August 30, 2000

Bernice at Peddock's Island (Boston Harbour, Massachusetts)

When we finally arrived at Peddock's Island, our plans again changed, modified by the situation. I had initially expected to work with the woods on the island, but when I discovered that the area we'd arrived in was scattered with old abandoned buildings, I quickly became distracted.
4"x5" film
Most of the houses were inaccessible - and for good reason- most were in such dilapidated shape that they were pretty much beyond repair and were probably hazardous to enter. We did, however, come across an old hospital building in moderate shape. We worked in this place, playing with both the rich textures of the abandoned building, and with the wonderful light coming through the shattered windows and broken ceilings.

As with the stairway nudes, working for the first time with a new mode in such a space was a chance, as many of the poses involved second long exposures but the risk paid off, and only one of the ten exposures we made had any hint of motion blur to it.
4"x5" film
After we'd explored the abandoned infirmary, we walked back to the shoreline and down along the beach. As we'd arrived by the ferry I'd seen a number of large rocks and driftwood trees I'd thought had possibilities, and as we had to get the ferry back to the city, I thought it better for us to finish up on the shore, rather than back in the woods away from the dock.

This time my intuition paid off, and the rocks provided us with a number of good images - by this point Bernice was loosening up some and had begun to find her own poses, as opposed to relying upon me for direction. I used a 35mm camera as we worked swiftly from space to space to record the possibilities. When particularly strong poses, like the one to the right, occurred, I set up the 4"x5" and made a more refined considered response to the pose. Using the 35mm camera as a exploratory tool has become a more and more common in my work in the past year or so.
4"x5" film
On the whole, the first day of work with Bernice was varied and rich, and while we didn't actually work together for all that long, the time we did have was well used. The best element was the reality that we still had a full day ahead of us to work within, and that this day, which also yielded some excellent work, was also an ice-breaker for what was to come.

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