Tag Archives: photography

How I Did It: Francesca Woodman Inspired Self Portraits

Molly said she’d like to read about how I got this shot, and since I took quite a few photos in this style, I figured this would be a perfect chance to share the others and explain my process.

My inspiration for these came from Francesa Woodman, a young American photographer who shot haunting black and white photos, often of herself and other nude women. Woodman frequently used slow shutter speeds to portray ghostly figures of women who seem to vanish or blend into their surroundings. If you want to learn more about Francesca and her family, check out the documentary The Woodmans (it’s on Netflix.)

I wasn’t sure how slow I should set to shutter to, so I experimented. As a general rule, any shutter slower than about 1/60 sec. (or 1/the focal length of your lens) will show movement, and the longer the shutter, the more potential you have for blurring motion.

I shoot using Manual, adjusting my Aperture as needed, but if you aren’t comfortable shooting in Manual, set your camera to Shutter Priority, and that way you can set the Shutter Speed to what you want and let the camera set the Aperture to make a good exposure.

These were taken with a 2 second shutter (I call this series, “Set Me Free”):

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I didn’t do a lot of editing on these; I converted them to Black & White by desaturating each color in Lightroom & pulling down the blue/aqua Luminance to make the wall pop, and then bumped up the Contrast & Clarity by 100 to define my “ghostly” shape and bring back some detail in the midtones:

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I also shot Disappearing Act & She’s a Betty with a 2 second shutter.

I tried as slow as 15 seconds, and got a couple that I liked. The longer you stay in one place during the exposure, the more defined it is…so if you move all over the place things get pretty blurry, but you can count and move around strategically to create a double exposure look, like in this one:

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Two-faced

Finally, for the shot that Molly asked about, Haunted, I used a 1/1.3 (about 1 second) shutter with a 100 ISO & f 4.5 aperture. I edited it similarly to the Set Me Free photos but not as extreme with the clarity. I set my head on the mirror and did a sort of swoopy motion (super scientific I know) to make my head look like it was melting into the mirror.

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With slow shutter speeds, it takes some trial and error, but I like experimenting, and I feel like there’s a magic that comes with just doing what feels right. Here are some others I took with the same settings…the only things that changed were my movement and speed:

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As for the rest of my process, I shot these with my Nikon d5100 on a tripod, with my remote trigger set to a 2 second delay (my usual set up), so I have time to get rid of the remote (aka throw it somewhere and scare my cat) before the shot. I usually don’t use flash and set up my lamps as makeshift lights.

I took a quick phone picture as I was setting up, complete with my camera & tripod, the mirror & lamp, Francesa Woodman’s images up on the TV for inspiration, and my curious kitty of course:

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To sum up, I shot these as I usually shoot self portraits, but I experimented with slow shutter speeds and movement to create ghostly figures and blend into my surroundings. If you have any other questions, ask in the comments!

Chillin’

I go through phases in creativity (and in life.) Sometimes I focus on photography, sometimes I write, write, write, and sometimes I limit myself on both and simply open myself up to inspiration. Lately I’ve been in a writing intensive phase and haven’t taken a lot of photos. I also haven’t gone out much lately. Mostly I’ve been at home, working, writing and chillin’ with my cat. I almost didn’t post anything for Sinful Sunday, but then I decided this image is a perfect depiction of  my mood during the past few weeks…

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Sinful Sunday

Little Red

From the time she was a little girl, Little Red’s mother always told her who she was. You’re so sweet, she’d say, so innocent and kind. You’re so beautiful, with your perfect, pale skin and deep, shining blue eyes.

Every day she dressed her in frills and lace, tying her pigtails neatly, lacing her little body up tight with a cream colored corset, layering on petticoats and stockings. The finishing touch was always her flowing red cape, the only color in her various ensembles.

Little Red’s mother never let her leave their home or their yard, warning her of the dangers in the neighboring woods. She said there was a Big Bad Wolf out there, a huge, ugly creature with sharp teeth who ate little girls. Whenever she heard strange sounds from the forest at night, Little Red pulled the covers over her face, afraid the wolf would come to get her.

Little Red tried her best to be a good girl, hiding behind her hood whenever she went outside. She kept her eyes low and her voice soft. Little Red always did as she was told.

But as years passed and Little Red matured, she grew tired of the itchy lace, the restrictive clothing, and most of all, the expectation that she would always be perfect Little Red, quiet and proper.

One day, while Little Red’s mother went to town for a few days, Little Red grew bored and restless. She wandered outside, yearning to know what was beyond their picket fence. The summer’s heat was suffocating, and she felt like she might faint. If her mother had been around, she would have told her to go inside and lie down, to rest. But Little Red was tired of listening to mother.

