May 29, 1999

Photographing as a Guest (St Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia)

This session was a very different experience for me. Another photographer had arranged to work with a model, Allison, and invited me along for the session. We'd gone out together with this model once before but this session really marked the first time I achieved images which functioned for me. On the prior occasion, I was using a 4"x5" camera and the other photographer was working in 35mm, moving quickly and responding to the model. My slower pace was out of synch with the session. On this day, I concentrated on using my Nikon and 35mm infra-red film.
35mm infrared film
Working with Allison made me realize for the first time how different people's modelling styles are. As a dancer, Allison's natural style is very kinetic which suits the fast, responsive nature of 35mm. I've never worked with someone who took this approach to modelling before and found it difficult to work with, in regards to my approach to imaging the Nude which the deliberate, time consuming nature of 4x5 encourages and nurtures.
35mm infrared film
The above image is one of the few non-nude infra-red images I have made which I feel works well. While I will be the first to admit that there are incredible possibilities with infra-red film and landscape, I'll also admit that hundreds of other landscape photographers work with that subject far better than I do, with far less effort. I think, that said, the reason this image works for me is its similarity to my figure work. With the Nude, I tend to look at the body as an aesthetic object, and this image treats rocks in the same manner; as opposed to examining the landscape as a whole, I made an image which revolves totally around a single element, the stone in the lower left. The rich sky, a result of the infra-red film, only adds to the impact of the image.

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