May 27, 2002

Workshop Day 2 - Part II (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

After we finished up working at Spion Copp, the four of us (two models, two photographers) packed up and headed for the coast - the bugs at the forest-bound fort had been increasingly annoying, so we opted to try for a less insect-infested space.
6x7 cm film
As it turned out, the coast was enshrouded in fog, which while it gave a wonderfully soft light to work with, also put a chill wind in the air that pretty much ruled out open air modeling. We walked along the shore, hoping for possibilities, when we came across one of the old search-light emplacements from the Second World War. The space provided both shelter from the wind and graphic lines against which to place the Nude. I was initially content to let Victoria and my student work, alternating between holding a reflector and making my own interpretations of the poses that arose from the work with the concrete walls.
6x7 cm film
It was during this process that I began to muse on the possibilities of the space for a digital image; ever since I first worked in York Redoubt's with Bili and Joe, I had wondered about the possibilities of using models as caryatids. I described what I was thinking of to the models, and while the day had got nothing but colder, both were willing to make the images necessary for the creation of the image I had in mind.

The first image of the caryatids, was simple enough to make; both women worked hard to mirror the other's pose, with great success. The lighting was perfect for the image, with the fog outside softening the contrast to a point that there was almost no difference in the illumination of the side walls of the room and the front floor.
8"x10" film
We then shifted to making the central image; Carol and Victoria tried several different poses when suddenly it clicked, with the two of the overlapping their arms, and their bodies flowing out from the centre. I made the image and then realized (after the models had dressed) that I'd made a critical error - I'd neglected to refocus the camera after the first image - though it was taken with a wide angle lens, the depth of field was not enough to record the second pose, at the front of the room, in sharp focus. I asked the models if they'd be willing to make the image again (by this time, the chill of the afternoon had taken effect, and both models were thoroughly cold) and they both agreed, not hesitating. It is this kind of confidence in the process and results that is impossible to get through any other means then collaboration.

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