August 26, 2001

Lisa poses for the First Time (Dawson Brook, Nova Scotia)

This session was quite unexpected; a photographer friend of mine, Lymari, had driven up from New England to spend a couple of days working with me, and developing her skills with infrared film; with her came a friend, Lisa, who, while not a photographer, was an admirer of my imagery.
6x9 cm film
When, over the course of our first evening's conversations, the discussions turned to the models who work with me, someone brought up the issue of "perfect bodies" and the reality that very few of the models I work with would measure up to this vague and arbitrary standard, though they prove to be excellent models. Lisa voiced how much she'd like to be part of work such as mine, but that she knew she didn't have the body for it. My eyebrows went up at this, and the question was presented - Lisa, would you like to try modeling for Lymari and me? With a little hesitation and trepidation, she accepted the invitation, and what had been a model-less weekend turned around 180 degrees.

The next afternoon, we began to work, exploring the possibilities in the slow moving water in the open shade of the surrounding wood. As the purpose of Lymari's visit was to further her experience with infrared, I left my view camera behind, and instead focused on the smaller formats - infrared in my Nikon 35mm, and colour in my Fuji 6x9 rangefinder. In the end, on one level, I did wish I had brought my view camera, but the results from the session were strong, regardless of the format choice.
35mm infrared film
Because part of the motivation of the session was to explore the possibilities of different films, we ended up working with the same poses from several different angles and with different cameras, as opposed to changing poses as soon as a successful composition was made, as is usually my approach. The results are interesting, presenting a great example of how the tools chosen by a creator can effect the end result; the tone of the colour and black and white infrared images of essentially the same pose is very different, though I am hard pressed to choose which I prefer.
35mm infrared film
Because the water was in the shade, Lisa found it hard to stay in for more then a couple of poses, so we moved her out onto a sun-lit rock to warm; it was here that some of the more striking images of the day were made, and the water on her skin beaded and ran off, following the lines of her breasts and neck. Unlike the earlier water-nudes, this image was singularly successful in colour.

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