This photo is one such example. Shot with a time lapse effect, the water smoothed out over the duration of the exposure causing an unexpected "polished" effect, vaguely resembling our studio floor.
We were intrigued with the possibility that such an exquisitely beautiful image might be reproducible or at least emulated in the studio. We're always looking for ways to push the boundaries of our abilities further.
In our considerations were creating at least some kind of plausible background. A complex cloud and distant boat structure were possible, but not necessary to capturing the essence of the shot. What was important for realism was emulating a distinct, glowing horizon. The horizon is what gives the image a feeling of "depth".
I often mention to my students that as photographers we do not have the luxury that videographers have in conveying a sense of depth in a scene. A great shot will have to capture that sense through careful composition of elements in the shot, as well as traditional camera techniques such as a wide aperture and careful focus.
Next was creating that mysterious water element. While our floor did indeed provide the reflective glow captured in the original shot, we decided to try a technique that would give us the flexibility of different lighting options. The result ironically is a look that resembles reality more than our original shot. The "water" has a rolling, wave-like texture to it which is not reminiscent of the typical studio environment.
So oddly, our in-the-field shot looks vaguely studio-like, and our studio set up looks vaguely real. The important thing is that both techniques result in very beautiful environments that can be used to complement the unparalleled beauty of the female form.