May 18, 2003

Miranda Models on Glacial Barrens

Digital original
Extended collaborations with models have many benefits, besides the obvious advantages of the ever-developing rapport that grows between the model and photographer. One that isn't immediately apparent is that often a model will often work several times in the same space, building a relationship with it as well as with the photographer. The benefits of this can range from the model suggesting poses (this often happens even in first sessions) to the model selecting the space from the beginning, guiding the session from the inception.
6x9 cm film
The day was more then warm enough for Miranda to work in comfort (unlike our first outdoor session a month earlier), and from the start, Miranda's poses and approach to the space were influenced by our earlier work (finding the rock raised on other rocks reminded us both of the stone circle she worked in before). As the session progressed, I worked between the 8"x10" view camera, 6x9 cm rangefinder and the digital camera, using the smaller, more spontaneous EOS 10D to sketch out ideas and make preliminary images.
8"x10" film
My favourite image of the day was as much a technical test as it was an aesthetic response to a pose. A week before the session, I'd received a long lens (traded for with a friend for my 375mm lens) - a 19" (480mm) portrait lens, and I wanted to use this session with Miranda as an opportunity to push the lens, and see how well it performed. Because the lens had such a long focal length (equal to an 85mm lens on a 35mm camera), I needed space to work in, and the flat fen that surrounded the rocky outcrops seemed perfect. In the end, to make the composition I was after, I had to back almost 8m from Miranda, but the final composition was exactly what I wanted, and had a perspective not possible with a shorter lens.

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