December 31, 2002

The Year's Last Session, Working with L_

The final session of 2002 took place on New Year's eve, with L_ coming over for a mid-afternoon session. Though it is the last session of the year, I still miscalculated the light and by the time the session started, the light was failing, and exposures at the very beginning of the session were already pretty long.
8"x10" film
Given that the exposures were going to be 1/4 second or longer, L_ was pretty much limited to prone poses, lying upon the white sheets and keeping as still as possible. This didn't present a problem from the perspective of image making, as the light cascading across her body was more then enough to provide some beautiful images, but it was an issue from the point of view of varying the composition; there are only so many poses possible with a figure lying on a bed.
8"x10" film
One of the first images we made was more of a snap-shot then a careful, considered composition. As she was waiting for me to set my camera up, she crossed her arms and looked at me - I glimpsed the gesture and instantly asked her if she could hold it. About three minutes later, the exposure was made, with the focus carefully drawing attention to her mouth and lips in the lower corner of the image. Because of the low light, I had to work with a narrow focus anyway, but I suspect that the image would have been weaker with a full range of focus.
8"x10" film
After making a series of compositions exploring the lines of L_'s back set against the luminous, out-of-focus sheets behind her, I shifted to making some sitting portraits. The light by this point had dropped so much that I decided to push my film to an exposure of E.I. 800 (pushing film lowers the shadow detail in an image but, in this case, I felt it was better to make the images, than worry about retaining all the shadow detail). Because L_ was sitting with her head against the window frame, it was possible for us to make images with exposures a full second long. Of the four compositions I made only two that had no motion blur; the images are very pleasing, with a relaxed, casual feel to them that is often absent from my indoor portraiture.

December 29, 2002

Miranda & Victoria Model Together

With the arrival of winter and the resulting shift to working indoors, I'm constantly trying to push my work forward, be it through working with new models (as above), or through building more upon the body of work already begun with previous models. In the case of this session, I go to both build upon the images I'd already made with Miranda and Victoria, and combine the two bodies into some new work.
6x7 cm film
Working with two models together brings an extra element to a session, indoors or out. In many cases, when I work with two models, they are in a relationship, and so the images revolved around the intimacy and affection that exist between lovers, but in a case like this, where the two models are friends, a different approach is called for. I used the white sheet setting that I have grown so fond of for indoor work, and explored the visual possibilities that evolved between the two models.
8"x10" film
Most of the first portion of the setting was spent exploring bodyscapes, working with the two model's figures to create visual planes of focus and lines. In many ways, this is the simplest approach to working with two models, an approach of compare and contrast. Out of this work came several striking images, on which one is displayed at the beginning of this entry. The simplicity of the lines of Victoria's back and bottom, set against the curve of Miranda's hip and pelvis result in an image classical simplicity. I wish it was easy to make images like this, because if it was, I would create them more often.
6x7 film film
As much as I enjoyed working with the visual possibilities of the lines and flow of the models, after a number of compositions, about half-way through the session, I shifted to images that combined the body abstracts with more traditional portrait nudes. This was surprisingly difficult because of the low light (while the day was not stormy, it certainly was not bright), and the fact that it was best when falling across the bed,. All that said, a change of arrangement (including moving a computer desk) and we had a working set-up - I had to place the models right by the window to get enough light. The portraits that finished off the session were interesting; the implied intimacy of the nudity, combined with the posing and positioning of the two models makes for a fairly complex and almost contradictive image with Victoria's gaze looking past the torso of Miranda directly into the eyes of the viewer.
6x7 film film
Miranda had to leave early, but Victoria offered to stay for another couple of images, to make the most of the day's light. We finished off the session with a number of images, ranging from portraits to bodyscapes. One of my favourites is an image of Victoria's feet, legs and hips, leading up through the frame to the top right. One of the elements I have been experimenting with recently is framing images on angles

