After the success of our first visit to Sandy Beach, Miranda and I hoped
to build upon it with a second visit; like the first night, we set out
from a stiflingly hot Halifax to find the beach very different; in this
case, it was not just cooler, it was totally smothered in fog. While
this was not the setting I had expected, it certainly provided
possibilities for imaging. As opposed to working directly on the beach, we began with some images in the sand-dunes.
6x7 cm film
When no-one had walked down the beach during the half-hour we
worked on the dunes, we decided to venture out onto the beach proper.
Normally, working in such an open space is less then ideal, but the poor
weather, combined with the fact it was a weekday evening, made the
beach a less the popular place to be. Over the entire three hours we
worked on the beach, we didn't see another soul.
6x7 cm film
I did a
series of portrait images of Miranda on the beach, but as we were
outdoors, it seemed silly to spend time on portraits when we could be
working with the landscape around us. The hardest thing about working on
a beach is the lack of anything to work from. Usually, with the Nude in
the landscape, I draw my inspiration from the lines of the land, and
how they interact with the lines of the model, either by comparison, or
contrast. With the sand beach, however, there was little to draw from;
eventually I settled on the lines of the receding tide, both in the
sand, and in the seaweed that lay upon it. In the end, the photos was
quite successful. Miranda and I had to work hard to get the pose to come
together, but the strength of the flow of the body with the line of the
beach behind it is very pleasing to me.
6x7 cm film
The end of the session came as the light was dropping too low to work. Miranda offered to brave the surf for a final set of images, given that the ocean-side of the beach was totally abandoned. The light had dropped quite low, so I loaded high-speed film in the Mamiya RB, and walked out into the surf with her. Working with shutter-speeds between 1/4 and 4 seconds, we brought a swift close to the session. Among those images was one that immediately jumped out at me from the negatives, with Miranda standing in the blurred surf. There is a strength and confidence to the image that just captivates me.