July 12, 2001

Cassandra, Nova Scotia XIV (Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia)

This river space was shown to me by my friend, Brent, in hoped that it would work well as a modeling space; it proved perfect, with sun-warmed water flowing through the forest over rocks and boulders. The deciduous trees and thick coverings of moss and lichen made the entire area almost vibrate with greens.
6x9 cm film
Before I moved down off the road, and worked on the river's level, I made an image from the bridge over the water. The high vantage point was unusual, and I knew it would be a wonderful composition for the 12x20 camera (I also realized that it was impractical to use the 12x20 down by the riverside, due to the small and confined space).
6x9 cm film
Positioning the camera on the bridge was easy enough, but framing and focusing proved a challenge, as the ground-glass of the camera was about two meters off the ground. Eventually though, I got the camera set up, and we began to work on the pose. Initially, I had planned on a back-on pose, but because of some rather strong, pre-Portfolio sunburn lines on Cassandra's back (more proof of the necessity of sunscreen!), we had to opt for a frontal pose, lying back on one of the larger rocks. The flow of the water around the rocks turned almost misty due to the eight second exposure necessary for the image, but this, in combination with the incredible detail the large negative gives to the rocks and figure, makes the entire image a joy to view.
12"x20" film
The rest of the session was spent working with the roll-film cameras from the forest-floor. Because of the thick covering of trees overhead, the exposures were longer then I'd expected, which gave a very ethereal quality to the water, causing an almost ghostly quality to the motion blur. In addition to this, there was an unusually high amount of infrared radiation, and almost all of my infrared negatives ended up being grossly over-exposed. I can only assume this to be because the trees above were reflecting so much of this invisible light (they were glowing white, reflecting the light). I will keep this in mind the next time I work in such a space, and hope that the experience will lead to better results the next time.

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