October 23, 2000

A Cello and Claire (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

35mm infrared film
Almost since I first met Claire, she and I talked of doing a photo session that incorporated her cello; the mixture of the body and instrument seemed only logical, but it took until the fall for us to finally put together a session (to be honest, we could have done it earlier, but as the weather was good enough for outdoor work, we took advantage of it while it lasted). The session was hampered by cool weather (the studio was unheated) but was really encouraging all the same. The flow between the body and the cello was less obvious than I had thought, but yielded some really stunning combinations that surprised me even more when I saw the images on film the next day. Sometimes the results exceed the expectations.
35mm transparency film
I almost never work with props in my images (though one could argue the mirror is a prop), but in this case, I approached the work with enthusiasm and interest - the possibilities seemed to great to be ignored. Surprisingly, however, most of my pre-conceived ideas went out the window when we actually started working; the cello was so different from what I'd expected.
35mm transparency film
The first poses we tried worked with contrasting the flow of the body to the lines of the instrument - using strong back lighting to light Claire's hip and the side of the cello. From these, we moved on to play with the mirroring of the body, framing hips, breasts and shoulders against the body of the cello. Overall, the results were frustrating, even with the strong successes. The studio was too cool to permit really detailed set-up for the images, and as much of a trooper as Claire was, well before we'd exhausted the possibilities, she was too cold to continue. I hope to revisit the cello and Claire in the studio again, but it will be with more time, and more heat.

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