December 16, 2002

Elizabeth Models in Natural Light

One of the greatest advantages of working with little in the way of pre-planning is that I can quickly respond to what happens during a session, without having to abandon ideas or images which I'd  hoped to work on. With outdoor work, this is about the only way I can work, given that I have no control over the weather, and often choose to work in places I haven't been to before. Even in an indoor session, however, the simple act of starting a photo session without any preconceived notions in mind is advantageous, because too often, a planned image or idea acts only as a distraction from what is spontaneously occurring in front of the camera lens.
6x7 cm film

When I set up this session with Elisabeth, I'd thought that it would probably an abstract body-lines session; between the work with Kim and Natasha, many of the new images I'd made of late were portrait nudes. I felt that Elisabeth would provide me with an excellent opportunity to focus upon the lines and form of the body, and not just upon the power of the gaze. How wrong I was to try to anticipate how the session would end up flowing.
Digital original
For a new model's first session, I almost invariably begin by making a series of portraits once they've disrobed. This is for several reasons; partially to explore the possibilities of the model's face, but also because it is often more familiar to have a camera pointed at their face, then at their unclothed body. With Elisabeth, as soon as I composed the first images, I knew that most of the session would focus upon nude portraits; the rich texture of her light hair, combined with her comfort in front of the camera made for a great number of successful images, all revolving around her gaze. As I said above, I had thought the session would provide me with an opportunity to move away form the specific, and focus upon the general; but once I realized how striking her portrait was, I couldn't help but focus upon it.
Digital original, 2 frame stitch
By the end of the session, I was very pleased with the flow of the session; several more abstract images came out of the afternoon, but most of what was stuck in my mind's eye were the numerous portraits. The only real frustrations from the session was that it was too dark to use the 8x10 camera effectively, thereby relegating the most striking images to medium format. With luck, I'll have more time to work with Elisabeth, and be able to explore the possibilities that an 8"x10" camera will present.

December 15, 2002

Natasha's First Session

My work is very much dictated by the world in which I live; it flows in cycles, just as my late spring to early fall work embraced the great outdoors, my late fall to early spring work revolves around enclosed spaces, either available light session, or studio sessions using electronic flash. I'd love to spend the entire year working with the Nude in landscape, but Nova Scotian winters preclude this, so I change to working indoors.
35mm infrared film
Before 1999, I spent most of my winter months in hibernation, using the time to do darkroom work and assimilate the images from the previous year. From that year onward, however, I have pretty consistently photographed year round, as subjects (people or places) and resources permit.
35mm infrared film
Like Kim, Natasha's first exposure to my work was at the the release of the "Revealing Beauty" documentary in November. After meeting and talking, we decided for various reasons to place
our first session in the lighting studio, where we could make the most of the time Natasha had to model (two days after the session, she was leaving Nova Scotia for two weeks).
Digital original
As it turned out, only about half the session was spent using the studio flash; one of the cameras I was using for the session had problem with its flash synch; after fifteen minutes of frustration, I changed the session around, opening up some of the blinds on a studio window and changing the session over to a natural light one. After suspending a white cloth for a backdrop, I had a more than adequate setting to work within (there is a certain amount of irony behind being in a studio with thousands of dollars of lighting, and resorting to using available light). Truth be told, as much as I enjoy working with the electronic flash, the most dynamic part of this session was the available light portion. Mostly, this was because of the beauty of the light coming in through the diffused studio windows, but also it was the simplicity of working with the model in response to the simple, unchanging light, as opposed to positioning the lights and reflectors in the studio, and having a near infinite combinations of lighting possibilities.
6x6 cm film
As seems to be the case lately, this session was predominately a portrait session, taking
advantage of Natasha's comfort with the camera. Split between the available light images
against the white sheet, and the studio images against a black background, the session shifted
back and forth between Nude portraits and more traditional nudes, focusing upon Natasha's
body alone.

