Monday, May 15, 2017

As One With Nature by Mark Leighton

'Sixteen male models, as nature intended, on beautiful beaches.'

Going back to 2008, I have been lucky to have featured many of those sixteen models on FH, thanks to the generosity and support of photographer Mark Leighton. As One With Nature is Mark's new photo book that he calls a sort of retrospective on the many models he has shot along the scenic beaches ad coast of Lagos as well as some of the other incredible locations Mark has visited on his photographic vacations.

I am not sure Mark could have come up with a more perfect name for the book than At One With Nature. Every time I feature Mark's work, I am reminded how seamlessly Mark blends the model and location that he is shooting. Many photographers 'take' models to the beach to shoot. The beach is a natural environment for people to be wearing little or no clothing, so it makes sense to use a beach location when shooting the male form.

Many of these photographers however, don't seem to see the beach as more than a backdrop, and the images fail to really resonate. It's like when film producers and directors use green screen. Sometimes it works, but more times than not, it rings false. You know what you're supposed to see and feel, yet you know what you're seeing is not real.

The authenticity Mark creates, comes from connection, both his, and model's, connection to their environment. The men move, feel and interact with their environment like it's a part of them. Not a beach they are visiting, but a place they belong. You can feel the sand on their bodies and sun on their skin and the coolness and energy of the incoming waves. Mark's images are also beautifully timeless and he is very careful with his use of fashion, props and 'extras'. You rarely seen anything in Mark's images that point to a date or period of time.

As One With The Nature is available in hard copy form, and as well as digital download which is available immediately. Head over to Blurb and check out a preview of the book HERE:

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