December 24, 1998

1998's Final Session (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

6x6 cm film
Though Michelle and I had worked outdoors together a couple of times this year, this was our first opportunity to work together exclusively (without other models around). Being late December, and outdoor session wasn't an option, so we went into the studio.
6x6 cm infrared film
As Michelle hadn't posed in a studio before, I didn't bring any view cameras, instead spending the session working with a classic Hasselblad 500c/m and a portrait lens. The simpler approach permitted us both to work swiftly, and fostered a spontaneity and energy to the session which paid of in both volume and success.
6x6 cm film
It is no accident that this session focused almost elusively on portrait images; Michelle's presence in front of the camera drew the eye to her face, and I made the most of that strength throughout this session.

December 18, 1998

Lilly in the Studiom (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

My second last session of 1998 was probably the most casual studio session I have ever done. After Lilly and I finished up our real reason for being in the studio (Lilly trades me figure modeling for more traditional photographic services) she asked if I wanted to do some nudes, as we still had an hour in the studio. I had brought along a couple of rolls of slide film for that very possibility, so we reloaded the camera, and went to work.
35mm transparency film
Given I had not been sure if Lilly would be up for modelling nude, I came to the studio with little in mind as far as images go. All the nude images were created spontaneously, drawing as much from Lilly's poses as my own ideas. After two months of printing in the darkroom, it was a pleasure simply to have a camera in my hands, and make images. I purposely opted to work with slide film, as opposed to my usual black and white negative film. I knew I wouldn't have time to produce any images with larger negatives. 35mm slides have a wonderful immediacy to them, which in some ways makes up for their small size. Given that the session was more an exercise in camera work than a serious attempt at image making., I was willing to accept the compromises involved with staying with 35mm format.
35mm transparency film
The other element which I changed in this session was my camera. As opposed to working with my 35mm Nikon FM2 and fixed focal-length lenses, I tried out the new Canon EOS 3, and the 28-135 IS (Image stabilized) lens. I had read glowing reports about the EOS 3 body, and was very interested in putting it through its paces. The 35-135 IS lens gained no advantage from its image stabilization in the studio, a feature designed for use with very low shutter speeds. The lens is, however, reputed to be very sharp, thus I was curious how this expensive amateur zoom would work in the studio.

The EOS 3 was a delight to work with - the 45 point auto focus worked very well, both vertically and horizontally, and while the Eye-Controlled focus was a little inconsistent, I would be more inclined to put this down to the lack of learning time for the camera than to claim the eye-controlled focus was inaccurate.
35mm transparency film
The performance of the lens is another issue all together. While I suspect most people would find it more than acceptable, it had major flaws when set against images produced with fixed lenses. The sharpness I am used to was simply not there, which I realize is no surprise, but the biggest surprise was how lazy the zoom made me in my image creation. With fixed lenses I usually chose the lens which best suits the image, but with the zoom, I composed with the lens, paying little attention to the effect of the focal length on the image. My only concern was with the composition, much to the detriment to some of the images.

While the EOS 3 is certainly a camera to covet, for me the combination of the body and the zoom lens simply didn't work. I plan to stick with my fixed focal-length lenses. The slight price of having to change them more often is small compared to the increase in the quality of the image produced, both technically and aesthetically.

October 18, 1998

Ingrid on a Cool Fall Afternoon (Polly Cove, Nova Scotia)

Having just read the above, it may come as a surprise that two weeks later found me once more working in chilly conditions, again with the intrepid Ingrid, and again trying to make the view camera work under adverse conditions. This time, for whatever reasons, I was more successful, and out of 15 sheets of large format film, there are three definite successes.

Rather than working with water or woods, this session was set in familiar territory - the glacial barrens that make up the coast of Nova Scotia to the south of Halifax. The below image from early in the session would eventually become my first book cover.
35mm infrared film
The first really engaging image of the day was made in an old foundation. Ingrid climbed down the wall and into the window in order to make the image to the left. The thing is, the window was more than 10 meters above the ground (Ingrid was also the model who posed for the railway bridge image in the August 1998 photo diary, so daring is her middle name!)

