Bill Brandt's nudes are photographs which question and challenge. He uses the nude as a vehicle to investigate form, shape and pattern and he has certainly been the biggest influence on my black and white photographs of that most contentious of genres, the nude.
Unlike Brandt's nudes I do not show the model's face. My focus is entirely on the curves and intersections of the human body, sometimes in quite an abstract way, especially when I focus in on a small detail. The other influence on my nudes are Renaissance and classical marble sculptures. In order to accentuate the shape of a hip or a breast, an elbow or a knee, even the curve of a backbone, my nudes are high contrast, the flesh pure marble white, the shadows often little more than a pencil line or a subtle dark shading that barely hints at the shape it defines.
This approach places an enormous emphasis on lighting and I always use natural daylight. The smallest of shifts and turns of the body towards or away from the light source (usually a single window) can make a significant difference; either it flattens the image, thereby losing the subtlety of the effect or, conversely, it draws attention to a beautiful, often overlooked part of the body, photographically speaking, like the shoulder blade or scapula by sculpting it with shadow.