July 16, 2001

Cassandra, Nova Scotia XVIII (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

While the entire Cassandra Portfolio was to be work based on the Nude in Landscape, I didn't want to ignore other possibilities while Cassandra was here. On the morning of her second-last day in Nova Scotia, we spent several hours working with the morning light, diffused through a sheet over the windows in our living room.
35mm transparency film
I used this approach in 1999 in making the Thalamus series, and I find myself returning to it again and again, pleased with the quiet simplicity. As the session was very different from the outdoor work we'd been pursuing for the previous ten days, it was interesting to see how Cassandra reacted to working in a comfortable setting, as opposed to cool rivers, hard rock and damp earth.

35mm transparency film
Like our first sessions outdoors, Cassandra initially relied upon me for direction, but eventually realized that what I was drawn to was not a pose as such, but a moment of relaxation or comfort which I'd ask her to hold while I composed and exposed the image. Overall, this was a swifter, more spontaneous process then the outdoor work; the only time it came to a halt was when the 8"x10" was called into play, and even that was just to capture the moment paused, and not to search out new images.
35mm transparency film
After just under two hours of work, I felt that all the possibilities were explored, and the session came to a close. Of all the work we did, this session was singular, in that it was the only one where the colour work so completely out performed the black-and-white. There was nothing in the eight sheets of 8"x10" film I had exposed which even came close to the languorous feel of the colour transparencies. This experience has been repeated over and over, with other models in the same setting, but I keep trying with the monochrome, hoping someday to be able to pull it across that invisible barrier that keeps it from succeeding in the same way the colour does so consistently.

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