With the making of this image, I have pretty much decided a new element has worked its way into my imagery this year, starting with a nude I did of Megan in June. These two images, and perhaps three more made between, show a marked departure from my other work - they have an element of strength and tension to them which is refreshing and invigorating.
4"x5" film
The remainder of the work of the day revolved around the rocks and plains of the glacier field, one of my favourite spaces to be in, with a camera or without. Having learned my lesson from the previous session, I tried as much as I could to frame the image up with a 35mm camera (loaded as usual with infra-red, and later colour) before I set up the 4"x5" for the more traditional black and white approach. By previsualizing with the 35mm Nikon, I knew before I set up the camera what was the best pose, and radically sped up the process of creating the images.
4"x5" film
The final image of the day, above, is by far the best example of the advantage of this process. The first image of the scene was made with the camera off to the left, but once I made that image, I explored the pose with the far more portable Nikon - discovering the wonderful image to the right. It took less than a minute to move the Wisner, refocus and compose the image, and make the exposure. While I would still have preferred to have had the time to reflect and contemplate the images I make, I would be the first to admit that there seems to be a distinct edge gained by working "on the fly" so to speak. It's also better for the models, be they ever so indulgent and dedicated.

October 04, 1998

Ingrid and a Friend (Riverlake, Nova Scotia)

35mm infrared film
Generally speaking, I traditionally finish working with the Nude in outdoor settings by mid-September, with the cool weather and shorter days making serious work uncomfortable and infrequent. This year however, I have been fortunate to work with several tough-skinned models, whom, it would seem, have as much dedication as I have to the process (perhaps even more, as they have modeled in snow for another photographer - something I would have a hard time encouraging!).
35mm transparency
The session began with Ingrid and myself working on a river. The air was too cold to consider immersion of any sort, so we worked on rocks, first with the 4"x5" view camera, and then with 35mm infra-red. With the Wista, it quickly became difficult to frame the images I wanted, as there simply were not rocks in the right place. Frustrated that I could not work with what I saw, I eventually put the tripod and camera on the shore and finished up with the Nikon. The best image by far is the one above on the right - the sparkling light on the water, combined with the wind in Ingrid's hair make is a very magical image for me.
4"x5" film
After we finished up at the river, we walked inland some, and began working in the forest. As I had never worked outdoors this late in the year, I was not aware of how dramatic the light was. Even in the early afternoon, the sun was low in the sky, providing wonderful light. The final set of images of the day, including the one to the right, had me returning to 35mm, as the models were becoming too cold during the time it took me to set up the view camera. On colder days, lighter, faster equipment is definitely the order of the day.

September 07, 1998

Nudes and Sunset (Pennant Peninsula, Nova Scotia)

The afternoon of the second day of darkroom building was a little ominous - the dark sky seemed to threaten rain, so once the four walls were up and connected, I covered up the building, and headed off to make some photos.
35mm transparency
After a little bit of a debate, we settled on Pennant Peninsula, where I had worked before on July 1. Like many of the sessions this summer, the session was relatively short, with the light failing before I had finished exploring all the possibilities presented to me.

Though I began working on the rock point where I had photographed two months before, it was when we moved off the rocks and onto the beach that the best images of the afternoon were made.
35mm transparency
With the sun moving lower in the sky, and the cloud cover clearing, the quality of the light was swiftly becoming more and more golden, as the sunlight raked through the clouds. The model was already in a tidal pool, and I realized that the setting sun could be framed perfectly by her torso. Working swiftly, I made three images, two with the view camera, and one with a 35mm camera.
35mm transparency
The beauty of the evening light reflecting off the water, surrounding the swelling chest and stomach, totally drew me in when I saw it through the camera's lens. I made two black and white images working with the reflected light that are every bit as strong as the colour ones. Where the light looks golden warm in the colour images, in the black and white images, it transforms the water to mercury, giving the stomach a sculptural quality.

Just as the water nudes of 1996 began my exploration of this facet of my work with the Nude, these few images have set a spark to a new direction. Where I began by exploring moving water/blur nudes, I now plan to explore reflections and transparency - a whole new aspect of water nudes previously untapped.

September 06, 1998

A New Darkroom (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

After four months of planning and designing, I finally began construction of my darkroom on the Labour Day weekend. With the help of three good friends, we started working at 10:00 AM, and wrapped up the floor and first two walls by late afternoon.

Designed with a tight budget, the darkroom was planned to meet a number of very specific needs. I wanted it to have two enlargers, with room for a third, to be spacious enough for two people to work in comfortably, and to meet the requirements of historical processes printing (Van Dyke Brown, Cyanotype and Gub Bichromate). The darkroom is the third I have designed, but it is the first to be built from the ground up as a free-standing building solely devoted to photography.

The second day of construction was pretty much a solo effort, but I got the other two walls up and a tarp over top as rain threatened.

