August 21, 2000

Yvette Poses in Cathedral Pines (Long Island, New York)

Initially, I think we both found the Cathedral Pines disappointing - the trees were terribly impressive (to me at least) but their impact came from their height - straight up for close to 30 meters. It is pretty difficult to combine a human figure with such massive trees without encountering some problems. Our perseverance paid off however, when we found a beautiful tree with three trunks coming out of a single root-base. Of the day, this was the first space that called out for a Nude to be placed within it - as opposed to simply responding to light, I was now working with an environment that directly engaged me.
35mm infrared film
From this space, we moved on, and switched back to working with light - beyond the three-trunked tree there was a small growth of pines, with large, light needles close to the ground. I'd worked with pine needles on infrared film before, and knew they practically glow when struck by direct sunlight. Setting Yvette within the spray of branches, I worked with my 35mm camera to make a series of simple images - her standing side on to the light. The end effect was very pleasing, with a surreal background of white needles, and a lovely side-lit torso amidst them.
4"x5" film
The best image of the session (below) was also the last we made in the park. We were walking back from the end of the small park when we came across a fallen tree stripped of its branches, and arching across the forest floor. Immediately, I knew this space had potential, but it took a while to find it. The initial pose, lying along the trunk, worked well, but it lacked some of the energy and dynamism that I knew the setting had, so I challenged Yvette to work harder with the setting, asking her to twist even further into the space and see what happened. It worked, and a quick repositioning of the camera and a change of lenses made it all come together. Again, the 75mm lens came through, proving its worth with the powerful flow of lines through the image.
4"x5" film
Of all the places we worked on this day, the Cathedral Pines were, I think, the least productive. The space was beautiful, but in a way that was particularly hard to convey with the camera. The final image is stunning, however, and makes the entire session worthwhile, proving that you never know what you are going to get, or when in a session it will happen.

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