December 09, 2002

A Final Session with Aurora

As Aurora's due date comes closer and closer, each session we have is more and more likely to be our final; I am already more then satisfied with the images we have created, but each additional session holds the promise of more successes to add to the body of work. It is an unusual feeling, working with a project of such specific dimensions - once Aurora has given birth, the work will have come to a conclusion. With the exception of the Victoria, Alberta and Cassandra, Nova Scotia portfolios, which were bodies of work produced for specific purposes, all my work is open ended, and on-going.
6x7 cm film
Aurora and I began the session working with her standing against a white sheet; I'd first used this approach with R_ in March and was very pleased with the results. This technique marked a distinct change in how I was approaching photographing Aurora. Almost all my work with her to date has focused upon the curves and flow of her pregnancy, using both the studio and available light to give accent to her figure. At the beginning of this session, however, I used the flat light to put an emphasis on the outline, as opposed to the edge-line.
6x7 cm film
A high-key approach, in which very little of the image was dark, accentuated the overall form, as opposed to surfaces and textures. The poses were somewhat limited, partially because the focus was so clearly upon the pregnancy, and partially because of Aurora's limited mobility. Over the past couple of months spent working with her, this was the first session where Aurora's pregnancy seemed to in any way hinder her.
Digital original
After we finished with the standing images, Aurora and I moved into the bedroom, with the white sheets now being used to diffuse the sunlight outside. Our first session in October used the same approach, so I was glad to return to the setting at the close of our work together. Out of this work came one of my favourite images of Aurora, sitting cross legged with the light cascading over the torso and belly. I made the image in both colour and black and white, and while both are equally
successful, the warmth of her skin against the cool sheets makes the colour photograph my preferred of the two.
Digital original
The session was finished off with a number of images being made of Aurora in the shower. Unlike
the bathroom at her apartment, this shower was lit by a skylight, which provided a soft, even light (it wasn't terribly bright though, which led to exposures of 1/15th of a second at f/2.0). A number of the shower images were very pleasing, including the one I display here, with the beauty of Aurora's pregnancy made the focus of the image through the sweep of her arm. A couple of days after this session, Aurora successfully delivered her baby and both mother and child are doing well.

A First Session with Kim

As I mention above, apart from the work with Aurora, not too much has happened photographically speaking this fall - all my attention was focused upon taking full advantage of the opportunity Aurora had so kindly provided to me. The fact that I was distracted by domestic realities (trying to sell my house) only made the decision to focus upon Aurora, to the exclusion of other models, easier.
6x7 cm film
With the release of the "Revealing Beauty" documentary in November, however, my work was placed before a new audience, and with that came a number of people interested in working with me. As Aurora's due date looms, and things begin to semi-settle down on the house side of things, I was more then interested in the possibilities that new models might offer.

Kim contacted me after seeing the video, having become very engaged with the ideas and possibilities represented by my work. We met and discussed working together, and a week later, met again to begin making some images. We worked in my living room, where I used white sheets to create a light, luminous space for her to model in. I worked between all three camera formats, concentrating on medium format, but bringing the 35mm infra-red and 8"x10" camera into play as was appropriate.
6x7 cm film
As much as I realize the inherent benefits of long term collaborations with models, such as the relationship I have with Victoria, there is an equal advantage to a first session with a new model. The total unknown that hangs in the air as a first session with a new model begins is almost magical - there is just no way to anticipate how a model will interact with myself, and what images will come out of the first session.

Because of Kim's long and svelte figure, many of the images I made had strongly emphasized diagonals, both because the aspect ratio of the cameras I was using was too box-like for the images, and because the diagonal compositions created an increased tension within the frame. With my outdoor work, I seldom skew the horizon, preferring to let the images flow be generated by the lines of the landscape, but with indoor images, it is so easy to influence how an image flows by simply tilting the camera.
Digital original
By the end of the session, Kim and I had produced a number of very successful images, ranging from delicate, engaging portraits to beautiful bodyscapes focusing on the lines and flows of her hips and legs. About the only real frustration with the session lay in the time of year, and the reality that it will be months before Kim and I will be able to work within the environment that I most enjoy, the great outdoors.

