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.

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