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This is the latest in my occasional series of stories about the naked outdoor photography I have been involved with on and off for 20 years. After writing last time about the tricks to minimize the risks, I thought I would write about some of the riskier ones and more difficult ones.
The riskiest often involved photos I did alone, but also have included other people as well. When alone you have the added time it takes to set the shot, set the timer, strip and pose, and then redress. When using the timer, you either strip and then press the timer or you learn to press and get naked before the timer gets to zero. This is when its useful to wear as few clothes as possible when going on a photo trip. The drawback then is if you have a moving background, as it’s hard to get the shot. Due to this problem, my first naked with animals in shot took a lot of time naked and a lot of luck. I had to put the camera on the tripod in the right places, set the timer and strip, and hope the animal stayed still. Naturally, the animals didn’t play fair so I ended up naked and surrounded by horses as I gave up dressing and redressing. The shot worked out in the end, but took an age.
Similarly, the first roadside dare took time as it was easy to have a road in the background but harder to get a vehicle. Even when I did this dare with a photographer it took multiple times to have a decent shot with traffic present. When I did it alone I just had to hope that traffic passed at the right time or I could judge that a vehicle I could hear would take exactly ten seconds to arrive.
The ten seconds seems to take forever if you worry you will be seen, but is over in a flash if you try and get naked and pose. When you're outdoors and in a public area the wait seems longer still. The first time I did the waterfall dare I knew I had to pose where I could be seen from almost any direction but could hide till the last second. It worked OK, but anything could have happened as the first time I would have known people were there would have been when they saw me.
The riskiest of all I did or did with another person were the video walks done naked. Basically, have the tripod set in one place or the photographer in one place and then the naked person walks as far away from the camera as they dare. We used fields or paths for this, again where we could have been seen any time. Of course, if seen, we would be naked and probably well away from our clothing. One time when I was filming, my then-partner had walked away from me down a path we thought would be safe when a Land Rover started approaching on a parallel path less then 50 feet away. All she could do was duck down, wait for it to go, and then turn around and walk back towards me. It was always a thrill to be naked and away from safety but also risky.
There were many more risky ones we wanted to do but didn’t have the chance for. These usually involved other people being in shot or nearby. We did do one shot with a nearby bridge and had to time it for workmen who were nearby. The workmen had walked to an office near the bridge, once inside my partner stripped and the shot happened. Later that day we posed on a path beneath another path; we couldn’t see the above path so anyone could appear. Still, these aren’t the hardest ones to achieve. Hopefully I can get my girlfriend to join me in posing, or at least helping with picture taking.