December 08, 2002

An Indoor Session with L_

Because of the time-based aspect of my work with Aurora (she is only going to be pregnant for so long), I have not worked much with other models since the beginning of the fall. Pretty much any time I have had to make or work on images has been put into the documentation and exploration of Aurora's pregnancy. I had initially put aside today for another session with Aurora, but when I learned she was not available, I eagerly seized the chance to work with another model as a change of pace, and asked L_ and Krista if they were free and interested in working with me. Fortunately, neither model had plans, so we agreed to meet, and see what happened.
8"x10" film
As it turned out, Krista was unable to come, so what I had anticipated to be a two-model session quickly morphed into a continuation of my collaboration with L_. Like may of our sessions before, much of the work we produced focused upon portrait nudes, combining the power of the gaze of the model with the implied comfort and intimacy of her nudity.
Digital original
In many ways, this session is a continuation of two bodies of work; my ever-growing series of nudes of models using available light and white sheets, and my collaboration with L_. Working within such a minimalist set of parameters imposes a definite sense of continuity to the white-sheet work, while the addition of more imagery to the body of work that L_ and I have produced over the last year and a half simply builds upon an already solid foundation.
Digital original
Almost every image of the session had at least an element of portraiture to it; L_'s comfort with the camera and the process combined with the beautiful light of the afternoon made it hard to resist. I seem to go through phases in my work where I will concentrate on bodyscapes and universal images (meaning images where the model is not presented as an individual, but more as an "every-body") for a while, and then flip back to focusing upon the Nude combined with portraiture. I am not sure if the reason for this focus at the moment is spending so much time photographing Aurora's pregnancy, which inevitably focused upon the body along, but there was certainly an unconscious focus on portraiture during the session with L_.
Digital original
The close of the session was spent with the last of the afternoon's light (the sun is now pretty much set by 4:30 pm) in the bathroom, working with L_ in the shower. The combination of colour images and water on her skin lead to a number of striking photographs. These are very much rooted in the work with Aurora in the shower, and while my bathroom only has a skylight, the subtle highlights from skylight helped give the images a sparkle that keeps them alive.

November 24, 2002

An Indoor Session with Aurora (and the Second Shower Session)

The second session at Aurora's house built on the strengths of the first, but took advantage of the considered approach demanded by my 8"x10" view camera. I was a little concerned about the amount of light in her apartment, but the morning was sunny and bright, and though none of the windows had direct light, a large yellow building across the street acted as a large reflector, and kicked up more then enough light for our needs.
6x7 cm film
We began the session working on the couch. I had thought the most successful images would have been an 8"x10" negative of Aurora's full figure stretched out. The large negative seemed called for by the delicate tones of the light couch and the darker wall, but when I had finished processing the negatives, it was the infra-red images on the couch that caught my attention. The diffused light combined with the enhanced grain of the infra-red film to render a delicate, romantic image of a slumbering mother-to-be. Normally I don't think of my work as "romantic", but I can't think of another term appropriate for this image.
6x7 cm film
From the living room, we moved into the dining room, a small space with beautiful light coming in through a curtained window. While the living room had almost no spaced with open, uncluttered backgrounds, the dining room was exactly the opposite, with a beautiful unsullied wall against which we could work. On of the best discoveries of working in Aurora's apartment was the joy of working with off-white walls; all the work I have done over the past two years with white backdrops and sheets had made me forget the subtle separations that can occur with a figure against a delicate grey.
8"x10" film
The end of the session was by far the most engaging. Aurora returned to the shower, but instead of my being frustrated with the distortion of the window that took place with the medium format camera, this time I had the 8"x10" Toyo, and was able to shift the lens to the side to maintain the rectangular shape of the window. We revisited the successful images that we had made the week before, using the initial session as a sketchpad for the work of the day. I was unsure if the images could actually be made as the 8"x10" camera needs a proportionally longer exposure (1/4 of a second, compared to 1/15th the week before), but careful pre-focusing, combined with Aurora's leaning against the wall for added stability worked like a charm - the images were all tack sharp, and everything I could have hoped for. By far, the shower nudes of Aurora from this session are my favourite of all the images we have done to date.

