June 03, 1998

Megan in Fort McNab (McNabs Island, Nova Scotia)

4"x5" film
The image above was made in the radar tower of Fort McNab. The pose was inspired by a 6x12 cm image I had made minutes before. The earlier image is successful on its own merits but showed the entire room. This 4"x5 " image concentrates on Megan alone, and the power of her shoulders and back, combined with the tension of her single leg, makes the image atypical for me. Normally a caveat of my work is that the model be in a comfortable position; experience has taught me that if the model is uncomfortable, that will show in the pose and the image usually ends up a write-off.
4"x5" film
Made with a 1 second exposure, this photo was made in an underground gun shelter, with the only light coming in from a small window to the left. I was sandwiched with the camera in the doorway, and could barely focus and compose the image on the ground-glass. Megan braved a scum covered floor and struggled with the pose to make this image. The bizarre focal plane, which runs diagonally through the image from top left to bottom right is a result of a back swing and a front tilt, which I had neglected to reset from the previous image. The softness however adds to the image in a print, with only Megan’s face, and the centre of the wall in sharp focus.
4"x5" film
One of the photographers whose work I enjoy is Sally Mann who uses her 8"x10" view camera to create powerfully eccentric images of her three children in the Blue Ridge Mountains. One of her more famous and provocative photos is of her prepubescent daughter hanging in mid-air, holding onto a meat hook. This image is a direct homage to Sally Mann, though, being made on 35mm film, it is about as technically far from her work as one can get.

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