December 17, 2003

Roberta's Pregnancy #3

The final session with Roberta was held at her bed and breakfast, taking advantage of a third location. There was some doubt if the session would actually take place, as the day dawned with the beginnings of a snow storm, but some careful driving got us to the Bed and Breakfast safely, and we began to work. One unexpected advantage of the snow storm was that it permitted Roberta and I to work right next to the window without any fear of people looking up and in - anyone silly enough to be outside was walking hunched over and head-down.
8"x10" film
The first thing that caught my eyes in Roberta's room was a beautiful mirrored dresser by the door. From just the right angle, you could see the reflections of the window in the mirror, and I knew this would be where I'd want to start the session. It took a bit of time to move extraneous furniture around, and clear the sight line between the mirror and the window, but within fifteen minutes, we were all set to being working. Outside the snow kept coming down.
Digital original
In the end, almost all the images in the bedroom revolved around the windows, either reflected in the mirror, or more straight-forward, with Roberta standing beside them and gazing out into the storm. This was both because of the light was so beautiful and even, and because it was quite dim; working further away from the windows dramatically increased the length of exposures necessary to make a given image.
8"x10" film
The whole session was spent keeping an open eye on the weather outside, and where there was nothing rushed, I was quite aware of the need to finish up in time to be able to return home safely. When we finished working with the possibilities that the bedroom in the Bed and Breakfast offered, Roberta received permission for us to explore the possibilities that the other rooms offered (Roberta and her husband were the only people staying at the bed and breakfast at the time). A quick walk through brought us up into the attic room, which had been elegantly renovated into a large suite with a particularly lovely half-moon window which was the perfect place for the final images of the session. Roberta and I worked with a couple of poses, and made four exposures, finishing up with a powerful image of Roberta framed below the half-moon window.

December 16, 2003

Roberta's Pregnancy #2

As soon as I knew that Roberta was coming, I began to look for additional locations to work with her. I was willing to settle for just the spaces offered by my new house, but given the distance she was traveling, I thought the ideal would be to have a different setting for each session. In Halifax, I have convenient access to a fully equipped lighting studio, but in Moncton, I have no such luxuries.
 8"x10" film
Ironically, the best place I came up with was the apartment of a co-worker. I visited the location several weeks before Roberta's arrival, and it was fabulous. It had the afternoon light, and even better, beautiful arched doorways that were perfect to work with. They were quite aesthetically pleasing, but even better, they repeated the curved elements of the pregnant Nude.

We started the session working with the archway; the light from the window gave beautiful description to Roberta's body, while the archway above her provided a perfect compositional element. With the 8x10 camera, I could keep the archway in the image by using a front-rise movement, while still maintaining the camera looking directly at Roberta. This prevented any distortion of the lines of the wall and archway. Standing poses are not the easiest to do, even with an experienced model, but with the doorway to work with, Roberta had no problems coming up with poses that worked exceptionally well.
Digital original, 3 frame stitch
After we finished working with the doorway, Roberta's husband moved into the frame, and we made a series of images with him embracing Roberta, with the focal point of the images being Roberta's belly. couple nudes have long been one of my favorite subjects, but the pregnancy adds an additional element of intimacy and beauty to the images. Most of my couple nudes are produced in the studio, so the chance to work with available light was an added bonus (though truth be told, if I had the chance, I would have produced studio nudes of Roberta as well).
 8"x10" film
The end of the session came as the sun began to set (working in December forced an early end to the sessions, as it was pitch black by 5pm). The lower the sun became, the more striking the light on the walls of the apartment and while working with another pose, I caught a glimpse of Roberta's shadow on the wall, and immediately changed what we were doing to focus on the window-light and shadow on the wall.

December 15, 2003

Roberta's Pregnancy #1

It was almost seven weeks from Roberta' initial contact with me about modeling, and her arrival in Moncton to work with me. The reason for the delay was that Roberta was pregnant with her first child and wanted to wait as long as possible before the session to insure her belly was as large as possible. Due to the reality of geography, however, this had be around the 7th month of her term, as she lives in the US and had to fly up to Moncton to model.
8"x10" film
When Roberta initially approach me about working together, I had questioned the sanity of flying to Moncton to model but she assured me there were no photographers in her area who did the kind of work she was looking for, or whom she wanted to work with. After a long and extensive e-mail conversation, we settled on the dates, and began setting things in motion. 

