July 07, 2001

Cassandra, Nova Scotia VI (Feltzen South, Nova Scotia)

It was late in the afternoon before Cassandra and I ventured outside, to work with the angular light of the setting sun. We walked down to the shore behind the house in which we were staying, and began to explore the possibilities of the rocky beach.
6x7 cm film
Unlike the work of the day before, most of the images we made at Back Bay were composed around the landscape; I worked primarily with Cassandra's form as a mirror or counterfoil to the landscape in which she moved. The low angle of the sun provided perfect lighting for the session, giving rich description to both the landscape, and the body within it.
35mm infrared film
My usual way of working with landscape poses is to give the model a sense of what is drawing my eye to a scene, and then ask her to explore the space physically with that in mind, and see what happens. Where the previous day's images focused mainly upon the movement of water, this session incorporated the rocks and foliage of the shoreline, which put a stronger focus upon the posing and positioning the body. For a new model, it can be hard work to make an image come together for the camera, and Cassandra put a lot of effort into making the poses work. As much direction as I can give from behind the camera, it is really up to the model to pull things together, as they are actually in the space, and know what is physically possible. An important part of working with a new model is to strike the right balance between directing the pose and encouraging the model to work with the space, developing a trust in their own body instinct.
8"x10" film
Over the session, I again mixed the landscape nudes with portraits, partially because the landscape was a little less engaging then I'd hoped for, and partially because of the simple power of the naked gaze. Working with all three formats (colour, 35mm B&W infrared and 8"x10" B&W) went well, with each being called into play when appropriate. The pacing of the session was great, with Cassandra and I moving down the beach as the images came and went, and eventually calling it a day when the sun sank below the horizon.

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