Beads of sweat dripping down her back, Little Red decided to try to cool off, so she could explore further. She kicked off her shoes and peeled off her stockings, instantly relieved by the freeing feeling of air on her bare legs. She pulled off her petticoat, and after some struggle, managed to untie her corset, letting it drop to the ground. She removed everything except her cape, since she’d always liked it. It was the only color in her monotonous life.

As she walked towards the front gate, Little Red caught a glimpse of her reflection in the silver mailbox and was surprised by what she saw: two round, perky breasts, a small waist, curvy hips, a little bush of hair between her legs, and a slit of flesh below it.  She’d never really looked at herself naked before, at least not all together at once. She realized she was beautiful, even without the lace and the gowns.

With only her cape, Little Red ran away from her house and into the woods, afraid of what she might find, but tired of feeling scared, sheltered, and weak. The terrain was uneven, so she used a long stick that she found to help her along her trek. So far nothing seemed frightening,  and the sound of birds singing comforted her.

As she came around a large tree, Little Red saw something peculiar on the ground. At first she was thought it was some sort of small creature, but it wasn’t moving. She approached it cautiously, and found that it was a long white and grey tail, but it didn’t belong to any animal. When she picked it up, she realized it had a piece of glass attached to it, as if it were some sort of decoration.

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Confused, Little Red sat in front of the big tree, feeling the smooth glass and running her fingers through the soft fur. She had no idea what it was for, but she sat there for a while, mesmerized by its beauty.

The longer she held the tail, the more Little Red realized how unhappy she’d been lately, how sad and unsatisfied. She petted the smooth fur as she thought, calmed by it. For a moment she considered returning home with the tail, so she could find out who it belonged to, when suddenly she realized, beyond a doubt, that the tail was in fact meant for her.

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As if by magic, the glass piece attached to the tail was cold despite the heat outside, and Little Red dragged it across her bare skin, first on her neck and around her breasts, then moving lower. Her skin tingled, and wetness blossomed between her thighs. Her eyes, which were usually wide, half closed as she moaned, her legs shaking and her breath wavering, as she reached her first high of orgasmic pleasure.

Afterwards, Little Red collapsed in a heap on the ground, panting. Now she knew why her mother had tried to hide her beneath layers of clothing, and why she wouldn’t let her alone in the forest. Little Red had discovered the power her body was capable of. She wasn’t a perfect little porcelain girl at all, she was meant to be wild. Nothing could stop her.

She shed her cape, the last thing holding her back, and lay on the forest floor, writhing in the leaves and dirt, the sun warming her naked flesh. Little Red finally knew what to do. She took the cool glass piece of the tail and rolled over on her side, touching herself. As she reached her second orgasm, she pushed the glass into herself from behind. She gasped as it entered her, as she transformed.

She rose from the ground, reborn, blood coursing through her veins with a heat from deep within her. She saw the red cape on the ground and almost didn’t recognize it.

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She wasn’t Little Red anymore.

She laughed at the thought of who she’d once been, that scared, frilly little girl. She got on all fours and wagged her tail, growling. A fierce, lustful hunger consumed her.

***

When Little Red’s mother finally returned home from town, she was distraught to find that Little Red wasn’t in her room. As she looked all around the house, she heard a chilling howl in the distance, a sound unlike anything she’d heard before. It resembled that of a wolf, but slightly higher pitched, and much more frightening. She shuddered, worried that she’d never see her Little Red again.

Photography: Epic Studios

Model: Me

Tail: Crystal Delights Arctic Marble Fox

Sinful Sunday

Sushi and Boobs

pennysblog_sushiandboobsYesterday I had fun eating sushi, wearing Thai nipple clamps, and shooting photos, simultaneously. I didn’t put them on very tight, but they still stung quite a bit by the time I removed them, in a good way though!

I’m also submitting this as my 1st Boobday photo, a meme I’ve been meaning to participate in for awhile now.

So… sushi & boobs anyone?

wickedwed

Elise and Her New Toy

Elise and Her New ToyMy friend Elise sent me this sexy image to share in my first ever guest post. She said she snapped the photo for someone special and didn’t even realize that her new toy was out on the counter…what a happy accident! Her gorgeous figure, mysterious pose, and accidental prop make this one hot photo! I’m honored that she thought of my blog  to share it. Maybe we’ll see more of her soon… ;)

His for the Night

It was my first time.
I knew he could tell;
His blue eyes reflected
My nervousness, and
His excitement.

“Take off your panties,” he said,
“Leave your heels on.”
I tried my best to look calm
As I slid them off, slowly.
His look was like a touch,

Moving from my feet to my legs,
Pausing at my cunt, then up
To my stomach,
My breasts,
My neck, lingering
On my face.

My skin tingled.
By the time he kissed me,
I was already wet.

He didn’t have to say the words,
I could feel them.
His rough hands pulled me in.

“You’re mine,” they said.

His for the NightPhoto of Jake and I by Steve DeMent Photography

*This image was published in  Fetfan Magazine Issue 04 (p.28)

Sinful Sunday