July 20, 1997

A Beach Session (Rainbowhaven Beach, Nova Scotia)

I'd never been to Rainbow Haven Beach before, even though it's the largest true beach close to Halifax. The day was perfect for photos - heavy overcast, and though there was a strong breeze offshore, the wind went straight overhead, leaving us all in relative calm.
4"x5" film
Something that became apparent to me only after the session was how the influence of Joy's work on mine was creeping out of the abstract rock images, and into my nudes. Last summer was the first time I'd incorporated water in my nudes - this summer's equivalent seems to be reflections, mirrors and metaphors. Joy's gift to my work is the challenge she gives, and the thought processes she provokes.
4"x5" film

Later on in the afternoon, I began to see images that called for a figure. Many of the rock formations that flowed into the sand spoke clearly to me both as images alone, and as a stage for the nude. I hadn't worked with Sasha before, but we immediately had a good report, and he is an excellent model, exploring sites and spaces as I set up, and then suggesting possible poses, which we then worked to refine. 
6x12 cm film
I began the afternoon working on more rock-sand-water images, drawing upon the dialogue between Joy and me. It is surprising how much another point of view can change your perspective on things. The images coming from Joy's poetry and letters are radical for me, images I would never have made without her insight. Where I usually spend time working with an image, improving it and shaping it through my camera, the Joy images speak to me so clearly when I see them , finishing the image in the camera is almost effortless. 

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