November 17, 2002

Aurora by Natural Light

After two sessions in the studio, both Aurora and I felt it was time to return to available light; I by far prefer to react to an environment, rather than having to create one. Aurora suggested her apartment, which would both put her in a comfortable personal space, and challenge me to react to a totally unfamiliar location. Mid-morning, we convened and began to work, starting with her sitting on a light coloured couch.
6x7 cm film
One reason why I think most people prefer photographing outdoors is because of the low light levels indoors; this is easily overcome with one of the simplest and most accessible of photographic accessories, a tripod. All of the images of Aurora I made on this day were made with shutter speeds between one eight and a full second, depending on the setting. The freedom to make an image as it occurred to me, as opposed to being restricted by the limitations of lighting is a great advantage that more the offsets the slower pace of working on a tripod.
6x7 cm film
After we spent some time exploring the possibilities of the couch, I was a little lost as to where to work next, until I caught a glimpse of the light in the hallway, outside the living room. Lit only by a small window on the lower landing, the light was dramatic and strongly angular. Once Aurora moved into the space, things really came together with the window light giving a rim-light to her figure, and enough fill light coming in from the rest of the house to stop her figure from becoming a shadowed silhouette.
6x7 cm film
The last location for the session was in the shower; when Aurora and I had discussed working in her house, she'd mentioned her bathroom, with a window over the bathtub; I had envisioned working with her in the bath, lit by the window behind her, but when I saw the room layout, everything changed; the window was higher, just perfect for lighting a shower-nude. I asked Aurora if she'd be up for shower images, and she was more then willing to give it a try. As the day was overcast, I had to use 3200 speed film to make the images; even with that speed film, the exposures were in the quarter second range.
6x7 cm film
The images that happened were magical - the backlighting made the water almost glow, and as it bounced off Aurora's skin, it made a glow seem to appear around her body. The only frustration was that working with medium format (my Mamiya RB) didn't permit me to correct the perspective of the images; the window was off-centre, forcing me to angle the camera into the room, thereby distorting the window shape. All I kept thinking during the session was "if only I had my 8x10 camera". Perhaps next time.

November 13, 2002

The Debut of the "Revelaing Beauty" Documentary Video

On a rainy, blustery evening, several dozen friends and friends of friends came together to view the debut of "Revealing Beauty", the 25 minute long documentary video on my work with the Nude, produced by Eric Hayes. The evening was a great success, with three screenings, as well as good feedback from both the models (who hadn't seen the final edit before) and the larger general audience. We even attracted a musical celebrity, singer-songwriter James Keelaghan who arrived with Eric Hayes and stayed through the first showing of the video.

November 04, 2002

Another Studio Session with Aurora

When Aurora and I first met and talked about the possibilities of documenting the pregnancy, one element that I was particularly interested in exploring was the possibilities of a session with her, the growing baby, and her partner. While I've had the opportunity to work with pregnant models before, I've never done couple images that revolved around a pregnancy.
6x7 cm film
Generally, for me the studio is a frustrating space to work within; there is nothing but the subject, myself, and the light. It is a lot to ask of a model to be the sole focus of an entire session, and even more so within such an open empty space as a lighting studio, which is why two models are often far easier to work with in the studio (the models have something to cling to, for lack of a better way of explaining it). Aurora's first studio session was more then successful, but I really felt that more could have happened if there had been the introduction of another element, in this case, her partner's hands, to make the images all the more dynamic.
6x7 cm film
So, when everything came together, the three of us (four if you count the developing baby) descended upon the studio to see what would happen with Aurora and her partner together in front of the camera. The technical approach was pretty much the same as the first studio session with Aurora and me but the added complexity of the second model (second set of hands, actually) added to the imagery was fabulous to work with.
6x7 cm film
Where the first session was Aurora and I working together to make the lighting and confines of the studio work, this session was almost the complete opposite, with minimal direction from myself, and most of the images arising from the spontaneous interaction between the two models.
6x7 cm film
The end of the session saw Aurora and I working together on a couple of solo Nudes, continuing the documentation of her changing body. It was verydisconcerting moving from a dynamic where the images happened spontaneously in front of me, to one where I had to return to the standard studio approach of actively working with the model to make the images work.

