(NSFW) Beauty in Simplicity: an Ode to Minimal Black and White Nudes

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All images by Lachlan Walker. Used with permission. Also please remember to fund our Kickstarter.

Instagram: @lachlanjames_

Website; lachlanwalkercreative.tumblr.com

My name is Lachlan Walker, I’m a 23 year old photographer from Melbourne, Australia. Photography is omething relatively new for me. 

Up until 2 and a half years ago I’d never touched a camera in my life. It was only when I met my girlfriend, who had always had a passion for photography, that I first picked up a camera. It was an old Nikon D3000, not much good on a technical level, but it was enough to spark my interest.

A few months later I purchased my first camera of my own, a Canon AE-1 Program. 

This was the camera that made me fall in love with photography in a big way. 

This was also the camera that gave me such an appreciation of black and white photography. 

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I almost exclusively shot Ilford HP5+ and through this I think I developed a real sense of seeing light and shadow in my photography. I’d always known it played a role in capturing a good image, but it wasn’t until I started shooting black and white film that I really understood (without the distraction of colour) just how important it was. 

 Today I shoot with a Fuji X-Pro 1 and my work is almost exclusively colour, but I still use what I learnt from shooting black and white film in the early days of my photography every single time I pick up my camera. I honestly think if I had just one tip for someone starting out with photography, it would be to get an old film camera and shoot black and white until you really get an understanding of the role light and shadow play in your images. 

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 Anyway, that’s my back story and how I got into photography, and why I have such an appreciation for black and white images, let me tell you a little about my project ‘Beauty in Simplicity’ and how it came to be.

Early on with my photography I almost exclusively shot landscapes however after a while I started to find them relatively boring, so I started moving towards lifestyle/fashion work. 

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I absolutely loved the challenge of working with a subject, getting to know them and capturing a real sense of who they were as a person.

While I still thoroughly enjoy lifestlye/fashion work, and professionally it’s what I intend to continue doing, I’d always toyed with the idea of somehow combining my landscape and lifestyle/fashion photography, which is how my ‘Beauty in Simplicity’ project was born.

The purpose of the project is exactly as it sounds, to find beauty in simplicity. I wanted to shoot my subjects in minimalistic landscapes in black and white. I didn’t want the distraction of colour to take anything away from the model and how they were a part of the landscape.

I also wanted to shoot my models topless/nude for this project to further add to the idea of ‘beauty in simplicity’. 

To me the female body is the most beautiful thing on this planet, much more so than any lake, mountain, river etc. I wanted to make a point with these images that nudity doesn’t equal sex. Society continues to sexualise and objectify the female body in such a horrible way, and I really wanted to show that skin doesn’t necessarily have to be seen as something sexual or ‘offensive’. 

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This whole project is about stripping everything right back to the bare minimum and just showing things for what they truly are with no distractions.

I think the fact that I was able to show friends and family, especially my mother and grandmother these images and have them understand the point I was making proves that I’ve somewhat succeeded in what I was trying to achieve. 

I think black and white imagery will always play a part not only in my photography, but in photography in general. As a learning tool it is invaluable.

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