“Femme Fatale” by Shelley Harvey

This image was taken at the end of a long day shooting an array of different scenarios with this model. The day was a extremely hot and I was dealing with harsh sunlight conditions. Making the most of the natural light, I used a white gazebo to shoot in to act like a large natural light soft box. I had seen this technique used in a Creative Live video. I had this length of sheer red fabric that I found at a second hand shop and I originally thought I would use it in a water shoot in the lake, but opted to soak it in water then place over my model instead (great way to cool her down too). I wanted to create a fine art nude without exploiting the female form, the emphasis being on the beautiful curves and shape of the female figure. I shoot with a Nikon D810. For this particular image I was using the 24mm to 70mm to allow me to remain in the shade of the gazebo yet get the full length of the model into the frame. My settings were 1/800 f2.8 ISO 200 38mm. The original background was a dark brown grunge texture and didn’t work very well with the red, so once in Photoshop, I copied an area of the red fabric and replaced the background with this, using selective colour to alter the tone of the red. I instantly loved how the red on red worked and knew I was onto something pretty special. Working with Nik Filters by DXO Lab, I continued to process the image, extracting more detail in the fabric folds on the body, adding depth and light, then using the liquify filter to finesse areas around the model’s head and body. I love the tone on tone is this image and am looking at working on a series of images like this to form a portfolio for my fine art nude collection.

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

Red being the colour of power and passion – this image with the red subject on a red background makes a powerful statement. The implied nude. Had she been clothed this image would not have worked – this is an image of power, passion and lust.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

I would place the hair better under the cloth and also accentuate the curve at her hip more.

Shelley Harvey shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Shelley Harvey, Twizel, New Zealand


Equipment and settings

Nikon D810
1/800 sec., f/2.8, ISO200, 38mm

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Comments (2):

  1. Terrance Wimmer

    December 30, 2021 at 07:42

    Very nice! I too like the red on red. I see your desire to try a series of tone on tone. It would be interesting to see if other colors are as powerful. Nice work.

  2. Adrien Q. Seffrin

    January 15, 2022 at 03:45

    This is Beautiful. A powerful yet sympathetic photo maintaining dignity and poise. Beautiful…


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