October 29, 2002

An Indoor Session with Victoria

Though Victoria now lives less then a block from me, it seems that we never have time to get together and make new images together; between her teaching, dancing and working, and my equally complex schedule, 're lucky if we even get to chat on the phone occasionally.
35mm infrared film
All that being said, since before her house even started last fall, I had my heart set on working with her in her claw-footed bathtub, which she intended to install in her renovated home. So, when the house was finally civilized, and the tub installed and working, we set a date...and managed to keep it!

The day was perfect, with bright sunlight providing enough light through the light curtains for me to work with. I began the session working with infra-red film in my 35mm camera, and Ilford's SFX near infra-red film in my Mamiya RB camera; I was interested to see how these two films worked against each other in diffused, low light situations. One of the greatest gifts of a long term collaboration with a model is the freedom to experiment - with an inexperienced or first-time model, there is less room for experimentation. As I knew from earlier tests, the look of the Ilford SFX was not identical to Kodak's HIE, but in the soft light of the room, it was quite pleasing, and definitely different from what would have been recorded by conventional film.
6x7 cm film
Once we finished working with the couch and window light, we moved upstairs to the bathroom. Having worked on her house renovations, I knew the space was small, but I knew that this would prove to be less of a problem with the wide-angle lenses that I prefer for so much of my work. What I hadn't realized was that the image I'd end up wanting the most would be from the head of the tub.

After making a series of images looking from the foot of the tub, on a whim, I moved to the head of the bath, and checked to see if there were possibilities from that angle. What I saw was beautiful, with the curves of Victoria's body moving along the receding lines of the tub, an interwoven figure within the simplicity of the bath. I wasn't sure if I could get either of my cameras into position there (because of the angled ceiling and close wall), but I knew that I had to try. As it turned out, the Mamiya RB was perfect - once the prism finder was removed, I could see just enough to compose the image, and while I had to focus by guesswork, the final exposure (four seconds in length) more then met my expectations.
6x7 cm film
For such a short session, the couple of striking images are very pleasing. The flexibility of the Mamiya in such closed quarters was unexpected yet crucial to making the day a success, photographically. If I had only had my 35mm equipment, I could never have framed up the image, because of the position of the walls and ceiling.

October 28, 2002

Aurora's Second Session

The second session with Aurora took place just over two weeks later, in the studio. As much as I appreciated and enjoyed the work we had done in the small white room, Aurora felt that the work was not exactly what she was looking for, so we decided to explore the possibilities that a lighting studio provided. The major difference between a lighting studio and a space with available light is that in the studio, you have the full flexibility to arrange the light as you wish - the drawback of this is that everything that the images comprised of his created there's very little to draw upon from inspiration besides what is in front of your camera.
35mm infrared film
I've had several models recently comment on how different it is to work in the studio compared to modeling outdoors, or indoors with available light. Aurora seemed feel that there was very little difference between the two environments and worked just as to happily in the environs of the studio as she had in my house with available light.
35mm infrared film
Where I had used the white room in my house to give the images we made a delicate, intimate feel, in the studio I concentrated on Aurora's figure by using a black background to isolate the body in the frame. My standard lighting approach, with a soft light to one side, and a hard light to the other, worked well with the pregnant figure and prove to accentuate both the curves and swell of the body.
35mm infrared film
Overall, the contrast between the indoor of our first session, and the studio work two weeks later is quite striking. This isn't rooted in a change in Aurora's comfort level, but in the difference in the atmosphere of the two spaces. I think part of my reoccurring frustration with studio photography is rooted in my continually returning to a standard approach to lighting and framing. I won't go as far as to say that this revelation is new, but it certainly will provoke some thought when I return to the studio in the coming weeks and months. As an evolution of our first session, it is a wonderful compliment to our initial images.

