This session was inspired by earlier work I'd done with J , at Dawson Brook, where we'd discovered the wonderful reflective quality of one particular area of the slow-flowing stream. I'd been very pleased with the images of R_, but as they were initial explorations, they were made on 35mm slide film, which presented some issues in regard to printing them. This time, with Cassandra, I was working with medium format (6x9) colour negative film, and could be assured that both the image quality as a whole, and the ability to print the images, would be improved. Because I'd worked in the space before, little time was spent actually finding the image, and more on the pose, which paid off in a well-seen photo that pays homage to its origins, but manages to be distinct enough to avoid being a simple copy.
After we made the initial image, we moved off, working our way slowly
down the river, and making images as we went. After making a series of
images photographing across the stream, I moved closer to Cassandra and
made a portrait, filling the 8"x10" with her strong arms and shoulders
as a frame within the frame. The slight dappling from the sunlight
through the trees added some brilliant highlights to the image, and the
outcome proved very successful, a blend of a portrait of a powerful
young woman, and a striking Nude with a great sense of presence.
very end of the session was spent working with (as opposed to in) the
waterfall at the end of the upper stream. As with ever other time I've
been to Dawson Brook, the water level was low, with very little water
flowing downstream; what could have been a chaotic, frothing waterfall
was instead a small, almost negligible amount of water trickling down
the rock steps to the pool below. As Cassandra was still chilled from
the earlier water work, and the rocks were slippery, we opted to work
with her above the waterfall, in contrast to its motion-blurred flow.
Because the falls were in direct sunlight, and Cassandra was almost all in the shade, contrast issues were inherent to the light conditions. I opted to heavily over-expose the film (from 400 ISO to 50 ISO), and compensate for this in the subsequent development to tame the contrast. This worked remarkably well; the resulting images have a wonderful sense of luminosity in the blurred waters, while keeping a rich amount of detail in the shadowed forest floor behind Cassandra's form.
|6x9 cm film