August 12, 2002

A River Session with Miles & Miranda (Dawson's Brook, Nova Scotia)

Without a doubt, my work builds and feeds upon itself, from one session to another. By this I mean that a good session lends energy and enthusiasm to the next day, which builds upon that, and continues to the next, and so on. Once things start coming together photographically, if I can maintain the momentum of the inspiration, it can carry my imagery through a week or more, with each image contributing to the next, in an ever widening circle of influence.
8"x10" film
Immediately after the session with Lynn Marie, I got home and received confirmation that Miranda and Miles were available to model the next afternoon. I had no real plan in mind, but given the strength of what I saw happening with Lynn Marie in Canaan River, I wanted to continue to build upon that energy, so we decided to head to Dawson Brook. The session started in the late afternoon, when the light is perfect at Dawson Brook, which is in a ravine between high pine trees.
8"x10" film
As with Canaan river, there was less water then unusual in the creek, but where it cascaded over the rocks above the main falls there was more then enough white water for me to work with. Because of the high trees on both sides of the creek, the lighting tends to be dramatic and contrasty, especially between the centre of the water, below the open skies, and the edges, where the trees surround the creek.

Working with the 8"x10" camera in and around the river proved easier then I'd expected. Dawson Brook is not as treacherous as some of the other places I've worked, and while the footing was a little tricky at times, I could generally get the camera where I needed it with relative ease. The slower pace that the larger camera imposed was a little hard on the models, given that it sometimes took me five or more minutes to get the image composed and camera ready, but both Miles and Miranda were indulgent, placing their confidence in the strength of the images I was trying to create.
4"x10" film

The combination of the beautiful light coming from directly above, and the dark wet rocks lead to to a very stark, dramatic quality to the images. Working with only the one camera permitted me
to focus all my attention of the possibilities it provided, and both Miles and Miranda were more then willing to work with me for as long as it took to make the images work. Several times, after trying to bring a composition together, we had to admit it didn't work, and move onto another image. By the end of the afternoon, however, I felt very strongly that we had made the most of the space, and with light fading behind up, we packed up and headed back to Halifax.

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