October 10, 2002

An Unexpected Pregnancy Session

In the fifteen years I've been working with the Nude, I have time and again thought that the ideal project would be to work with a model through a pregnancy, recording the changes that a woman's body goes through over the nine month term. I have had the opportunity to work with several pregnant models a number of times in the past, but most of these were single-sessions, as opposed to a more involved project.
6x7 cm film
While I was pleased and engaged by the results from these sessions, I was continually left with the feeling that more could be created, given time and enthusiasm. While I have yet to realize the chance to work with a model through an entire pregnancy, a chance encounter with Aurora early in her third trimester, lead to the start of what would become more then eight weeks of work.

Aurora came across my work online, and while she wasn't specifically searching for someone to photograph her pregnancy, she saw in my work something of what she wished for in an image of her pregnancy. After a flurry of e-mail, a meeting in person, and some soul searching on her part, we began working three days later.
6x7 cm film
For the first session (of what I hoped would become many), I opted to work in the small front room in my house; the light was perfect in the late afternoon, and while the space was small, it provided us with a nice intimate space to work in. The white sheets, arranged over the two windows, provided more then enough light, and the bed, while limited in space, provided us with a well defined place to work in.

It usually takes some time for a new model to become accustomed to the process; with Aurora, however, there was little of the usual hesitation over modeling nude for the first time. I think in part this was less because of an adjustment to a new experience, then it was a reality of the change in her own relationship to her body that comes with a pregnancy. Whatever the reason, very quickly Aurora moved into a place where she was relaxed and comfortable, and both of us were focused upon the images we were making together.
6x7 cm film
Something I really enjoy about working with a model within a small define space is that rather then constantly trying to make new, unusual, or extremely compelling images, I tend to focus far more on how the model moves, how she interacts with the space, and how the light wraps around her and gives definition and formed to her body. This approach certainly worked well with Aurora, as by the end of the session, when the light was swiftly dying, we had a number of striking images from the hour's work I hope that these images mark the beginning of what will be a striking body of work revolving around a pregnancy that I feel privileged to document even part of.

September 22, 2002

Carol & S_ at Litchfield Cove

As it turned out, this session was my last outdoor work of 2002; fall came swiftly this year, and as beautiful a day as this was, it was the last with the warmth of summer in the air; from here on, my work will be indoors.
35mm infrared film
Though the session started out with a series of solo nudes, including some very brave images made in the gently flowing ocean (which was none too warm), the main focus was working with the two models in a couple of spaces. The first time I'd worked at Lichfield Cove was also with two models, so I suppose the space is conducive to outdoor couple images.

After we finished making the ocean-images (a quick end was precipitated by the impending arrival of some intrepid hikers), we moved further down the coast, and stumbled across one a fabulous space in which to continue working. A vertical spit in the granite bedrock created a perfect angular shelf in which the two models could work, giving them both a space in which to pose and react to, and diffusing the otherwise blinding sunlight into something a little more delicate and soft. Both the models and I reacted strongly to the space, so we decided this would be an idea place to continue to work in.
6x7 cm film
Once we set up and started to work, the possibilities came as rapidly as I could advance the film and reload the camera. As I suspected, the close quarters between the rock walls and the debris in the crevasse provoked some striking poses from the models, who worked with their intertwining forms as often as they did the surrounding stone.

After three rolls (30 images) spent working with the crevasse, we moved back to exploring the coastline, with the natural rock forms and the interplay between the models and the rocks. After the strength of the crevasse images, I felt that things were flowing well, and the remainder of the session went by swiftly, with a number of engaging images being created.
6x7 cm film
While I didn't know that this would be the last outdoor session of the year at the time, it was a fitting conclusion to my landscape work for the year. While the session began with classic, single model images, most of the time was spent working with the interplay of the models and the landscape, a marriage of my more stylized, reduced indoor work and my landscape nudes. While I by far prefer to work outdoors with the Nude, the session was a bridge of sorts, moving me into the winter's work with light, body, and the landscape of the mind.