January 03, 2004

A Second Session with Veronica

Veronica and I first worked together in August of 2004, but as she lives in Montreal, Quebec, we had to wait until we both happened to be back in Halifax at the same time to work together again. Fortunately, in mid December she let me know about her New Year's plans and we set up a time to make more photographs.
Digital original
Unlike our first session, which was in a small house with available light, this session took place in a large studio with plenty of natural light, as well as a full selection of studio lighting. I began the session working with the natural light coming through the three large windows - by the time Veronica arrived, the sun had shifted in the sky and there was now direct light on the concrete wall where I had worked with Gilda and Miles only an hour or so earlier.
Digital original
Almost all of the natural light images were portraits, both as a point to being the session (I almost always start a session with portraiture), and because Veronica has such a striking face and sense of poise. We worked along the window-wall of the studio until she was in the direct sunlight on the brick wall, where we finished working with the natural light.

The major difference between available light and studio flash is control - with available light you are forced to work with what the world presents (which I actually prefer as responding to light is often easier and more magical then creating it), while with studio lighting all the control is in the hands of the photographer. When I set up the studio for the images of Veronica, I used the same approach as I had with Gilda and Miles earlier in the day - three lights or occasionally two. This kept the lighting focusing on the model's form, and when we shifted from the natural light to flash, the style of images shifted accordingly, focusing as much on stylized bodyscapes as nude portraits.
Digital infrared original
The remainder of the session went by rapidly, working mostly with the digital SLR cameras, and occasionally making an image with the 8"x10" view camera. Veronica turned out to be quite comfortable with the relatively sterile atmosphere of the lighting studio (having had her first session in a house, with all the clutter that accompanies that space, an empty studio could have seemed quite daunting). About the only frustration after the session was completed was knowing that the chances of working with Veronica outdoors, where I can just imagine the possibilities, is slim to none, knowing how far from the Maritimes she lives.

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