The new darkroom makes a major change in the way I work. It will finally allow me to print up much of the work from the past two years. 1995 was the last year I had a darkroom at home, and the difference in my creative process between then and now is considerable. Before, I printed many of my images to explore their potential; for the past three years a computer has served that purpose. It will be very enjoyable to be able to do proof prints of my work. The majority of images displayed on this site from 1995-8 has never been printed larger than a contact print!

August 30, 1998

New Camera Tests, Fort Ogilvie (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

About a week after the death of my Wista 4"x5" view camera , the replacement arrived, but it was another ten days before I had the chance to go out an use it. In some ways, the camera dying happened at the worse time of the year for me - the two weeks without it were strained to say the least. To be honest though, the experience had some positive elements. It forced me to work with my 8"x10" for a whole session, thereby reasserting the reality that it is the camera format, not the camera itself, that works for me. It also gave me a small window of opportunity in which to seriously plan my new darkroom - a project which had been in the works for some time, but never had enough time dedicated to it.
4"x5" film
The first field test of my new camera, a used Wisner Traditional, took place at Point Pleasant Park. I had hoped to spend the day with a model, but things didn't work out. The biggest change with the new camera was that it permits me to use my 12" Caltar lens, from my 8x10 camera. This lens translates into a 100mm lens on a 35mm camera - a nice long lens which had been previously unavailable on my 4x5.
4"x5" film
The biggest opportunity offered by this new situation is that provided by the 12" lens. The Nikkor 210mm lens (which went into the river with the Wista) was the lens I had used for portraiture before, but being equal to about a 70mm lens on a 35mm camera, it was a little on the short side. The 12" lens however, presents a much more usable focal length, maintaining a traditional perspective and permitting a decent amount of distance between myself and the subject.

August 17, 1998

Three Models at Sunset (St Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia)

After a snack and beverage break, we all turned and started our way back to Halifax. There were still three or four hours of daylight left, so I put in a request with Miles (who was driving) for a rocky venue and we stopped halfway back and walked out through the woods towards the water. The sun was starting to set, providing wonderful raking light to work with.
6x6 cm transparency film
When I had asked for rocks, I had hoped for big, sweeping coastal plains...instead we emerged from the forest to find a rocky shoreline, with only a few boulders pushing past a metre high.. Initially disappointed, I decided to make the best of the situation and do what I could.
8"x10" film
In reaction to the rather bland landscape, I began to work with models in relation to other models, working close, either against the larger rocks, or using the water and the setting sun as a backdrop. Where the landscape failed to provide me with the inspiration to focus on the body, the similarities and contrasts between two models gave me more than enough to work with as the evening approached. The first images I made had more distance between the models, dictated by both the setting, and the fact the models were not acquainted with each other before the session.
8"x10" film
Towards the end of the session, I worked with Ingrid and Michelle, with far more personal poses. Where before I worked with the models in the lines of the rock, now I set one model against the other, working on the play of body on body. The vast majority of my couple images have been made in the studio so working outdoors was a little different, as these images were most defiantly about a relationship, as opposed to just two bodies within the same frame. I am not sure if the images of Ingrid and Michelle work as well as they would have in a studio, but there is a freshness and depth to the images that is always missing from studio images - those tend to be more about stylized impressions than real people.

An 8"x10" Session (Ingramport, Nova Scotia)

35mm transparency film
The one thing I try to do as I work is keep a very firm grip on what is important, and what is peripheral to my vision. In light of this, four days after the demise of my beloved Wista 4"x5" view camera, I was back working, this time in the girders under a railway bridge 8 meters up in the air, with my 8"x10" camera and Ingrid as a model. The fact that one camera had an accident is not sufficient reason to change the way I work - plus, I did not want the wait period for my replacement camera to hinder my photography, so the following Sunday I loaded up 12 borrowed film holders and set out.
8"x10" film
It has been a long time since I photographed with only the 8"x10" camera so the first thing I realized was how comfortable I was with it. Unlike working with the Pentax 67 (or 35mm, for that matter), seeing with the 8"x10" was second nature. The image was the way I was used to seeing it (upside down and backwards) and all the controls I take for granted (rise, tilt, swing etc) were at my fingertips. Though the 8x10 was slower to use, and considerably heavier (24 sheets of film in holders weighed about the same as 72 sheets of 4x5 loaded!), it was a joy to use, and renewed my desire to use it more frequently.
8"x10" film

August 13, 1998

A First Outdoor Session with Victoria (Ingramport, Nova Scotia)

