Just as working with a model over a long period of time builds a sense of familiarity and comfort between the photographer and subject, working with the same location for years upon years builds an understanding for the character and light of a space.
York Redoubt is one of the more isolated forts of the Halifax Defence
Complex, and as such, lends itself to a considered approach to image
making. In more popular spaces, spending ten minutes composing an image,
and then another five making the exposure isn't recommended; most
people are more then willing to accommodate an inconvenience, but tying
up a space for a quarter of an hour isn't reasonable (plus, large
cameras tend to attract attention and questions, and that, combined with
the picture-making, can stretch into thirty minutes or more!).
On this session, I concentrated on the upper portion of the fort, in
the south-western Caponier and the RML line. Every year, my early
sessions seem to focus as much on experimenting with new equipment as
they do on making new images, and this session was no exception.
Both of these spaces called for a wide lens,
so the opportunity was perfect for working with my Schneider 150mm XL
lens, which I had yet to put through its paces. This lens is a vast
improvement over my previous 150mm Nikkor lens; not only is it twice as
bright, but it is lighter too.
All but two of the negatives I
made used the 150mm lens; even in the dark indoor spaces, it proved easy
to use, and the results were very pleasuring. Ironically, the best
image of the day was a re-make of an earlier negative; a complete view
of the end wall of the Caponier. Rather then replace this earlier image,
I decided to post the above detail, which is more of an abstract study
then a documentary image.
The more I work with these forts, the more distinct my ways of seeing become; some images are strictly documentary, showing how things are; others are about the aesthetic lines of the architecture, and still others, like the two interiors above, are just about visual pleasure, plain and simple.
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