July 14, 2003

Fern at North River

8"x10" film
The first images we made were inspired by water rushing through a narrow gap between two rocks; I was able to position the 8"x10" camera above the gap, looking directly down upon Fern lying with her back against a smaller rock. This helped keep her torso and head still, as the water moved over and around her. The final image used a second-long exposure, to insure enough of the water blurred to give the effect I was seeking. With a shorter exposure, there wouldn't have been enough blur and a longer exposure would have removed some of the detail from the water and turned it into a white mist as opposed to obviously blurry water.
Digital original, 6 image stitch
After making the first set of images on her own, Fern was joined by her partner and for most of the rest of the session, the images focused upon the two of them. The intertwining of the two models, combined with the motion of the water lead to some very beautiful images. The first images we made worked with the same space as the first set, but I changed the camera position to be off to the side, and concentrated on making a stitched image using the digital camera. The lower vantage point created a mysterious blend between the models, with the blurred water hiding where one body ended and another began. I used a neutral density filter to slow the exposure down enough to get the long shutter speed, and worked with the longest lens I have (105mm) in making the stitches, so I kept the distortion of the image as low as possible (using a wider lens when stitching effectively makes an extremely wide-angle image, causing plenty of distortion).
8"x10" film
This was a very different session from my first work with Fern at North River; the addition of the second model made the entire session more dynamic, with more then half the images being generated by the pair, as opposed to the landscape around them. As the session progressed, I shifted from working with the moving water to using the reflections and distortions inherent in still water, posing the two models in the still pools, backed by the muted tones of the shaded banks behind them.

Overall, the most engaging element of this session ended up being the two models, not the river. Based on my earlier work there, I'd expected the river to be the focus, but the serendipity of the two models working together lead to an entirely different session from what I'd envisioned.

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