July 09, 1999

Alberta Portfolio II (Mountain View, Alberta)

4"x5" film
The first thing I did on this morning was go outside and take look at the landscape (I'd arrived well after dark the night before, and could only hear the rushing sound of the Belly River somewhere nearby). The entire horizon, to the South and West  for about 120 degrees, was mountains; between Annie's house and the prairie that ran up to the foot of the mountains lay a steep sided river valley (a coulee), with a winding, rushing river in the centre. I set up my camera and made a series of photos which make up a panoramic image of the mountains.
4"x5" film
After making the images of the mountains, I went inside and joined the others for breakfast, and a discussion of the day's plans. Over dinner the previous night there had been some mention about problems with the pre-arranged models but it was during breakfast that I learned the full extent of the difficulties that were presenting themselves. Some of the models who'd planned to attend had been forced to cancel, while others were still unsure they'd be available, or were otherwise incommunicado. Annie's frustration with the circumstances was shared by all of us, but no immediate solution presented itself. As it was still a day before the official beginning of the retreat week, we all crossed fingers that one or two of the models who previously attended the retreat would come through for us.
4"x5" film
The remainder of the day was spent exploring the coulee, photographing the alien (to me) landscape of cottonwoods and glacial riverbed. Again and again, I would stumble across a setting that called out for a nude, and in combination with my distant glimpse of the Rockies, I was becoming very enthusiastic about settling into working with the Nude in this new environment. By the end of the day, however, no definite models had been found (one woman who might consider modelling was coming out to visit the next day), and it was becoming evident that the original plan, to have a retreat with six to ten models, was rapidly being altered.

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