February 16, 1999

Cheryl Returns to the Studio (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

4"x5" film
Cheryl  and I set out in this session to further pursue the focus-effect images which grew out of my January studio images. The work I've done previously pretty much ironed out the technical issues, so where before I was struggling with composition, focus-effect and such, I could now turn my attention to simply making the images.
4"x5" film
Once I found a pose that I felt worked, I put far more effort in to the camera positioning and framing, trying to work with the film image as a whole. There had been a discussion of composition on-line recently, and it had made me think more carefully about how I used the shape and frame of my images, and how that influenced the viewer's perception. I often wonder how precise one can be in framing, while still making an image seem lose and open. Too deliberate a composition can strangle a photograph, making it seem too contrived. By the same token, a disregard for the composition of an image can swiftly make a photo fall apart.
4"x5" film
On the whole, I think the best images from this session show a stronger compositional element than my earlier focus-effect nudes. The formal quality which is so much a part of my outdoor work did not play a big part in my January 1999 studio work, but I think it was one of the contributing factors to the success of these images.

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