June 17, 2000

A First Session (Chebucto Head, Nova Scotia)

Apart from providing a venue for exhibiting and promoting my work, the Internet has also proved to be a very important resource in regards to finding people to work with me. While most of the people who contact me are too far away to make working feasible, local models have led to some stunning photographs (as evidenced by the images of Ingrid and Victoria). As I constantly remind the models themselves, my work is nothing without the people I work with - they are absolutely the most important element of my creative vision.
6x9 cm film
Pat had contacted me about modeling after seeing my website. An aspiring commercial model, she was also interested in trying out nude modeling, choosing to reserve judgment until she had actually had some experience with what it actually involved.. A further joy of the web is the speed of communication it provides. From my receiving her introductory email to when she was actually modeling was less than 24 hours (including a phone conversation and a casual meeting to talk about my work, and her expectations). The one caveat that Pat had in regards to her modeling nude was she wanted to be anonymous, being unsure how her other modeling work would be influenced by people knowing she'd modeled nude.
4"x5" film
Similar to the day I'd worked with Victoria a week before, the evening on which I made these images was cool and windy. Being on the coast as a low bank of fog was forming didn't make it any more pleasant, but Pat proved remarkably resilient, bearing the cool for long enough for me to make ten 4"x5" negatives and expose two rolls of 120 film on the 6x9 rangefinder.

Given the number of short sessions I have done lately, it shouldn't surprise me to see good work come out of such a brief shoot but it still does. While the early work of the session shows some of the nervousness and trepidation of the new model, once Pat became a little more comfortable with taking direction on posing, and with the process as a whole, the images came together in a more successful manner.
4"x5" film
I have become a little spoilt as of late, working so much with experienced models like Victoria that I had forgot how difficult it can be for new models to learn how to find a pose or follow my directions from behind the camera.

June 12, 2000

Victoria by the Ocean (Duncan's Cove, Nova Scotia)

6x9 cm transparency film
Usually the first set of images from a session are more about the model becoming comfortable with the process, but with Victoria, after doing so much work together, there is no warm-up required. On this day, cool and windy, the very first image (above) is exactly what I saw on my ground glass, the warmth of Victoria's skin set against the neutral of the rocks and the cool yellow-green of the algae in the tidal pool. I also produced a successful black and white version of the image, but the subtle qualities of the colour image draw me in.
6x9 cm film
Because of the cool weather, we worked swiftly, often using the hand-held 6x9 rangefinder, and only drawing upon the view camera when a strong pose or setting presented itself. One of the advantages of the smaller camera is that I can make multiple images of the same scene on the same roll, which, in the case of the ocean photo to the left, permits me to make a pool of images to choose from. Most of the images made with my view camera involve static scenes, where an image made one moment to the next would be very much the same. While this approach works well in most cases, with scenes using the ocean it can get a little expensive to make a whole series of images while waiting for the right wave to come along.
6x9 cm film
While the session was short (eventually ended by the Victoria's loss of sensation in her extremities), it yielded a number of good images and served as the second field use of the Fuji rangefinder (my first use of the 6x9 camera outdoors was in May). While the rangefinder lacks much of the flexibility of the view camera, the prints from it work well beside the large format images, making it a good alternative when easy handling or speed of use is important.