When she and her husband finally arrived, we spent a pleasant evening eating and talking, looking at work, and finalizing the plans for the coming sessions. With a three day visit, there was a finite amount of time available to work, so careful planning was necessary to make the most of what we had. The next morning, we started our first session, working in the corner of the kitchen by the deck doors.
8"x10" film
After spending so much time working with Aurora in the fall of 2002, I have grown quite comfortable working with the pregnant Nude; there is a beauty inherent in the changed lines of the body that is fabulous to work with, and while each model is different, there is a theme that flows between then, the creation that is growing within. With many models, modeling is part of a process of growing more comfortable within their own bodies, but with pregnant models, the images are very much about the mother-to-be's celebration of her changing body, and her love for the life growing inside.
Digital original
The session went very well, with Roberta quickly growing comfortable with the process, and the luminous space providing the perfect setting to begin in. I still find the kitchen corner a little small, compared to the spaces I worked with in Halifax (though I never thought I would have considered an 8'x10' bedroom large), but Roberta and I made do with what we had, and came away with images to be proud of.

December 07, 2003

The Evolving Beauty Patron Site is Launched

Due to ever increasing traffic, I have split the original Evolving Beauty into two sites; the Showcase site, and the Patron site. The showcase site features 100 images, while the patron’s site provides access to 1,300 images.

(The Patron site was discontinued in 2008)

November 30, 2003

A Short Road Trip

It was positive happenstance that my move to New Brunswick came at the close of the summer; by the time my new darkroom was finished, and the house settled down, the leaves had mostly left the trees, and any chance of working outdoors with models had passed. That being said, the chance to go for an exploratory drive to seek out spaces to work in next year also presented the possibility of photographing whatever presented itself.
8"x10" film
I seldom plan what and where I am going to photograph, but given how much of my work focused on the Nude, it is usually a given that, regardless of the session, the primary subject of my images will be the body. Today however, that wasn't an option, so I left myself open to whatever came my way, and so it was that during our drive along a rural highway, I spotted a graveyard by the side of the road, and proposed it be our first stop of the trip. I have always been enamoured with graveyards, and what I glimpsed from the road turned out to be more the appropriate, with several beautifully carved tombstones to work with. The direct sunlight, which normally I abhore, was quite nice to work with, due to its low winter angle - it provided the perfect light to pull out the detail and texture of the stones.
8"x10" film
After leaving the graveyard, we continued to drive towards our intended destination - the Fundy coast an hour or so from Moncton. By far my favorite places to photograph are the coastal spaces within 30 minutes of Halifax, so with the relocation to Moncton, my first hope is to find similar spaces on the coast near my new home (though with the coast about 45 minutes away, it is not quite as convenient.
8"x10" film
While my eyes were focused on finding coastal spaces to work, when we came over a hill crest and were faces with a dramatic view of a long abandoned, weathered house, I knew we had to stop. Just like graveyards, I have had a long affinity for abandoned buildings, so the space called out to me. In some ways, the building was disappointing to work with; the floors inside had collaped, meaning that working inside the building was not an option but it still presented more than enough possibilities from the outside to occupy my ground-glass for the better part of forty minutes.

November 02, 2003


Since the summer of 2000, my work has almost exclusively been focused upon the Nude; this isn't for lack of interest in working with other subjects but more a result of the combination of available models and limited photographic time. With more time, or fewer models, I would be able to expand on my other photography but if the choice is between working with a model, or photographing something else, I will almost always opt for the model (the only exception would be choosing to work with architectural subjects while traveling, as I did in 2000).
Digital original
With my move to Moncton, I have shifted from a place where I had established, long-running friendships with enthusiastic and keen models to a new city where I have few contacts and even fewer resources to draw upon for finding new models. The expectation is that over time, as I become more familiar with Moncton and the surrounding areas, I will find both models and settings to work in, but for the time being I will take advantage of the situation to work with other subjects.
Digital original
One of the first projects inspired by the relocation to Moncton is a digital creation for our new house. On the main floor, there is a triangular cut-though to the stairs (you can see this in the image of us moving the enlarger), which just cries out for a triangular image on the wall behind. I haven't a specific composition in mind yet but I know it will combine the body with architecture, so I am on the hunt for images to use in this creation (I am thinking of something similar in style to Temple of My Desire, though it will not have doors).
Digital original
While Moncton does not have forts, it does have a fair amount of industrial space; with these spaces comes abandoned machinery, rusted metal, and rich visual possibilities. Though the year is getting colder, I took advantage of a bright day to head up to an old rock-quarry and photograph some abandoned machinery. Rather then document the machinery itself, I was more interested in creating images of elements of the metal; images that could later be incorporated into the digital composition for the house.