This particular evening was intended to be a session with Victoria, working with her in moving water. We had previously only worked together in the studio, but she had been drawn to the water images I showed her there, and immediately stated her desire to help me make some of her.
6x12 cm film
The more I work with water, the better understand how its flow will appear on film, and this session was especially charged due to the late hour. The entire river was lit by a threatening sky, which gave very even tones to the nude, but left the water murky and sullen. In the image to the right, the delicate skin of Victoria is a wonderful contrast to the velvet blacks that envelop her. Initially Victoria's legs were straight, but in an attempt to add some tension to the image, I asked her to pull one leg up - as soon as I saw that on the ground-glass, I knew it was right.
4"x5" film
The traumatic part of this session came shortly after the image above was made. While working a little ways down the river with my 35mm Nikon, my tripod upset, sending my Wista 4"x5" view camera, complete with my 210mm Nikkor lens and Seconic light meter, into the river. While I often work with my cameras in precarious situations, I have never had an accident before. I had contemplated the possibility but the reality was gut-wrenchingly different - seeing my camera, my preferred voice for the last four years, dripping wet with a quickly disintegrating bellows was difficult to say the least. I did what I could to dry it off, but quickly realized that the bellows was a write-off, and that the damage to the body, which impacted on the front standard, was substantial. The lens I dried off as best I could, and set out to air dry.
35mm transparency film
Realizing that we were miles from home, and knowing that there was nothing I could do for the camera and lens, I returned to photographing. I still had 15 shots left in the Nikon, so I carefully nursed these for the next half-hour - resulting in the final image displayed here. The light in the water is deceiving - the sky above was gloomy and ominous, but the image required an exposure that made the sky appear much lighter than it actually was, rendering it as a rich, impossibly warm blue in the reflection.

August 09, 1998

Lily in a Lake (Long Lake, Nova Scotia)

It is becoming quite apparent to me that cameras, as tools, do more to shape an image than simply define the aspect ratio and size of the negative. When I started exploring photography, I moved between formats frequently, trying each on for size, and learning the strengths and weaknesses of each. Since 1991 however, I have worked almost exclusively with view cameras and they have become the way I see photographically. The lesson I have learned is that the simple act of changing the camera format used can have a great influence on the final results.
6x7 cm film
For this session, I left my 4"x5" at home, instead borrowing a friend's Pentax 6x7 to try to speed up my image making process. As before, Lilly's time was limited, and I wanted to make the most of what time we had. This equipment choice gave me a 120 roll film camera for water surface images, and a 35mm Nikonos camera for the underwater images. I had expected to use both cameras to great advantage - working quickly and making images in a more spontaneous manner. The problem was, I simply could not see with either camera. In the case of the underwater camera, I quite literally could not see; the water was just too full of algae.
6x7 cm film
When I first used the Pentax 6x7 camera I was drawn to its ease of use and the quality of the water blur in the initial images I made with it. Since then, I have realised that though the camera worked well in that specific instance, the way it portrays the world while one uses it is so far from what I have grown comfortable with, that I cannot make the leap to incorporating it into my way of seeing.
35mm film
When I first processed the negatives from this session I was very disappointed with the images, and for a long while could not determine why. I knew it could not be the model - Lilly and I have previously made some very well seen photographs, so the failure could not lie there. There was nothing technically wrong, as the negs were well exposed and printed - but they were still lifeless for me. The real problem was a mismatch between the photographer and the tool - the Pentax simply does not function with my way of seeing.

July 26, 1998

Another Morning with Lilly (Rainbowhaven Beach, Nova Scotia)

4"x5" film
A week after our first early-morning session, Lilly and I got up at sunrise, and again ventured to the beach to work with the early light. I was still very excited about the images from the previous week, and hoped to build upon the strengths of those.
4"x5" film
One of the biggest risks I have taken in the last year was purchasing a top-of-the-line wide-angle lens for my 4"x5" view camera. Previously I had two - a 90mm lens and a 65mm lens; but both lenses were limiting - they were slow (f/8) and did not have a broad range of movements. The new lens, a 75mm f/4.5, was both fast and flexible. The risk was that I was not convinced that I would use the lens enough to justify the investment; I now know the decision was a good one.
4"x5" film
It takes time to learn how to see with a new lens (one of reasons why I dislike zooms - too many focal lengths to learn), but I am finally becoming comfortable with the 75mm. Since buying the lens, an increasing number of successes have come from it - to the point that over the last two sessions, it has been the lens of choice! The inherent difficulties of a wide angle lens (size and shape distortion, extreme perspective angles etc) have slowly become controllable, and more and more, the images I am producing with the lens are simply successful images, not "wide angle" images which succeed. The look of an extreme wide angle image can be impressive, but this is more often due to the novelty of the angle of view than the image itself. The more I use the 75mm lens, the easier it becomes to use well.

