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I went out yesterday with Olivia here and told her that my only goal from shooting was to come out of it with a black and white nude. It is strange, the urges that we have as artists. My last two pictures have been over-the-top surreal compared to this, and admittedly that is what keeps me ticking and what excites me the most. But I suddenly had an urge for a picture more like this one...less glitz and trickery, something back to my always beloved theme of human vs. nature.

I didn't quite make my goal of b/w, but sometimes you have to listen to what a picture is telling you, so I added a very slight warm hue to it. To me, the picture called for it. Those branches are ones that I had seen several times, so I decided to gather them up and create a shell around her as she held that surprisingly painful pose. I think I said to her several times while shooting "Pretend like this is your last breath", and every time I snapped the camera I pretended it was mine as well.

Those clouds that I added felt like smoke to me, or exhalation, but I had to tone them down to let the sticks and skin show through: a cage trapping mortal flesh. Another thing that I set out to do was to create a rather "photographic" image, since b/w always yells photograph! to me...but I also wanted it to look painterly in the texturing. My brain works in juxtapositions: for every element in a photo, there is usually an opposing detail.

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