July 14, 2002

Victoria at York Shore Battery (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Though Victoria now has a house not one block from where I live, we seem to have bad luck in working out times to work together; both our lives are busy, and as much as we both want to continue our evolving body of work, often as not, plans fall through at the last minute.
6x7 cm film
This session however, came to pass, and saw us up early in the morning, bound to work with the angular light at York Redoubt. Because the fort faces east, it is only in the morning that direct sunlight strikes the fort's face. Too many times I have gone to work at York Redoubt, and found the light dim and lacking in the richness that both direct and diffused sunlight has.
6x7 cm film
For the beginning of the session, we worked within one of the concrete rooms set into the hillside. I enjoy the juxtaposition of the body against concrete, and felt it was a good a place to start as any. The sunlight bouncing off the floor and walls of the room provided wonderfully soft light, with enough directional qualities to give Victoria's shape some form.
6x7 cm film
The most striking of these images came at the very beginning, as I was working with Victoria leaning between two shafts of light. I was moving the tripod from one side of her to another when I glanced down to see a rich composition involving the overlapped forms of Victoria's shoulders, hip and leg. I quickly changed the camera lens to a wide-angle one, and captured the image on film.
6x7 cm film
From that energetic beginning, the rest of the session progressed, first to a series of quite successful portraits, and then finally to working outdoors, with the striated rocks and directional light of the morning sun. In under three hours of working together, we managed to make more then 60 exposures, varying both the pose and the setting. Though the session was short, the combination of an experienced model like Victoria, and the lighter, more portable camera system of the Mamiya RB gave me more then strong results by the time we had to call it to an end.

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