October 27, 2000

Randi in An Autumn Forest (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The last outdoor session of 2000 was spent just outside of Halifax, in the woods near a lake. We chose an outcrop of lichen-covered granite, both because it provided interesting settings to pose against, and because it permitted us to work with the angular autumnal light.
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Like the second outdoor session, Randi and I focused upon images that reflected the landscape. After two sessions, she's beginning to get a sense of what I am after when I give directions, and generally speaking, we're getting faster at making an image come together.

In some ways, this session felt a little desperate - the air was cool, and I actually didn't expect Randi to model for long, if at all. Once we began however, she insisted it was comfortable enough, and we proceeded to explore the space.
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In some ways, choosing to work on such a small plateau of rock was a real restriction to the work as a whole. By the same token, restrictions breeds innovation, and well before we ran out of idea, Randi had grown too cold, and we had to depart. The early and most evident images came from playing the body off against the rocks, exploring the crevasses and breaks in the broad stone. Towards the end of the session, however, Randi suggested a series of poses against a thin tree beside the rocks - the resulting image, above on the left, speaks strongly to me of Mapplethorpe, an American photographer from the 1970's and 1980's who made a series of studio nudes with particularly strong and powerful models. While this image has a different tone and setting, it certainly comes from that same place of confidence and power in the model.
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Overall, the three outdoor sessions with Randi were a great way to draw my outdoor work for the year to a close. Her dedication and thick skin permitted me to make a number of very strong images, and push my work further in several directions, than I would have otherwise. I hope to continue working with her occasionally over the winter, and in the coming year.

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