July 19, 1998

A Morning Session with Lilly (Rainbow Haven Beach, Nova Scotia)

The biggest lesson I am learning from my sessions with Lilly is that working in short, intense sessions can be as successful as spending full days making images. Typical figure sessions can run as long as six hours, but due to Lilly's busy schedule, we seldom have more than two hours at a time but the work that comes out of these sessions is strong nonetheless. On this particular Sunday, the only time Lilly had was until 11 in the morning
35mm infrared film
Working early in the morning was a new experience for me; the raking light provided wonderful mottling of Lilly's body, but the high contrast of the lighting made some of the exposures a little tricky.
4"x5" film
The strongest image of the morning (above) would have been far less successful if it was made in afternoon light. The low sun glistening on the water, combined with a 1 second shutter speed (achieved by stacking a 2x neutral density filter with a yellow-green filter), gives the surroundings a subtle, ethereal quality, while the light flowing over Lilly's body is so sculptural, the image seems almost carved in stone.
4"x5" film
The rest of the morning's work went well, producing close to two dozen 4"x5" negatives in a wide variety of settings, as well as two rolls of 35mm images, but they all fade in comparison to the first image. I suppose it only human to single out a favourite, but then again, I tend to think the "best" image overshadows the other successful ones. When I showed Lilly the work, the only image she asked for as a print was the middle of these three, reaffirming my enthusiasm.

July 12, 1998

York Redoubt (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

One of the most wonderful things about photographing the same spaces over and over again is how it allows me to witness change; no matter how many times I return to the same site, I always find more to photograph. More often than not, these new images are documenting the changes themselves. York Redoubt has altered considerably since I first photographed it almost a decade ago; Parks Canada has restored some of it, and stabilized other areas, leading to a much different place from the slowly deteriorating ruin I knew as a child. When they first began their reconstruction, I thought they had ruined the site forever - now I know better.
4"x5" film
The above image of a gun slit in the curtain wall, is my favourite image of the day - very Zen in a way...its beauty lies in its simplicity - the lack of symmetry and slightly off-centre nature really drawing me in.
4"x5" film
Made within a canopier (an enclosed shooting gallery which protrudes out from the main wall) which had been restored several years before, I was quite pleased at how the image captured the essence of the space.
4"x5" film
Down from the main fort is the York Shore Battery, a WW II installation. This site, in contrast to the 19th century fort on top of the hill, was only stabilized, with active restoration restricted to the rebuilding of a sighting tower. The beauty of this part of York Redoubt lies in its decay, in the slow wave of time washing over the concrete and iron of the emplacements and bunkers. Every year a little more of the site is worn away, and encroaching vegetation overtakes a little more of the fort. In another decade it may have changed irrevocably; in a half-century--it may be gone.

July 11, 1998

Ingrid and Victoria in the Studio (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The real reason for my borrowing the Pentax 67 was to use it for an evening studio session with Ingrid and a friend of hers, Victoria. Just like my first session with Ingrid, I didn't have the chance to meet Victoria before the session, so I was working with my fingers crossed. I had a number of out-of-date rolls of Konica 750 120 infra-red film which I wanted to use up, and I felt it would make more sense to use it on a 6x6 or 6x7 camera, as opposed to my 6x12 roll back. As it turns out, using the out-dated film was the best decision of the day.
6x7 cm film
The session was unique for more reasons than the film; Ingrid and Victoria, the models, were the first pair of models I've worked with in an intimate context who were friends, as opposed to a "couple". Before we started working, we spent some time talking about what I was looking for, and on the whole, I felt the session was really successful. I was hyper aware of crossing the line between sensuality and sexuality. As it turns out, the most intimate image of the evening was the last pose (to the upper right) which I'd left up to the models to find. Far more intense a pose than I would have suggested, the image has exactly the elements I was after: tenderness. trust, and an all-enveloping warmth.
6x7 cm film
Above I say that using the stale Konica 750 IR film was the best decision of the day, while that is certainly true, I wouldn't have said so the night I processed the film. When I pulled the negs out of the developing canisters, my heart fell - almost all the rolls were fogged! The negs looked horrid, and though I could see the ghosts of some of the images, I truly believed the images were a write-off. Prudence, thankfully, reared its head though, and I saved the negs, hanging them to dry so I could see if anything could be salvaged from them. The next day when I contact printed the "ruined" negatives, I was amazed to see the film had reversed in the shadows, yielding images naturally solarized because of the high base fog. More than 3/4 of the negatives printed wonderfully as straight prints, with the remaining images printing nicely after some creative intervention on my part.
6x7 cm infrared film
Thus, a disaster turned into a blessing. The fogged IR negs have yielded some of the most intriguing images I have ever produced - and since this effect will almost certainly be unrepeatable, they are all the more precious. The 4"x5" images I produced of Ingrid and Victoria are strong and will find their way into other parts of my oeuvre, but they pale when set next to the rich freshness of the infra-red images.

