May 06, 2002

A Morning of Photography (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

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.
8"x10" film
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.
8"x10" film
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.
8"x10" film
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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