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Honest Review of “Fine Art Boudoir – The Earthen Bathtub” Video Training

7/10/2016 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Dan Hostettler, a master photographer  in Sexy Women Photography,  has written this review about Fine Art Boudoir for us. Dan has an exciting new project: " My Big, Sexy Photo Adventure ". He will travel to Australia next year to do something different about sexy photography.  Be Part Of It! More info HERE

What’s It About?

Over 6 hours video training about boudoir styled photography: soft, sensual, meaningful, classy, alluring, and implied nude. 4 sets, all shot in one bathtub in a tiny space. Comprehensive step-by-step training from the first concept idea to the final imagery – led by accomplished photographer Pye. The Tut’s methodology lets you replicate the full process (or selected parts thereof) with your daily gear, speedlights, post software and low(est)-level budget.

Who’s This Tutorial For?

In short: definitely for amateur with a solid knowledge of their camera settings (manual mode, but the thoughtful way) and lighting basics (gear, light quality, shadow patterns, directions).

For everybody who’s not on this level yet, SLRLounge (the producer of this tutorial) conveniently has 3 trainings at hand that are all about these missing foundations: Photography 101, Lighting 101 and Lighting 102.

Of course I also recommend this Boudoir tut to less-knowledge-filled beginners: for inspirational reasons and to keep pushing you to take on the next level. You will surely learn a lot and understand most, yet certain referrals (light & cam settings) will probably make some additional research work (= foundation level-up) from your side necessary.

If you’re interested in (Fine Art) Boudoir and eager to level-up/learn: Go ahead!

Tut Goals: Setting & Educator

The Earthen Bathtub claims to be a premium all-in-one tutorial, covering the full aspects of a boudoir production: From conception to finished product (= imagery for clients).

Other than the promo video might suggest, we are not on the sets/shoot for the most part. We are rather watching Pye (our talented host) explain the production process, the shoot approach, and the full post production process where he’s sitting at his desk, computer screen in front, ready to demonstrate and accentuate his topics and talking points. Aside from the screen, Gear (cam, strobes, modifiers) is present too.

This concept setup naturally leads to a lot of talk, accompanied with (rather short) shooting documentary inserts, good sample imagery from other shoots and – of course – the resulting imagery that gets surveyed, explained and extensively post processed.

Don’t get me wrong: The talking points are most valid, comprehensively dealt with, informative and stringent. The tutorial’s structure is well and logically organized. Pye himself is an original character that you’ll like to watch and listen to.

Pye, the US-based host & co-founder of SLRLounge, is an accomplished photographer doing several hundred people photography assignments per year – so he absolutely knows what he’s talking about. Over and over again, this pot of vast experience (= knowledge) leads to valuable and classy tips popping up in Pye’s mind during the actual presentation without any warning, yet pleasingly refreshing.

Throughout the whole time, Pye is demonstrating, analyzing and illustrating all steps with a knowledgeable tone (but adding a cool squint of not taking himself too seriously). Why is this important, you ask? Well, you will accompany and listen to this guy for over 6 hours …

Structure & Methodology

Wrapped in 21 videos, this tut dissects every single aspect of such a shoot, fortunately including the concept/planning approach and – most beneficial – the various failures (see paragraph below).

Each of the four sets is divided in talk-about, on-screen demonstrations and documentary inserts. Pye leads us fluidly and coherently from section to section, and much to my pleasure there are no obvious cliffhangers built-in into the flow. You can easily watch the videos independently (like the Photoshop parts, for example) – although it’s strongly advised to watch an entire set in the given order of the course J.

Topics: Anything & Everything Condensed

OK, here we go with the overview of what you will get with regards to the topics handled. Listing is neither complete nor prioritizing.

