The day after the session with Krista found me back at the same beach, this time with L_ (who in fact introduced me to Krista in 2001). The day was much the same as the previous one, but we walked much further down the inside of the beach, to where a broad sweeping beach spread out.
6x7 cm film
Because the previous day's work in the water with Krista was so clear
in my mind's eye, I decided to start working with the same approach.
There is something particularly pleasing about placing the human figure
within living water - the flow of the body melds so well with the lines
of the ocean. I've worked extensively in the past with moving water,
using long exposures to record the blurring of rivers and streams, but
the freezing of water in mid-motion is relatively uncommon in my water
6x7 cm film
Though I had revelled in the work that Krista and I did
the previous day with the 8"x10" camera, I decided to use the smaller
Mamiya RB camera on this day, primarily because it uses a smaller tripod
that permits me to work much lower. With the large format camera, the
heavy-duty tripod goes down to about 80cm from the ground, which is a
severe limitation when I need a low camera angle (all things being equal
of course, while I was hoping to get the camera lower, I simultaneously
wanted to avoid getting either the ball-head on the tripod, or even
worse, the camera, actually in the water).
6x7 cm film
Working with a
model in the shallow ocean water was a very different process with the
smaller Mamiya RB camera. It permitted me to make images more rapidly,
and as I could carry both lenses with me in the water, and extra rolls
of film, the whole session moved faster then one with a view camera. All
that said, I distinctly missed the flexibility and controls that the
8"x10" camera provides. Often I was often forced to photograph at very
small apertures (lens openings) to ensure that enough of L_ would be in
focus, where with a view camera, I would have simply used lens movements
to change the plane of focus so it flowed along the model.
35mm infrared film
At the end of the day, I was very pleased with the results. Coming so swiftly after the previous day's session with Krista, it was more of an extension of the first session than a totally different session. Almost the full session was spent with L_ immersed in the ocean, though we did make some less-then-successful images working with the flat sand of the beach. Having worked twice now on Sandy Beach, I am sure it will become a favourite space to work in.