May 30, 1999

Three Models in a River (Killdevils, Nova Scotia)

6x12 cm film
My second session at the Killdevils was very different from the first. Over the intervening week, there had been a solid day of rain, and the water was a full 60cm higher than before, changing the dynamic of the space considerably. Where before the river was rushing through the narrows, it was now a thundering torrent, making it quite difficult to direct the models if they were more than a couple of feet away. The first images of the session were made with Trisha, then Ingrid, and then the two women together. The water flowing around and over the body creates a wonderful space to image, and the added variable of the water-blur makes for some very dynamic photographs, based upon very static poses. One of the best examples of this was produced with Miles (a good friend, fellow photographer and occasional model), who ventured out into the main flow of the river, just to see how strong the water flow was (this is not recommended, as Miles' battered arm and foot will attest).
4"x5" film
The rapids where this image was made flowed over a series of rocks, and then swept into a deep bowl, which produced an incredible maelstrom of water. Miles positioned himself against one of the rocks, and managed to stay reasonably still for the 1/2 second of this exposure. After some problems getting back to shore, Miles decided that his venture out into the rapids might not have been such a good idea after all, but, upon hearing I did get a couple of images made (he couldn't hear me yelling to him over the roar of the water), he cheered up. Apparently, Miles felt that with the images made, if he had died, it would have been for a good cause. Wry humour aside, the image of Miles in the rapids is very effective, providing a wonderful sense of the power of the river that surrounded him.
6x12 cm film
After Miles' exploits in the rapids, some of the drive that was present earlier in the day dissipated, and this, combined with the arrival of the afternoon's swarm of bugs, gradually put an end to the session. The contrast between this session, and the first one at Killdevils is wonderful. The increased water-flow from the earlier rain made the space radically different to work with. The rich contrast between the still water images and the motion-blurred ones makes it hard for me to hold onto the fact that they were made in the same space. I plan to return to Gold River again to continue to explore this incredibly rich space.

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