As much of what I was looking to record was colour and texture, choosing to work with the digital camera was a natural. I expect these images, and others like them, to form the background to the final composition, so the lower resolution of the digital camera is less of an issue.

October 20, 2003

An Indoor Session

One of the hardest things to leave behind in Halifax was all the locations I was so familiar with, especially for working indoors in the winter. I have no doubt that I will be able to find striking and vibrant landscape setting for the Nude in New Brunswick but, as much as I love the new house we've moved into, I am painfully aware of how little photography space it has, compared to where I lived in Halifax.
All that being said, you do what you must, and as the days get shorter, and the temperatures begin to drop, all my image-making moves indoors, as much for my sensitivity to cold, as for the models'. While there is nothing like the large deck doors I worked with in Halifax, the new house does has a smaller glass doors in the corner of the kitchen which provide some light to work with.
Digital original
The main focus of Lindsay's interest in modeling is for water nudes; an avid swimmer, he responded quite strongly to my water images but the time of year being what it is, we had to start working elsewhere - indoors in the warm. I often feel with a new model, starting with an indoor session is never bad, as it helps introduce the model to the process with the most comfortable surroundings.
Digital original
Given that it was a first session, the results were very pleasing. With a swimmer's muscle tone, Lindsay's body had very subtle but distinct musculature, which was lovely to work with - the soft white backlighting would catch the edge of a muscle or line and gently set if off against the body before and behind.
Digital original
One unexpected element of the session, was the decision to work against the wall, as well as on the white sheets. This originated in the work I'd produced a year earlier with Aurora, setting her against the light coloured walls of her apartment. The subtle contrast between the lighter and darker part of the body, set against the light gray were surprising and engaging. With the pale gray I had painted the kitchen, I was able to continue this approach with great success. After the strength of this first session, I very much look forward to seeing what Lindsay and I can produce once the warm weather returns and we can begin working with rivers and the ocean.

October 07, 2003

A First Session

By the time the year turns to October, working outdoors becomes somewhat dicey - the weather can turn quite cold quickly, so every session I can squeeze out of the fall is seen as a gift. Nicole and I had initially hoped to work together a week earlier, but Hurricane Juan roared through Nova Scotia that weekend, effectively paralyzing the province for several days and forcing us to reschedule. Fortunately, the weather cooperated, and the next week we were able to meet up and actually get out to work together before the weather grew too cold.
8"x10" film
When we were discussing where Nicole would like to model, she immediately suggested a coastal setting - being from Europe, she wanted images that were distinctly Nova Scotia, and something with the rocks and water of the Atlantic Coast spoke most directly to her. So we headed to Herring Cove, close enough to take advantage of the couple of hours we had to work together, yet right on the ocean. The day was just warm enough to be workable, but between poses, Nicole was more than happy to throw on a sweater in an effort to keep comfortable.

Interestingly enough, the longer we worked, the less the air temperature was an issue (Victoria mentions in the Revealing Beauty video that she feels the body became acclimatized to cooler temperatures during an outdoor session) , and the images happened with a little more fluidity. We made a couple of images that specifically worked with the body in contrast to the ocean, bit the images that I feel are the most successful are the images where her body is set against the strong, angular rocks that line the edge of Halifax Harbour.
8"x10" film
Every time I have a first session with a new model, there is a great unfolding - before the session, everything is uncertain; I have no idea how the model will respond to the process or how they will respond to the space. Some models take time to grow comfortable with the process, while others (experienced and not) seem immediately comfortable with the experience, and seem immediately at home. With Nicole, however, because of the cool weather, we worked out the compositions and poses with her clothed first and then quickly refined the poses and framing when she had disrobed. This put such an emphasis on the physics of making the images with the minimum amount of discomfort for the model that there seemed no time to worry about the response of the model to working with me.
Digital original
One of the most pleasing images of the session was quite a surprise; all my digital images are made in colour, and then post-processed into black and white, but one of the portraits I did of Nicole leaning against a rock wall was composed as a horizontal portrait - and in colour it was very striking - so much so that I decided to leave it that way - the warmth of Nicole's skin goes well with the shock of pink hair.

October 06, 2003

Ingrid with Skulls

My first session working with Ingrid and her skulls left me feeling frustrated - so many images worked, but they were only hints of what could be produced with better lighting and more time. I felt the images needed a more stylized approach, and knew that this could only be achieved using a lighting studio.
8"x10" film
When we were finally able to revisit the idea, one hurricane and almost two months later, the original images were still clear in my mind's eye. While Ingrid has a strong preference for working outdoors (perhaps related to her fey nature), she was willing to do a studio session as she felt the images were strong enough to deserve the effort.