  • Pre-production: Collecting imagery ideas, mood boards, consistency in final results, team communication, location selection, props, preparing the shoot in-house, call sheet.
  • Gear talk: Everyday strobes (= speedlights), generic light modifiers (= inexpensive), simple tools & helpers (= $5 cardboards). Triggering, focal length/lens choice. For cams with x-sync/hot shoe.
  •  Set concepts: Basic look idea, message, mood, implementation strategy.
  • Lighting on set: Start always with one light. Light quality, modifier tweaks, shaping, re-planning/star-over, directions & swappings, flagging & bouncing, gobo helpers & ideas.
  •  Model on-set-collaboration & posing hints: Positive notes, encouragement, trust building, how to handle delicate situations, thoughtful behavior. Asymmetric posing & forms, facial directions & glances, mouth, lips & expressions/moods. Arms, hands, wrist, body positioning. Natural, comfortable & relaxed implied nudes. 
  • Shooting angles: Utilize your set, shoot different angles. You will be astonished!
  • Special: Fog machine adds to a certain mood. Inexpensive, mobile, effective.
  • Post 1 – Lightroom: Images selection, surveying, testing styles and crops, first enhancements with gradation masks, style presets & filters, first dodge & burn.
  • Post 2 - Photoshop: Skin & hair retouching. Frequency separation the easy way. Liquefying shapes and mood the ethical way. Object removal, improving compositional aspects and creating final images (= product ready for print).
It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? I assess this as most positive :D

Post Processing Is Important And Has It’s Room Here

After having processed the full tutorial and realizing what I’ve learned (= instant takeaways), one thing became very clear: Post production work is a very crucial part of creating these (commercial) products for your clients.

While a solid, creatively applied shooting is of course the foundation, you will never get impressive imagery client-ready without a meaningful and cultivated style in your (fast to apply) post processing workflow. 

Having said this: the tutorial profoundly concentrates on the “after-shoot” work, namely selecting photos (with a strategy), first touch-ups and creative enhancements (= Lightroom) and then retouching, cloning, liquefying, cropping and final composition work (= Photoshop).

“Fails”: A Highlight! Special Mentioning Necessary

Besides the obvious material that’s crucial to cover, we get an additional angle and insight connected with such shoots presented here: fails and challenges!

All starts with the challenges: A) The shooting location turns out to be much smaller than expected. B) Pye forgot a few light modifiers (despite the extensive planning). C) Working with fog is always a bit of a gamble… – pea soup fog means dull images, if it is too light structured, it creates no effect at all… and so forth. D) Experimenting with gobos (go-betweens= objects between light source and subject). The list – as you know from your own experience – could go on…

The point in this tut is: 1) All challenges were solved one or another way. We get valid and insightful info on “how to” alongside the training. 2) We get to see “failures” in final imagery, mostly due to experimenting (= trying out additional variations of a set after the keepers are shot). Pye is pushing us to experiment by all means (if schedule permits). “It’s the only way to learn new things, discover principles that work and explore techniques you actually will be able to intentionally employ in your future shoots”. Sure, we end up with a pile of junk – but hey, it’s digital junk.

This point of view and advice of Pye is a most valid statement. And it’s a courageous act on his side to let share this process with us.


Well thought-out, simple to replicate shoot process and settings. Solid, in-detail and creative post process work. Appealing (commercial) results = alluring imagery.

This training offers inspiration and knowledge on a complete implementation process, challenges associated with it and on top of it all, it is stuffed with a plethora of side notes.

Pye and his team are proofing that appealing (commercial solid) results can be done “low budget”.

In order to strengthen your next meaningful boudoir shoot, all you need are takeaways from this tutorial’s knowledge and – of course – your own methodology to set your creativity free.

Fine Art Boudoir Premium Tutorial – The Earthen Bathtub will most definitely help you to level-up your photographic expertise.

You Will Get:
  • Insights, Knowledge & Tips: Idea, Prep, Collaboration, Shooting 4 Sets, Full Post Processing in Lightroom & Photohop
  • Host: Pye, Photographer & SLR Lounge Co-Founder
  • 21 videos, 6.5h, 1080p
  • 13 RAW Files (.CR2) for practicing
  • 1 Photoshop Action “Frequency Separation” 

You can buy for only $49 on

 About The Reviewer: Dan Hostettler

Dan Hostettler is actively working as a commercial photographer for over 20 years. Over some more than a decade, Dan has been specializing in Sexy Women Photography, receiving worldwide assignments in the beauty/lingerie/glam industry and is also frequently published on an international basis.

Dan has a new exciting project: " My Big, Sexy Photo Adventure ". He will travel to Australia next year to do something different. Be Part Of It!

Visit his new project  Sexy Women Photography

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