Fine-art nudes: four pro lighting set-ups

Fine-art nude lighting set-ups
(Image credit: James Paterson/PhotoPlus Magazine)

From Brassai to Brandt, there’s a rich history of the fine art nude in photography. A nude shoot enables you to present the most celebrated form in the history of art – the female body – in any way you like, from a striking silhouette to an abstract array of simple lines and shapes.

However, there are fine lines between fine art, erotica, and porn. So how do we go about creating art from a naked body? We’ll explore several ways to approach the subject, with an emphasis on form, shape and light rather than titillation; think understated rather than X-rated.

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James Paterson

The lead technique writer on Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, James is a fantastic general practice photographer with an enviable array of skills across every genre of photography. 

Whether it's flash photography techniques like stroboscopic portraits, astrophotography projects like photographing the Northern Lights, or turning sound into art by making paint dance on a set of speakers, James' tutorials and projects are as creative as they are enjoyable. 

He's also a wizard at the dark arts of Photoshop, Lightroom and Affinity Photo, and is capable of some genuine black magic in the digital darkroom, making him one of the leading authorities on photo editing software and techniques.