Pretty much every image from the session was inspired by the earlier skull session, but the photos felt finished and polished, where the first session, indoors by available light, seem more like sketches of ideas as opposed to final compositions. The other difference in process came from working with the 8"x10" camera, as opposed to the smaller, faster digital camera. Ingrid is totally comfortable with me using the view camera, so the long wait between exposures as I set up the camera was not a surprise, but the difference between the first session, with more the 80 images being made in 30 minutes, and this session, with 16 being produced in just under two hours was pronounced.
8"x10" film
I normally have a strong aversion to working in the studio, unless there is a clear reason to do so. This session though was perfectly suited for the studio, so there was none of my usual frustration working with the minimalistic space. I have spent much of the past four years working with white backgrounds, but for most of this session, I returned to my original studio approach - a featureless black background, with the model set against it with strong side lighting, to separate them from the blackness that surrounds.
8"x10" film
Towards the end of the session however, I decided to try some images with Ingrid and the skull on white. Rather than use the white seamless paper as a backdrop, I opted to use the same white sheets I use in so much of my available light work indoors. This worked well enough, with a beautiful contrast between the model's skin, the symmetry of the skull, and the rumpled sheets but I cannot help but wonder if the image would have been stronger with a totally seamless, featureless surroundings. Perhaps this will be the approach of a third skull session in the future.

September 28, 2003

L_ before the Hurricane

In some ways, this session answered some of the questions that were uncertain, in regards to my relocation to Moncton, New Brunswick, and maintaining my relationships and work with the models I work with in Nova Scotia.
8"x10" film
From the time we decided to move, the intent had been to keep returning to Halifax on a regular basis to photograph and this session marked the first attempt; after a three hour drive, we picked up L_, and headed out to York Redoubt to work for the afternoon. As it happened, the day was the eve of a major Hurricane strike on Halifax. As the afternoon progressed, the light grew more and more eerie and the wind gradually increased. It would have been a great afternoon to work by the ocean but the cooler temperatures, combined with the wind, made it more sensible to work in the shelter of the woods.

Of all the landscape I work in, probably the least common is woods and forests. This is partially because the woods in Nova Scotia tend to be thick and dark and partially because trees often present a problem for compositions and posing - being thin and generally vertical, it becomes hard to compose an image focusing on the Nude without abruptly cutting off trees at the top or bottom of the composition. With the first images we made, this was addressed by using an extreme wide angle lens (a 75mm lens, equal to a 12mm lens on a 35mm camera). This resulted in a circular image (because the lens is designed for a 4x5 camera, but used on an 8x10 camera, it did not create an image that extended to all the corners of the film) but it also gave a great sense of space, with the trees exploding away from the center of the image. The use of the super-wide lens helped overcome this, giving a sense of the space around L_ without truncating the space and cropping in too tightly.
8"x10" film
After working with such a wide lens, I shifted to a longer lens (19", or 482.6mm in length); this gave a more pleasing perspective for portraits and tightly framed compositions. A side effect of long lenses is that they also reduce the depth of field, effectively throwing the background out of focus, isolating the figure from the surroundings. Working with this lens, I made a number of successful compositions, first focusing on L_ standing in a bed of ferns, and then with her set amongst the limbs of a tree.
8"x10" film
In the end, the even, diffused light that heralded the coming of Hurricane Juan shaped this session as much as the space or model. As the session progressed, the light grew more and more even, with a particular sullen quality which was quite different from high-overcast light, which also gives very even illumination of surroundings.

September 20, 2003

Miranda in a Bathtub

6x7 cm film
As small as my living room is to work with, it was practically palatial compared to the space for my next session. Miranda had wanted to work with candles and I decided that it would be cool to revisit the water-candle nudes that I'd made in October, 2001 with R_. At the time, I'd certainly felt the work was successful, but also knew it was something that I could build upon, and so have had it in the back of my mind as a setting with yet as unexplored possibilities.
6x7 cm film
Part of my attraction to working with candle light is its simplicity. A single light source is about as minimal as photography can get, and the fact that it can often be included in the image (as a referent to the light source itself, and as a way of giving the image some degree of contrast) adds to the possibilities. All this, when combined with the natural reflective qualities of water, leads to a great number of possibilities. Leaving aside the water upon the model's skin, the double light-source that the water creates with the reflection gives some pretty cool effects (plus there's the inherent opposition of fire to water, which is very cool to work with).
6x7 cm film
While Miranda and I only worked for a little more then an hour, we made a number of very successful images, most of which used the reflection of the candle's flame in the water as an element. Probably my greatest frustration during the session was not being able to get the candle close enough to the surface of the water, or the camera at a low enough angle to photograph from. If I ever have my own studio space, one of my first projects will be to construct a water space in which I can work with models, but have total control over the depth of the water, and height of the sides of the tub.

