April 06, 1999

Cheryl in Sunlight (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

I'm continually amazed at how much extended collaborations bring to my work. I have no doubt that the work I've been doing with Cheryl and Marieke this winter and spring is stronger for the extended nature of the work.
4"x5" film

This session likely marks the last indoor session for this spring, as it is now becoming warm enough to work outdoors. That said, in some ways this was the most enjoyable session, due mostly to how comfortable Cheryl has become with the process. We began working on a couch, lit by a large double-glass door facing a brilliant blue sky. The diffused light which fell onto Cheryl had a soft edge to it which is quite hard to mimic in the studio, and I explored its delicate description of Cheryl's body with great enthusiasm.
35mm transparency film
Working with basic sitting poses, Cheryl and I managed to create a strong series of images using both the 4x5 for black and white, and 35mm for colour. The deep red cover on the couch lent a strong warmth to the colour images, but was rendered as almost black in black and white, producing two very different tones in the two mediums.
4"x5" film
After about an hour of working on the couch, Cheryl and I moved to the other side of the house, and began making images using the direct sunlight streaming through the window and onto the bed. Normally I avoid direct sunlight as a light-source, due to its inherently high contrast, but in this case, with the distinct border it cast within the image, I decided to work with the shadows, as opposed to against them. While I have constantly fought against the high contrast of direct sunlight, I also have grown to realize the strength of the strong description of shape, or modelling, it provides the figure, and in this case, with the reflection off of the white sheets, there is enough contrast in the shadows to keep in image from becoming too harsh, with empty shadows.

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