June 27, 1999

Ingrid at a Rapids (Gold River, Nova Scotia)

The Spring and summer to date have been very dry and the water levels in the rivers have continued to fall. The first time we worked in the Gold River rapids, the flow of water was quite strong and all three models had to struggle to maintain poses in the rushing water; Miles nearly got swept down stream while posing for the most striking image of the day. A month later, the water level was down by three feet and the flow of the river had slackened considerably.
4"x5" film

It was a hot day, with blinding sun and a clear blue sky; Ingrid was quite enthusiastic to do water nudes and I was fairly confident I could tame the contrast inherent in direct sunlight enough to make the resulting images work By over-exposing the film and then compensating in the processing, I maintained shadow detail while keeping the highlights in check.. Given the reduced speed of the water, I knew that I'd be able to pose Ingrid in such a way that she wouldn't be battered by the water enough to blur her figure, but I'd be able to get a lovely blur in the water around her.
35mm infrared film
The distinction in an image between one quarter and a full second can be stunning. A quarter second exposure, such as the one to the left, maintains distinction in the river's flow, while blurring out the froth and bubbles below the rapid itself. A full second, to the right, renders everything as an almost smoky stream. In this image, the water flow was too strong for Ingrid to keep still during the exposure but the overall effect is very pleasing, with her body melding with the maelstrom below her. The most extreme water blur exposure, four seconds or more, makes everything look like it's in a low level fog, and creates a very difficult situation for the model in regards to staying still.
4"x5" film
After this session, upon reflection I realized how much the river's personality had changed from my first work there. In some ways, this is my favourite session at the Gold River, with strong water blur and poses that dealt with the direct sunlight well.

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