December 26, 1999

A Couple and a Mirror (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

6x6 cm transparency film
The second studio session with Joe and Billie was planned to focus on working with the the mirror, working in colour and infra-red. Usually, working with colour outdoors is a challenge for me, as it often seem superfluous to the image as a whole. This changes somewhat in the studio, where it is usually the figure alone I am photographing, but colour is still a media I struggle with. Approaching the mirror with colour was little different from my other studio work, in that I tried to focus on the subject alone, and not to get hung up in the fact there was colour film in the camera.
6x6 cm transparency film
On the whole, I think the colour images surpassed the black and white ones of the day before. The photos had a much stronger surreal quality when they were in monochrome, and the addition of the colour skin-tones pulls the images back from the abstract into the concrete. This is not at the expense of the bizarre qualities that were born in the process of working on the mirror, but it does help keep the photos readable.
35mm infrared film
The biggest surprise of the evening session was the 35mm infrared; I had high hopes for it, given the successes I'd encountered with Kim using 120 infra-red, but very few of the images worked. I think this is partially because of their lack of impact next to the colour, and also, I framed the 35mm work much tighter with the medium format camera, which lead to a more fractured, chaotic look to the images.

I am not sure how far I can take the mirror work; I certainly will continue to explore the possibilities, but I am not sure when it stops becoming effective, and simply gets repetitive (pardon the play on words).

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