September 24, 2001

Victoria Models Outdoor (Feltzen, Nova Scotia)

Though Victoria has been back from Ecuador since the beginning of the summer, there seems to be a conspiracy against us finding the time to work together - inevitably one or the other of us is busy, and plans for work were put off. This weekend, however, had been in the works for over a month, both to facilitate the creation of some new work, and to permit a friend of mine to make some documentary video of my working process. As it turned out, the planned three days of work shrank to a brief 24 hours but regardless, the plan stayed mostly intact, and found Victoria and I working for a wonderfully long afternoon with some of the best light I have had all year.
35mm infrared film
The shore where we worked was ripe with possibilities, but rather then get mired in extracting all the potential from each setting, I tried to work with what first came to the eye, and them move on once that image had been recorded. This is a little different from how I usually work, but as I wanted to get the most of the afternoon, I felt the broadest variety of settings and compositions would be the best approach.
8"x10" film
My favourite image of the day is one that came as a pleasant surprise - when I first pulled the negative from the chemistry into the light, I literally gasped at the richness of the image - the long fluid line of Victoria's body stretched out between dark rock ledges. When I made the image, it was more on a whim then a well seen moment; I was working to get my camera down off a rock shelf when I glanced at Victoria below - and the scene looked just perfect. I seldom work looking down on models, so the viewpoint is a refreshing one, but more then that, the exquisite tonal description of the 8"x10" negative records all the detail of the scene with brilliant accuracy.
8"x10" film
After working with so many new models over the past summer, it was surprising how quickly Victoria and I found our way back into our working relationship. There is a particular pleasure working with a model who is both comfortable with the process, and confident with her ability to find an image, or carry off a pose. With new models, the primary focus of the first couple of session is to ensure the experience is rewarding and gratifying; after two or more sessions, however, a comfort with the process as a whole is achieved, and gradually the work itself becomes the focus for both the model and myself. With Victoria, however, because she was already an experienced figure model when we first met, it took little time for us to establish a strong working relationship, and since that date, our continued work has only built a more solid foundation for us, both as friends and collaborators.

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