June 11, 1998

Lilly's First Outdoor Session (Long Lake, Nova Scotia)

One of the best elements of working outdoors with the Nude is the ever changing landscape in which the images can be set. Sometimes simply wandering for a while can yield incredible spaces to create images.This session builds upon Lilly's first experience modeling, in a studio session earlier in the year.

We were limited on this particular day to staying close to Halifax, as it was late in the day. We drove out along a connector highway, and then, noticing a lake through the trees, we pulled over and parked on the shoulder of the road. One of the joys of living in Halifax is that it is literally surrounded by empty countryside, providing a great variety of spaces to work in.
4"x5" film
We didn't have a lot of time to work, so we started with the obvious - a rock outcrop. The first image was stiff and unsuccessful, but while exploring the scene with my 35mm camera (loaded with slide film), I discovered the image to the right - strong raking light striking the torso and side of the model as she lay back against the rock. I made the image on both 35mm slide and 4"x5" B&W film before we moved on to work in the water.
6x12 cm film
The lake I'd seen through the trees from the highway proved to be quite clear and, given the early date, was surprisingly mild in temperature. It was too cool for full-body immersion, but the golden evening light flowing down the Lilly's back, combined with the warm tones of the sandbar, made a strong visual plane for a simple standing nude - a colour image from the start.
4"x5" film
The final image, above, shows the wonderful compression of space that you can get with a narrow depth-of-field. Normally associated with long telephoto lenses, the division of a near subject from the background via blur creates a wonderful separation in an image - in this case isolating the nude against the receding lake in the background.

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