Nude female photography
An example of nude female photography, with a swimmer central to the composition. An array of patterns of blue and white encircle the nude form.
This limited-edition photograph depicts a female nude swimming in brilliant azure water. Although her eyes are closed, the subject’s coquettish display divulges an awareness of being viewed. Only her upper back, head, and buttocks emerge into the air; the latter implausibly high in relation to her body. The rest of her is underwater, still visible, although distorted by refraction and movement. Her smooth skin and sleek wet hair are set against the tumultuous surface of the water, which ripples, dimples, and splashes.
The title, aquatic setting, narrative, and even the subject’s red-gold hair make a connection to the tradition of depicting love, intimacy, and beauty. This art nude plays on that theme both metaphorically and literally, as parts of the protagonist’s body rise up out of the water.
The swimmer just above the vertical center with a bit more room in front of her than behind. If you imagine a line through the center, you’ll see she’s on top of it. The horizontal positioning is subtle but gives the feeling she is entering rather than exiting.
A variety of patterns surround her as light and shadows play over the water. Droplets sprinkle down from out of the frame, riffling the water in the bottom half of the composition. The intersection of hundreds of concentric circles creates a stippled pattern of reflections. Intentionally blurred droplets are visible over the swimmer’s body, generating dynamic motion even in a still image.
Behind the swimmer, the water moves more languorously, creating abstract patterns of light and shadow. However, immediately behind her feet, the puckered surface implies a strong kick. The water along the top of the image and in front of the subject is darkened by shadow, giving the sense of unknown depths.
With her mouth open to inhale or exhale she may be preparing to dive, have just broken the surface. These dual narrative possibilities allow the viewer to complete the story however they choose. Perhaps Venus has risen and now she must return to the deep, or maybe she’ll soon grace the viewer with her presence on land.
The cool tones of the water contrast dramatically with the swimmer’s warm, sun-kissed skin and fiery copper hair. The variety of textures and tones in the water draws the viewer’s eye in a circular motion around the composition, always ultimately landing on the female figure. This visual pathway is reinforced by the rotational symmetry created by the light and shadows on the water, similar to a yin-yang symbol.