July 05, 1998

Friends Model Together (Long Lake, Nova Scotia)

After spending my morning in a flowing river, I spent the afternoon working on more water nudes in a lake - an opportunity to try out my Nikonos underwater camera which I had bought two years earlier, but had never managed to actually use before.
4"x5" film
The most frustrating thing about the session was that I misplaced my swimming goggles, and had to guess at the composition of each image - thus all the images are too tightly framed, and almost all are dismal failures. The image to the left is the only marginal success from the two rolls I produced - but, for all its shortcomings, I quite like it. Next time, I hope the session will take place on a sunny afternoon, and yield more contrast and variation to the images. For the moment, I am happy that, at the very least, the camera works.
6x7 cm film
I used the borrowed Pentax 67 extensively in the afternoon as well, finding it far more functional for working in the water than the view camera (it is quite a trick to use a tripod with only one hand - the other has to be kept dry to manipulate the view camera and load the film-holders). While I missed the view camera's flexibility and tripod, I was very pleased with the results from the 6x7 colour negatives. The Pentax allowed me to work with a speed and spontaneity usually impossible for me. The reflections in the water would have been much more effective if I had had a tripod (permitting me to stop down for more depth of field) but this disadvantage was off-set by the reality that I could not have made these images with a view camera.
6x7 cm film
Another session with new models, the afternoon yielded some good work, as well as some amusing moments. Both models had tattoos, so almost every image involved the careful arrangement of limbs in order to remove tattoos from view - occasionally sending the models sliding into the water at unexpected moments! While the morning session was plagued by bugs, the afternoon at the lake was totally bug-free - a nice change.

Working with Rocks and Water (Ingramport, Nova Scotia)

35mm infrared film
Of all the different settings in which I work with the Nude, by far my favourite is water- the elegance of a figure emerging from water, fluid or otherwise, is very seductive to me. I have long wanted to work with colour film and moving water, but have never had the opportunity until now.
4"x5" film
As fate would have it, I had arranged to borrow a friend's camera (a Pentax 67) for the evening studio session, and had brought it along, on the off chance it would be useful in the morning session. It was. One roll of 120 film, with ten images on it, shows the potential of colour for water nudes, and has made me eager to get back to the river and work some more. We will wait until the fall, though, when the bugs are less voracious!

July 01, 1998

My First Session with Ingrid (Pennant Point, Nova Scotia)

6x12 cm film
A dismal and dreary Canada Day was vastly improved by a new-found friend phoning and asking me if I was interested in going and making some photos. Miles had earlier offered to introduce me to some friends of his who might be interested in modeling nude. Late in the afternoon we rather optimistically headed for the coast. A couple of factors made this course of action questionable; we were hoping that the foggy and drizzly afternoon would change miraculously into a hot and sunny evening (yeah...right), and I was crossing my fingers in regards to the model for the session because this was my first session with Ingrid ; she had seen my work, but we hadn't met so I did not know what to expect
4"x5" film
When we arrived at Pennant Point, we discovered a major surf running, slamming against the rocks and throwing spray up 20 feet or more. We slowly worked our way down the shore until we came upon a large rock shelf that projected out into the Atlantic. From this vantage point, we tried several ways to capture the power of the waves. The first image is the most successful of the images - the others with the surf in them were almost all white!
The last set of images were made in a "bone forest" - the site of a forest fire years before. By this time, Ingrid and I had found a rhythm - as the camera was already set up, capturing the image was simply a matter of exclaiming "That's it!" and tripping the cable-release. The already elfin features of Ingrid are emphasized by the pose and setting. Even though this image was made at sundown, the light was still decent and very even due to the prevailing fog, yielding a good negative.