July 08, 2001

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

Most of the landscape I work with in Nova Scotia constitute a small number of places; without a car, I am often limited to where I can get to conveniently with friends and models. With Cassandra, however, we had a car for the full two weeks, and could access spaces much farther a field. In addition, we were based for the first week in Feltzen, an hour south of Halifax, which put us in a different geographical area all together.
6x9 cm film
Where most of the rock spaces around Halifax are granite, the coastal cliffs at Rose Bay, near Feltzen, are a colourful sedimentary rock, flowing vertically up from the shale beach. With strong striations in the rock, and rich textures, the space was perfect to work with, and held a wealth of opportunities.
6x9 cm infrared film
 We arrived mid-morning on a grey, overcast day with the sun only hinted at behind low fog and clouds. The quality of the light was near perfect, as it was bright but even; the only real problem was composing any images that included the white and featureless sky. Though we found the seaside air a little chilly, we held out hope that the day would warm as it progressed, and set to work.

Our optimism about the weather proved to be misplaced and by the middle of the session, we were taking long pauses for Cassandra to warm up; the red "model sweater" which Joy had bought several years before was used to great effect. Eventually, not wanting to lose shooting time, we shifted to setting up the pose and camera with Cassandra in the sweater, only removing it just before the exposure was made.
4"x54" film
Eventually, after several hours of work, the cold became too much, and we had to call the venture to a close before Cassandra felt victim to a less benevolent form of "exposure.". The experience reminded me of the snow Victoria and I woke to one morning in Alberta, in July of 1999; no matter how much planning is done in advance, one can never account for the weather. The images we made were strong, however, with a number of interesting compositions made which would not have been possible with the rockscapes more familiar to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to explore a new space, and was grateful to Cassandra for being willing to tough it out through the chilling temperatures to make the images.

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