Russian photographer Igor Amelkovich likes to photograph nudes of self-assured women subjects who are comfortable in sharing their beauty.
With two artistic interests: landscape photography and the nude, Igor feels “a woman is nature’s concentrated form of beauty.”
His textures and tones and sense of line and composition combine to create captivating beautiful black and white nudes.
He achieves technically superb results using relatively simple gear through delicately controlled passion and close attention to certain details.
A recently self-taught photographer living in the southern Ural mountains of Russia, Igor has succeeded in winning numberous regional and international awards.
His work are published in many magazines, including “Playboy” and “GQ” (Germany), “BIZ” (Turkey), “Medved” and “Mouline Rouge” Russia, “Photo-Art” (Czech Republic) and “People Magazine Australia” (Australia).
With an engineer’s love for precision – having studied radio engineering at South Ural State University – Igor takes anachronistically stunning photographs of confident beautiful nude women figure models using only the highest quality medium format black and white film and cameras.
These beautiful images have won numerous international and regional awards, starting in 1999 with a Chelyabinsk Woman’s Beauty Category Award Photo of the year.
Igor says of himself, “I didn’t held camera in my hands before….” Yikes!
Since 1999, photography became Igor’s main focus. Makes sense …
Perhaps this proves there is hope for the rest of us?
Everyone asks Igor how he achieves his results, and he shares.
Enamored with square formats, he is drawn to the superior quality of black and white film.
Using medium format (6cm x 6cm), Igor puts on film what is already in his mind’s eye.
Isn’t it interesting, when just yesterday we write about the migration toward small sensor digital SLRs (click here to read) we find someone achieving today smashing results using medium format film…
One may naturally wonder, can just anyone do this?
Medium format is a totally different photography style.
A session might use from 1-5 rolls of medium format film only. Each shot, manually film advanced by hand…
“Is another psychology and film technology, thus this format is for patient and thoughtful people. I saw a great deal of disappointed people who took a medium-format camera after the one of 35 mm for to improve the quality of photographs.”
In studio, Igor uses no filters. Outside, he will often use a red filter to darken skies and emphasize clouds for a more dramatic effect.
For close-ups to capture some body details, an additional close-up lens element may be used with his Planar.
Only one 1 meter (about 39 inches) square soft box light source is used during shooting for most of his erotic B&W nudes in studio. Silver and white reflectors are often used.
His studio walls are painted dark blue and provide an outline, edge and good contrast for his nudes. A simple cloth painted in a washing machine or a rough cast wall may be his backdrops.
For industrial nudes, the awkward locations require many light sources and flash types:
“soft-box as the main light, standard 9-inch reflector – as an edge light, translucent umbrella as fill light, and illumination of back drop and some additional lights as local illumination.”
“Translucent umbrella is very good for background light, because some light passes through it and some light reflects back.
The umbrella gives light to both sides! It can be used as an edge light and illumination of back drop at the same time.”
“Unexceptionally the edge light is more intense than the main one 1/2 – 1 1/2 f-stop, and I put the main light somewhere between f/8-f/16.”
“Using flash head outdoors gives a magnificent effect. This makes the picture to be unreal, and nude seems to be depicted on the picture.”
While he will shoot fine-art-nudes in color, especially in beautiful places to convey the natural colors. Igor feels:
“Black and white are the only colors necessary for fine-art nude and erotic photography.
Every observer will look at the photo and paint it by his own colors according to his mood… It is very laconic!”
He uses Nikon 8000ED scanner for the last stage of film-to-paper delivery.
Post processing in computer is limited to remove dust and scratches only.
Of display, Igor says “Only paper prints give you all the energy of a living body.”
Thank you Igor!
Images © Igor Amelkovich.