May 17, 2004

A Great Afternoon at the Beach!

After the drizzle-filled Sunday, Monday dawned bright and sunny. Jean-Francois, the models and I had tentatively discussed working at Martinique Beach on Monday, but in light of the bright, contrasty light, I suggested moving the session to York Redoubt, but the models rebelled and insisted on the beach; ninety minutes later, we arrived at the ocean, and set to work on the shore.
Digital original, 10 image stitch
I've worked a lot on the back side of Martinique (indeed, a photo of Miranda made here was published as a double-page spread in Popular Photography in 2004), but as it would happen, the wind was blowing onto the back of the beach, so the models and I took to the ocean side for the session, working with the high dunes overlooking the beach.

Because I had to leave for Moncton at 2pm, I knew the session would be short, so I selected one particular dune structure, and mentally mapped out how I wanted to work with it. This reduced the chances of models or me walking through sand that I wanted to be pristine. Miranda and I started working at the bottom of the dune, and then progressed around the back. My initial response to the receding dunes was to use the 150mm wide lens on my 8"x10" camera, but after seeing the image through the lens, I decided to use a portrait lens (450mm) and compress the space. The result, with Miranda's figure places at the bottom of the image, and the large dune towering over her, was more the pleasing.
8"x10" film

After an hour or so of working with Miranda, we set up an image on the crest of a dune, and I realized it would be perfect for a second model. Bobbi had worked with Jean-Francois at the lighting workshop, and accompanied us on the previous day's session, after which we'd had long discussions over dinner about nude modeling. She had expressed interest, but was not certain yet if she wanted to. I turned to her and said "I have the perfect two-model pose, if you would be up for it." Five minutes later, she was modeling for her first nude (it took more then four minutes to finalize the camera position and framing of the image), and a very striking image resulted.
Digital original
The rest of the session was actually quite short - I was working against the clock, given that our rental car had to be returned in Moncton, NB, before the end of the day. After the image with Bobbi and Miranda, I made a small series of portraits of Bobbi, and then hurriedly packed up the equipment for the return trip to New Brunswick. For a short session, the results were extremely pleasing, and even though the beach was quite windy, and none too warm, both models seemed quite happy at the end of it.

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