September 09, 2003

Lymari at a Quarry

Digital original
The final session of Lymari's visit was my second try at working with a model with landscape in New Brunswick. Just like the first session, we spent as much time driving, and looking for a location, as we did actually making images. Finally, at a loss to find a better space, and running out of daylight, we settled on an empty rock quarry to work in, hoping to make some successful images working with the piles of rock and stone.
Digital original
It turned out easier then I thought to work with the quarry - the rock piles were arranged with repeating peaks and valley (I assume these came from the rock-thrower that had made them), and these provided enough form and shape for Lymari to work with. As with the Burntcoat Head session from a week before, the session was all-digital. I often wished I had the 8x10 along, for the increased detail and focus controls but the thought of waiting a month or more to see the images kept me firmly focused on working with the digital camera.
Digital original, 7 frame exposure blend
On one level, the rock quarry was a very limited space to photograph in, with nothing but the piles of rock for Lymari to pose upon. But by the same token, they provided us with a very simple space to work with, so the images focused upon the light and form. With such a minimalistic setting, the images focus even more upon the model, so the combination of pose, angle of view, and lighting are crucial to creating images that worked.

At the end of the session, I was quite pleased with the results; I would have been much happier if we had found a more dynamic or inspiring space, but given what we had to work with, we did exceptionally well. It is the test of a model to be able to work in such basic a setting and Lymari did well, spending a couple of hours working with the piles of rock and generating a number of very compelling compositions.

September 02, 2003

Lymari at Burntcoat Head

When I first worked at Burntcoat Head with Miranda and Natasha, I was so stunned by the landscape, I knew it would be a space I would return to again and again. My second try at working there failed due to misreading the tide tables but, for this session with Lymari, I double-checked the tides and we arrived about an hour before low tide, insuring more then five hours of working time.
Digital original, 5 frame stitch
I would have loved to work with the 8x10 in the space but the session happened shortly after my move to New Brunswick, and I wouldn't have my new darkroom up and running for another month or more. Rather than making images I would have to wait weeks to see, I decided to work entirely with the digital camera; this way, Lymari and I could view the work immediately after the session was over. This worked well on several levels, as it permitted me to work in colour and, while I would have liked the higher resolution of the view camera, using the digital camera to create multi-image stitches helped overcome that shortfall.
Digital original, 10 frame stitch
The vast majority of the images we made were produced on the same island where I worked two months earlier. At high tide, the island is surrounded by water but, from mid tide onward, is accessible from the mainland and had the most beautiful water-carved caves and rocks on the outer side (which just happens to be the side away from where the public accesses the beach the island is located on.)
Digital original, 12 frame stitch
I find it quite interesting that after having such a strong reaction to the rich reds of the space, most of the images I ended up liking were in black and white. While digital photography permits you to work in both black and white and colour, I think my long experience of working with monochrome films has biased my judgment of what constitutes a successful image. I think with more time and consideration, I might end up with a more positive reaction to the colour images, but on the first run through of the images, in almost every case, it was the black and white images that really caught my eye.

August 31, 2003

My First Figure Session in New Brunswick

Usually August is my busiest month for photographing, being that it is the warmest month of the year. This year, however, because of my move to Moncton, NB, most of August has been spent packing and unpacking, and renovating the new house (including building the new darkroom). While it was frustrating to have to take so much time away from making art, it would have been impractical to delay moving until later in the fall.
Digital original
All that being said, Lymari, a photographer/model from New England, has made a regular event of coming up to visit every summer since 2001, and this year was no exception. In some ways, she was short changed this visit, as much of my attention was focused on the renovations and unpacking, but all the same, we managed to fit in some time for photography.
Digital original, 14 image stitch
In the end, we settled on working in a section of beach directly below a small provincial camping ground, but separated from it by a high cliff and some fencing; this ensured that anyone approaching would have to come from the left or right, but couldn't come upon us from above. The setting was more the adequate, with the warm Northumberland Straight along one horizon, and the high cliffs on the other.
Digital original
After all the time we spent looking for a space, the session was surprisingly short; though I was working with the Canon EOS 10D, I worked slowly, carefully composing each image, and making most of them as multi-frame stitches. It was only about forty minutes into the session when we spied some kayakers paddling up along the beach, and decided we'd better end the session before they came close enough to see Lymari and I working (it is better to be cautious than foolhardy). So, with fewer than half-a-dozen compositions recorded, we gave up the beach to the kayakers and headed home. I did manage to make several strong rock-abstracts on the way back to the car, but this was more to off-set the frustration of not being able to continue to work with Lymari, than it was a real exploration of the rocks and shoreline.

