May 08, 2000

Victoria at Long Lake (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

This session marked my first time working outdoors with Victoria since our work in Alberta, but since she is still extremely busy with her dance and university courses, we only had a couple of hours to work together. Hoping to make the most of the time, we worked close to the city, alongside a lake.
6x9 cm film
One of the most difficult conditions to photograph under is a sunny day; the direct sunshine creates high contrast situations that are hard to combat, even with the flexibility of black and white film. In addition to the contrast problems, direct sunshine also severely restricts the poses, throwing hard shadows across the body, and ruining otherwise strong poses with glaring highlights. This can be off-set to a degree with black and white film, by over exposing the negatives (which increases the shadow information on the film), and then cutting the development time to compensate (this keeps the negative contrast down). While this is not as pleasing as working on an overcast day, it does help make workable images with some shadow detail.
6x9 cm film
This session was unusual, in that I left my view camera at home, and just took the Fuji 6x9 and the Canon 35mm camera. While the main motivation for the light equipment load was the short time that Victoria had for modeling, it would also serve as a good field test for the 6x9 camera, which I had yet to use with a model outdoors. Normally, I'd never use a figure session for equipment testing but given Victoria's strength as a model, I knew that any problems in the session would be rooted in my adjustment to the new camera and not any reflection on her. I seldom work hand-held, and found it a little frustrating to frame everything without the stability of a tripod, but this was offset by the ease of use, and speed which I could move from image to image.
6x9 cm film
In the end, while the 35mm infrared images had their successes, it was the 6x9 camera which created my favourite images from the session. It always takes some time to adjust to a new camera, but the images created with the 6x9 surprised me with their strength. Setting out without my main camera, made me a little hesitant in regard to the results, but I am pleased with the outcome.

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