February 19, 2000

Orono in the Snow (Orono, Maine)

I find it highly ironic that I had to travel south in the middle of winter to find snow, but as Nova Scotia is swiftly becoming the tropics of the North, it is true. While the winters in Nova Scotia can be bitterly cold, we frequently miss most of the snow.
6x9 cm transparency film
Though the trip to Maine was for other reasons, I did take advantage of the new surroundings to put a Fuji GSWIII 6x9 rangefinder through its paces. I plan to use this camera in a number of roles in my work, and though I've had it since the end of 1999, this was my first opportunity to use it outdoors. The camera has 65mm f5.6 lens on it (equal to a 28mm lens on a 35mm camera), and takes 8 images on a roll of 120 film. I plan to use the camera for Konica 120 Infrared film and colour transparencies.
6x9 cm transparency film
Working with the camera was a pleasure - the viewfinder is bright and accurate, and the controls well laid out. The film I used, Fuji Provia F, was wonderful too, providing rich vivid colours and very clean tones, even for the snow.

February 07, 2000

Victoria in the Studio (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

35mm transparency
My first session of the new year saw me revisiting mirror and dance images, this time with Victoria as the model. Where all the other mirror images were made using a black background, and studio flash, these images were created with natural light. I used a large white sheet to diffuse the window light, which in turn gave a wonderfully soft quality to the light on Victoria's body.
35mm infrared film
Where the earlier mirror images had a weightiness to them rooted in the dark shadows and empty backgrounds; the white background makes a huge difference to the reading of the final images, with these being lighter and celebratory in feel. The day we made these photos was overcast and grey, forcing me to use a faster transparency film than I would have liked, but the results were encouraging, and I will certainly continue to explore the possibilities of combining the mirror with the white background.
35mm infrared film
From the natural light images, we moved to working with studio flash, using it to stop the motion of dance. These images originate in the dance work I did with Cheryl in January 1999 but where for her the dance was a method of approach to modeling nude for the first time, with Victoria, it was the meeting of her art with mine. As a dancer, and dance teacher, Victoria spends many hours a week dancing, but this was the first time I really tried to incorporate her dancing with my work. In 1999, we did use some dance poses outdoors but those were static poses; this session had Victoria dancing to Yo-Yo Ma's tango music, and me trying to freeze the motion at the ideal points.
35mm infrared film
Most of my work has little of the model in it; the images are obviously filtered through the model's body, but in this case, these images are more about Victoria, than about my personal vision. Both of us are pleased with the results, but I feel more could be done, and we plan to work with her dancing again..