August 16, 2003

A Halifax Field Trip

Digital original
The field trip visited a local yacht club, to provide students with a new enviroment to work with; one aspect that caught my eye were some old engines set asside to use to moor boats. The gears especially drew me in.
Digital original
Depth of field was the focus of all the images of the gears, though this image was a little more minimal than many of the others.

August 15, 2003

A Moncton Workshop Field Trip

Digital original
The beauty of weathered wood always draws my eye.
Digital original
There are times when clarity comes easily.
Digital original
My favourite image from the field trip was also the most abstract...paint on a window.

August 04, 2003

Ingrid & Miranda in the Woods

After the end of the water session, we still had some time available to work, so I asked Ingrid and Miranda if they would be interested in working with the woods and ferns that surrounded the lake before we packed up to go home. While we were eating our snacks and the models were getting warmed up, Ingrid had been eyeing a particular tree which formed the corner of a particularly precarious looking unfinished tree-fort. Knowing her love of climbing and precarious poses, I asked if she would like to try working with the tree; her instant response was to head over and test if it could bear her weight, which it indeed could.
Digital original, 8 image stitch
The tree was more than strong enough, and we made a vertical stitched image of her lithe figure surrounded by the delicate tracery of the green leaves.

After this image, I shifted my vision to the forest floor, and worked with both Miranda and Ingrid in the rocks and ferns under the canopy of trees. The light was beautiful and even but there was also a delicate chaos to the patterns, with no area without detail and a riot of texture. This proved to be a perfect setting for the Nude, where the unbroken lines of the model's skin contrasted well with the surroundings.
Digital original, 8 frame stitch
With Miranda and the rock, we worked with a couple of different poses but by far the best pose had her stretched back following the lines of the rock. This led to a highlight being formed along the entire upper side of her body, separating her beautifully from the chaotic background (the image was assembled from eight frames, so the detail of the woods is recorded in great detail).

For the final image of the session, Ingrid reclining in the ferns, I created a more dramatic contrast between Ingrid and her surroundings by altering the tones of the ferns and then rendering the image in black and white. This is very similar to how I would have approached the image with black and white film and filters but had the added advantage of being reversible, if I decided in the end that I didn't like the effect.

Digital original, 13 frame stitch
As my final day of photographing before the move to Moncton, I couldn't have asked for more. The water work from the first half of the day was very successful, with some really refreshing images; the end of the afternoon, with the couple of compositions of Ingrid and Miranda, gave some very quiet, serene images to close the day.

Ingrid and a Skull

Digital original

As it came to pass, the woodland Nudes at the end of the water session were not the last images of the day. After dropping off Miranda, I went and hung out at Ingrid's apartment for a while - and while I was there, her collection of skulls caught my eye. Knowing that I wouldn't be back in Halifax for a while, I asked if Ingrid would like to do some images with the skulls before I headed home.

Her response was more enthusiastic then I could have anticipated. "This skull" she said, taking down the horse skull "is my most prized possession . Of everything I own, I treasure this the most". She'd found the skull in Newfoundland as a child and had had it ever since.
Digital original, 9 frame stitch
The session flowed incredibly well, with Ingrid combining her natural ability to find a pose with her obvious comfort (and almost affection) for the skulls. Because of her lack of interest in working inside, this was only the second time I've worked with Ingrid indoors (the first time was the second time we worked together), but like the first time (which was with Victoria), she had something to respond to, and so the session had a natural focus.
Digital original
At the end of the day (when the light had grown too dim), I was left with a number of vibrant images dancing around in my head. We did the best we could with the setting (her bedroom was pretty small, and the bedspread quite colourful), and came away with some beautiful images, but I am left wondering how much stronger they could be if we had a full studio to work with. Perhaps sometime in the fall, if I can make it back to Halifax, I'll be able to revisit these ideas in the studio, and take the striking beginnings we made today to polished fruition.