December 26, 1999

A Couple's Shower Session (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

35mm transparency film
In the winter of 1998, I had made some images in my shower with Megan, with mixed success. The results were strong enough to convince me it was something to explore in the future, but some modifications had to be made to get the results I was after.

After the unexpected Christmas evening session, Joe and Billie were keen to do more modelling, so we'd arranged to spend Boxing Day afternoon working, beginning with shower nudes. The day was overcast, with less light than I had hoped for, but the film I was using, Fuji 1600, is specially designed for pushing, so I rated it at EI 3200, and went to work. Because of the low light, I used a fast 85mm f/1.8 lens, and the entire session was produced with the lens wide-upon, with shutter-speeds between 1/30th and 1/125th of a second.
35mm transparency film
The qualities of the pushed slide film contribute much to the feel of the session, producing stark images with dark, empty shadows and yet at the same time, well detailed highlights. Though it doesn't show on the net, the final images are very grainy, yet surprisingly sharp; the parts of the images that are in focus are detailed and crisp - the water droplets jump out of the images when projected.
35mm transparency film
The results of the session were very encouraging; a number of the images manage to convey what to me is a very powerful story, without words - they are images that cry out for an explanation, and when left alone, seem to create their own pasts. Overall, the images are both far more than I'd hoped for, and very different from what I'd initially envisioned for the work. Where the work with Megan was dreamy and light, these images, because of the lighting, seem more evocative of memory and drama. The high grain of the images is very pleasing, and interesting counterpoint to my usually grainless images, and the muted colour, a result of the push processing of the film, provides a very strong consistency between the images.

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