August 09, 1997

Aeyla in the Woods (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

What began as a sunny, hot day was deceptive - Aeyla picked me up at 10 am and we drove to the coast - to find fog. We even waited and ate lunch, but no luck - the fog stayed. Not willing to waste the day, and braving the threat of bugs, we went into the woods - inland there wasn't a hint of the shrouds which enveloped the coast. I have not spent a great deal of time working with the Nude in woods, so the opportunity to expand this area of my work was more than enough to compensate for the lost opportunity at the coast.
6x12 cm film
Aeyla had never modeled in woods before, and both of us found it a difficult and challenging setting. The close quarters presented far fewer obvious vistas for imaging in, and there were the bugs to contend with (I cannot overstate the issue of bugs - Aeyla was terribly indulgent - but even with bug stuff, we both got bit!). The only small wonder was that the woods we worked in were fairly open, with lots of paths and trails. It would have been a much different story if they had been like 99% of Nova Scotian forests - dark and full of overgrowth.
4"x5" film
The main problem with photographing in woods is that they are dark - where I would usually expect to use shutter-speeds of 1/30 of a second, I often have to resort to 1/2 or even a full second in the forest. This changes the images somewhat, and forced me to be a little more deliberate about the images - some photos simply couldn't be made the way I envisioned them because of lack of light.
4"x5" film
I really enjoy working in woods when the images work, but, more often than not, I am frustrated without the light levels, and the sheer lack of variation - trees only grow in one direction generally, and Nova Scotian forests are not renowned for their variation. I will keep working with the Nude in woods, but feel far more compelled to place the body on rocks - even in the midst of trees.

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