April 21, 2003

Natasha in a Bathtub

Digital original
This session marked my first working with my new Canon EOS 10D, a digital SLR camera. I'd previously worked with Miranda in the space and was very much engaged by its possibilities. When Natasha asked about another indoor session, I immediately thought of the bathroom, and asked how she'd feel about bathtub nudes. Her response was enthusiastic and, a little more then a week later, we met and set to work.

As with the previous session at this location, it took us a while before we even worked with the water in the bathtub; the light entering the room through the small window was beautiful, and we started the session with a series of portraits using the light. Unfortunately, the window sill was a bilious shade of green, so all the standing images had to be converted to black and white to be at all visually appealing. In the original colour, the hideousness of the paint completely drew the viewer's eye from the beauty of the Nude, not fair to Natasha and not an effect I wanted to pursue.
Digital original
Once we finished with the standing portraits and abstract images by the window, we filled the bath and started working with Natasha in the tub. Because this was my second time working in the space, I had more realistic expectations for the light on the water, and as a result, spent less time struggling then I did during that first day in the space with Miranda. Most of the images I made worked with the line between the water and air where it met Natasha's skin and the how the light changed in the transition. The digital camera was perfect for this, as it permitted a great number of images to be made of the same composition, playing with only the change in the water pattern and level that came with Natasha's breathing.
8"x10" film
All through the session I had the 8"x10" camera at hand, ready to make an image when the right moment came. Shortly after we filled the bath, I had Natasha work with the line of the edge of the bath, and the moment she did, the line of her hip merged perfectly with the side of the tub, and I knew I wanted to record the image. Because of the space, I couldn't position the camera in a way that kept the bath from being distorted, so I used a lens shift to keep the perspective correct and make the image as I'd envisioned - a perfect use of a most flexible tool.

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