like in the last image. If you use a white reflector it will glow white-bluish by itself and illuminate the models skin, therefore also show the models features and not only the colors .
- Shoot RAW
- Don’t be afraid to play with Tint and temperature
- Experiment with the HSL panel in lightroom
- Play around with tone curves
I plan to update this project periodically and experiment more with full body shoots and different and more advanced painting techniques.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me!