July 14, 1999

Victoria, the Alberta Portfolio X (Sout-Western Alberta)

After a hearty lunch and some relaxation, the entire retreat group bundled into cars and headed out in search of spaces in which to work. On our drive to pick up Victoria two days earlier, Annie and I had passed by several old barns and abandoned farms, and it was to one of these that Victoria and I went, hoping to build on the morning's work in the house.
35mm infrared film
The first thing we did when we arrived at the McAlister homestead was explore the immediate vicinity. The small farmhouse, which I'd been hoping to work within, was firmly shut up, and neither I nor Victoria had any interest in becoming criminals and breaking into the house simply for some photographs. The outbuildings, however, were all open, and after making some quick images of Victoria standing in the tall grasses behind the house, we moved into the smallest outbuilding, a small shack with a decided lean to it.
4"x5" camera
Similar to the homestead where we'd worked earlier, the feed shack had wonderful light coming through the cracks between the wall and roof boards. Also, with the later afternoon light, a broad sheet of light was coming through the window on the far side of the room, providing a good amount of reflection up from the floor. We worked in the space for a number of images, varying the pose and composition.
4"x5" camera
It was about an hour before we finally left the farm, during which time the other retreat members explored and played with the settings. At the close of the second day of working with Victoria in Alberta, I was feeling very satisfied; both sessions had gone well, and I was confident that the decision to fly a model out was paying off already. As opposed to starting out with a  new group of models, and building a relationship and body of work from scratch, Victoria and I simply picked up on our work in Nova Scotia, building the Alberta Portfolio on top of a year's experience making images together.

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