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.

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