It is our penance for living on the East Coast, especially in the Northern parts. While most parts of America have times of year that are struggles, mother nature never quite loosens her grip on us. We get brief, very brief reprieves between the heat and humidity and the hurricanes before the frigid deep freeze and blizzards begin. This winter has been especially relentless with 3 blizzards, each two days a part as a treat surrounding our Valentines.
I think that is why the above image made me smile so widely. I will forgive the photographer, Robt W Hall for his California location for catching such a fun and sexy tribute to winter and winter sports. Model and actor Federico Pedroni provides the heat, looking especially Federico Pedroni hot gazing at Elisa wearing nothing but a hat, a ski and his incredible grin. Hopefully we will be seeing more of Robt's work on FH soon!
Many of you might have seen Cole, and a bevy of other beauties in magazines and on-line promoting Barney's NY. The images, and video come from photographer Bruce Weber and you can check out more videos from the series on Vimeo HERE:
Anyone who has spent long pieces of time outside during the winter understands how the winter sun has a power far beyond what the sun of summer can possibly offer. Winter is long, dark and often dreary and many people choose to spend much their time inside, away from the warmth of the winter sun and sky. It is that warmth that makes the winter sun so special. It isn't so much a warmth derived from heat, it is more a warmth stemming from the light. With so many long, cloudy dark days, when the sun does manage to break through, spreading it's light and warmth over land, water and snow it's impact is much more precious, especially given how rare and infrequent it occurs.
It is this feeling of warmth that drew me to the work of 25 years old Georgia based photographer Preston Woods. The first image of Preston's I saw was the full nude of Cody, the third to last image below. It took me back a few years when winters meant hours cross country skiing in the fields near my home. There would be periods of darkness, even in the middle of the afternoon. Then, without warning, I would round a corner, or a cloud would pass by, revealing, if just for moment, the incredible warmth and light as it appears in Preston's image, streaming through the tree's behind and above Cody's naked body.
Preston is new to photography, only have begun a few months ago. As a professional actor and dancer, Preston has always loved creating beautiful things and capturing them permanently, seemed a natural next step. 'I kind of lucked into getting a camera from a friend, trading an old ipad for a camera which turned out to be a fortuitous circumstance. Then, I started asking random people to let me play with them and my passion began.' Preston's winter trip into the woods with Cody as only his second shoot with his new camera. Preston's first few shoots resulted in a lot of positive feedback from friends and he is hoping his knack for shooting the male form will be the foundation for many future epic photographic experiences.
Preston and Cody were friends from college and had known each other for awhile and when Preston asked him to model, Cody was immediately on board. They began shooting in an old abandoned train station and Preston was pleased with the results. Although it was freezing out, then went on to a second location. somewhere without anyone around, deep into the woods. Preston shares that in addition to the frigid temperatures, he had to overcome his newness to photographing the male form. Especially challenging was concentrating on shooting all the while balancing his timid nature being around a completely naked and attractive man.
'I have always loved the feel of mother nature and being natural which is a huge theme in my photos. I want to capture people in candid moments that really showcase the best within them.'
The nudity wasn't completely planned, after shooting Cody in the poncho outfit, then with the crystals, he decided just to ask...'Will you get nude?'. Being a new photographer, Preston wasn't exactly sure how Cody would respond, but he needn't have worried. Without missing a beat, Cody was in and the poncho was off and they went quickly on to the next set up. 'Cody laid down and I put the crystals on his body to shoot the Chakra alignment image, which involved a lot of me scrambling around and getting in the dirt, and me mostly being nervous and awkward around his naked body. Then I decided to push the envelope and said put on this hat. And thus the final set of images were born!'
Cody being so comfortable eventually led to Preston relaxing and snapping away. His goal was to juxtapose Cody's nakedness with the winter setting which inspired the gems, the hat and most of the resulting images. Preston says it was a bit of challenge to ensure all of the poses and set ups appeared natural. Cody's eventual goal is to be a fitness model, so Preston had to remind him to relax, and not feel the need to flex all of his beautiful muscles in every shot. I would have to say Preston and Cody pulled it off with some incredible images which beautifully, and erotically, incorporate Cody's amazing body and penetrating eyes with the natural location and the warmth of the winter's sun.
'Green Tea. gemstones, and yoga. I loved the shoot. Connect with nature everyday!'