September 16, 2001

Miranda Models on the Barrens (Polly Cove, Nova Scotia)

Working outdoors in Nova Scotia is always a boon after the beginning of September, so when the day dawned sunny and warm, the tentative plans to head out and work with Miranda were confirmed, and shortly before noon, we headed off.
6x9 cm film
We ventured out to the granite planes by the Atlantic coast, planning to take advantage of the directional light and sparse landscape. I think I had our successes from a week earlier in mind when I chose the spot, though the results of the afternoon's work was very different from what was made before. Where those images were horizon-less and close, almost all the work we did on the barrens incorporated the landscape as a whole meeting the sky.
35mm infrared film
On one level, the session was disappointing; we had to get Miranda back to the city in time for work. Though we had most of the afternoon, we were always uncomfortably conscious of the clock. This often disrupts sessions as I tend to be too time conscious, and settle for images that are "good enough" as opposed to perfect. On the other hand, some of the most successful images of the day were swiftly made, with little thought to composition, or posing. The reinforcement this gives to my need to keep spontaneity in my work is welcome, and poignant at the same time.
8"x10" film
My second session with Miranda as a solo model was also my first testing my new wide-angle lens for the 8"x10" - a 150mm f/8 Nikkor-SW, which has about the same angle of view as a 20mm lens on a 35mm camera or a 75mm lens on a 4"x5", formerly my favourite lens. This lens replaces the older, and (slightly) slower 159mm f/9.5 Wollensak. Initially I had hopes of replacing the lens with a 150mm f/5.6 XL from Schneider, but when a used Nikkor showed up on e-bay for $1000 CDN less then I had planned to pay for the Schneider, I realized I had to be prudent, and get the more economical of the lenses. After using it once, I know the decision wasn't wrong, in any way. The lens is everything I had hoped and more and should really help me achieve the kinds of results I am expecting from the 8"x10" view camera.

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