August 31, 2000

Bernice Models by a Stream (Canajoharie Creek, New Hampshire)

The last session with Bernice was at the old mill, which Bill had taken me to the week before. My first thought, when I saw the foundations and remains in the woods, was how perfect a place it would be for a model. After driving to New Hampshire, we met up with Bill, who guided us to the old mill, and assisted us through the session.
4"x5" film
My intuition was right, and almost as soon as we started working, Bernice and I had successes. The light was perfect, with an overcast sky filtered through a high canopy of trees providing a wonderfully even, delicate illumination to the entire forest floor. Where we started working, within the huge rock foundations of a building, the sky was more open, giving easily twice as much light as elsewhere in the woods. In some ways, working with the foundations walls was a little frustrating - they provided a background more than an environment, and much of the work we produced used it as such, with no attempt to incorporate the lines or other qualities of the rocks into the pose.
4"x5" film
We worked in a methodical way, having walked through the site before we started, and identified spaces we felt had potential. After finishing with the foundations, we moved along the stream, working on the huge rocks and with the large trees. These spaces worked a little more fluidly, with the pose and body placement coming from the lines of the landscape. As the day moved on though, the exposures lengthened; it was three o'clock when we began, and by five, the exposures were reaching into the second long range. I only had ten sheets of 400 speed film with me, so many of the exposures were made on 100 speed film, resulting in longer shutter-speeds than I would like, normally, but the poses were more than easy for Bernice to hold steady, and the resulting images are both crisp and well exposed.
4"x5" film
In contrast to the first day of work I did with Bernice, the work created on this day was more considered, and a little less hectic. There was time for reflection and consideration, which I think shows in the results. I am very pleased with the body of work she and I created over such a short period,. and hope to have the opportunity to continue my work with Bernice at a later date.

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