August 30, 2000

Bernice Posing in Fort Warren, Boston, MA

Like Yvette, Bernice had also contacted me through my website about modeling. When she'd first emailed, she was in Toronto, Canada, and while I visit Toronto from time to time, the chances of me doing some figure work in that area were slim. Several months later, however, she relocated to Boston. As I was already planning the New England Expedition, I had hoped to meet up with her to make some images.
35mm infrared film
We managed to get together during my second week in the area, and for lack of a better place to work, we headed out to the harbour, hoping to model in some of the more remote areas of the islands. Our plans went awry almost from the beginning, as we arrived on George's Island only to find that is was 90 minutes before the next ferry to our destination, Peddock's Island, was to depart. Not wanting to just sit and wait, I suggested to Bernice that we walk through the fort - being new to Boston, she'd never been out to the island and I thought she might enjoy seeing it. So we walked up to the fort, and I began the tour, starting with, naturally, the spiral stairs.
4"x5" film
As it turned out, her immediate reaction to the stairways was to ask if I wanted her to model in them. I was a little concerned about doing a figure session in such a populated area (there were other visitors crawling all over the fort), but as we had a clear line of site on the top of the wall, and I would be blocking the stairway with my tripod from below, we decided it was a small risk, compared to the possible results.
4"x5" film
The results, 30 minutes later, felt really good (one of the problems of working so far from home is that you never get to SEE the results until a week or more later). While the space was small and confined, the 75mm lens on the 4"x5" was more than up to the job, and Bernice proved herself almost immediately to be a strong model, setting up the pose clothed, and then, after checking for strolling visitors, quickly re-finding the pose nude for the final exposure. In some ways, this was a less than ideal way to begin a new relationship with a model - in a space with so little time for image refinement, or casual work, but at the same time, the work was worth the effort, and it made the rest of the day seem like a cake walk.

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