February 18, 2003

An Indoor Session with Victoria

6x7 cm film
The more I work with Victoria, the more I come to appreciate the gift that comes with her long term involvement in my work. When we first met, it was in such a casual, haphazard manner that I had no idea what would grow from that first session with her and Ingrid. As each session builds on the earlier work, the overall richness of the work we've produced increases by leaps and bounds.

Victoria and I have worked indoors with the white sheets as a setting many times, so this session was less about exploring a new approach then simply making new images. As such, the focus was more on Victoria as a person, then exploring the juxtaposition of her body and the space around her.
6x7 cm film
All that being said, the first image that caught my eye from the session was a composition focusing on her knee, and her out of focus torso behind it. A simple image, I was immediately caught up by the upward sweep of her hand, which pulls the eye back into the image just as it is being lead out of the frame by the line of the knee.

 Once we'd exhausted ideas in the living room, I proposed to Victoria that we finish off with a couple of quick rolls in the shower. Since my work with Aurora last fall, shower images stick in my mind and have made a new series of water nudes with L_ and Miranda. Though I've worked with Victoria more than any other model to date, we've never made shower images, so this seemed like a good time to start.
6x7 cm film
As with other shower sessions, the biggest problem was keeping the shower steam from condensing on the camera lens; for most of the session, this wasn't a problem - I wiped the lens off between rolls, but the entire last roll swiftly degraded to low-contrast mush which wasn't much use at all. Probably the best images came from the colour roll which kept a good level of contrast, and being 800 ISO, helped freeze the motion of the water as it arced along Victoria's shoulders.

February 15, 2003

Carol Modeling Indoors

Carol and I haven't worked together since last summer, not for lack of interest, but for lack of time - though I see her all the time, we never seem to have the same time available for making more images. Fortunately, Carol had this particular morning off, so we made plans to work together. Our first session last spring was indoors, but not at my house, so this session gave me the opportunity to work with Carol in the white spaces that I have become so enamored with over the last couple of years.
6x7 cm infrared film
Even before Carol first modeled for me, she was enamored with the dramatic looks of infra-red portraits, between the luminous skin-tones and dark eyes, so I decided to work with some near infra-red film (Ilford's SFX) to see what images we could create indoors. Working between the SFX in the Mamiya RB camera, and conventional film in the 8"x10" camera, we made images for a couple of hours, enjoying the bright morning light that filtered through the sheets over the double doors beside the bed upon which she was lying.
6x7 cm infrared film
Almost all the images that we made together were portraits, working with the beautiful soft light. The near infra-red film was a little difficult to work with, in terms of finding the correct exposure, but a number of the images were very successful, lending a dreamy quality to the skin-tones and the mysterious dark eyes which Carol was so interested in even before she modelled.

When a particularly strong images appeared in the viewfinder of the Mamiya, I would finish with the near infra-red film, and switch off to the larger 8"x10" camera to make a more refined version of the composition.
8"x10" film
By the end of the session, I was certain that there were a number of strong compositions among the dozen 8"x10" negatives and 4 rolls of SFX that I'd created. Carol also felt that the session had had a particularly positive flow. As soon as I saw my negatives after being processed, I knew we had succeeded. I seldom use infra-red films other then Kodak's HIE, but the beautiful quality that the Ilford SFX film gave to the couple of images that worked was quite lovely, and might encourage me to continue exploring the possibilities of this film.