June 27, 2001

R_ Models at Sunset (Middle Cove, Nova Scotia)

Most of eastern Nova Scotia faces the sunrise, so it is rare to find a water-front space that faces the setting sun; in 1996 I happened to be at Peggy's Cove at sunset, and was treated to a wonderful spectacle. Ever since then, I wanted to try working with a model during the fading of the light, and I finally got my wish.
4"x5" film
R_had made arrangements a week before to work with me for a couple of days late in June, but at the last moment, her plans changed, and she dropped by my work to let me know that she had the evening free. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and asked her if she'd be up for working that evening. Immediately she asked if we could work with water (the day was terribly hot) and I smiles and said "you bet". Two hours later we were on our way to Peggy's Cove.

We arrived about 90 minutes before sunset, and began working with the tidal pools and the sunlight reflected in them. Just like last fall, when I was overjoyed to be working into late October, I revelled in the low, angular light, and the great description of R_'s form. Usually I draw inspiration for the poses from the setting, but most of the photos made this evening were drawn directly from the light and it's interplay with the water and body.
35mm transparency film
As the sun moved down in the sky, we eventually stopped working in the lower tidal pools and moved up onto the high rocks overlooking the bay, and the setting sun. We were fortunate that the day was slightly hazy, and as the sun went down in the sky, it changed from a blindingly white ball into a pale orange globe just above the horizon. We had to work swiftly at this point to make the most of the descending sun, but the pose we worked out, with R_'s back facing me, and her leaning away from the sun, has just the tone I was seeking. The soft light compliments the pose, and chaotic landscape with the setting sun evoking something primal and powerful to my eye.
4"x5" film
We worked for another 15 minutes or so after the sunset, at which point it became too dark to work with ease - the final exposure of the day was a full 8 seconds long. On the whole, the session proved my conviction that working with sunsets is certainly worth the effort, even if it inevitably is a race against time. I hope to find other settings to use, in hopes that during the Cassandra Portfolio work next month, I'll be able to further explore the possibilities of working with the dying of the light.

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