March 14, 1999

Trisha at York Redoubt (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

35mm transparency film

This winter in Nova Scotia has been a mild one. There were perhaps a dozen days with snow and ice, and some bitterly cold periods, but on the whole, it was quite bearable. In light of this, as soon as the weather began to move above freezing, I started itching to get out and photograph. For this particular session however, I was far more reluctant to work than Trisha, who was positively determined to make some good images. The day was more than pleasant enough, but with a temperature just above freezing, it was far from perfect for modelling nude. I would never have suggested working on a day like this but Trisha was terribly keen and I wouldn't have wanted her to be out modelling nude without a photographer there to document it.
4"x5" film
The approach we used to overcome most of the problems with the temperature was to set up each shot as much as possible beforehand, position the camera, take the exposure reading, and work out the pose with the model clothed. Once everything was prepared, Trisha would disrobe and we'd fine-tune the pose and make the image. All told, I think the longest Trisha was nude for was five minutes, and that was in a sheltered location away from any wind.

On the whole this was a reasonable way to work (thus speaks the fully clothed photographer). I spent far more time searching for images with my eyes than normal, being unable to ask the model to experiment with a space before deciding on the image. Usually, it is an involved process finding images, but on this occasion, the only real factor was what images could I plainly see without the model in place, or what images I could compose using a clothed model.
4"x5" film
The surprising thing to me was that though I only exposed eight 4"x5" negatives, I made two images that lacked nothing for the limitations of the process we needed to go through. The image to the right is my favourite, and probably the one we worked the most on before making it. Though Trisha's skin is naturally dark, it almost glowed when set against the wet granite and water, and the wide angle lens gave a wonderful flow to her figure, which is mirrored both in the angular nature of the rocks, and the soft sweep of the sea.

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