September 03, 2001

A Couple on the Rocks (Litchfield, Nova Scotia)

I haven't worked with Miles since before his departure for higher learning on the west coast in June of 1999. His reappearance in the last week of August marked the return of a great friend and the safe deliverance of two experienced and enthusiastic models.
4"x5" film
After such a strong session with Trav and Miranda at Chebucto Head, we headed to the same coast on this afternoon, hoping to work with some of the same spaces. The day was a Sunday, however, and we arrived to find a small horde of people, clambering over the rocks and generally getting in the way. Rather then give up, we decided to trek down the coast a ways, to see what could be found further from the road.

The walk proved fruitful, and half-an hour later (it is my experience that people seldom walk further then ten minutes from their cars) we came across Litchfield Cove, which was rich in possibilities and isolated enough to permit us to work without fear of interruption.
4"x5" film
As it was late in the summer, and late in the day, the light for the setting was perfect; the sun was streaming into the cove from the landside, and back-lighting the high grasses and ferns growing among the rocks at the upper end of the beach. Normally I dislike working in direct sunlight but, as this was less like sunlight and more like rim light, it was wonderful to work with.

The first images of the session were made with the models posed against the brilliant back-lit grasses; most of the compositions were fairly static, with one or both of the models lying on the rocks. At one point, when J_ was watching Miles work out a pose, everything came together, and I had her hold her stance; the result, above, has an almost lyric quality, with an implied, but vague storyline.
6x9 cm film
While part of what I wanted to produce during the session were images of Miles and J_ together, I did come across a good number of spaces that called for single models, and didn't hesitate to take advantage of the possibilities with one or the other of the models. One of the most successful of these, to the left, uses the softer, indirect light of the sides of the cove to marry J_'s figure to the undulating rocks that abounded. The small smooth stones that have collected over the years in the hollows in the bedrock produced a nice counterpoint to the fluid, continuous lines of the body behind.

After more than four hours of continuous working, ravenous hunger finally brought an end to the session; the provisions we had brought along ran out, and there was no way to continue without risk of model mutiny.

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