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.
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.
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
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.
|35mm infrared film