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.

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