May 23, 2004

Monique Models at Rockport

New Brunswick is like a great undiscovered country to me; though I have driven through it countless times, I have never really taken the time to explore it. I had hoped to have some spaces in mind for photo session by the time spring came, but after working with Ingrid two weeks earlier, my second weekend working with a model in New Brunswick left me a little vague on spaces to work. Once place that had been in mind's eye since last fall was Rockport, where I had photographed an abandoned house.
8"x10" film
Monique was visiting from Halifax for a couple of days of modeling (her last opportunity to work with me before a move to Ontario). While we'd worked the previous weekend with Miranda, the session had been a little brief due to prior commitments on the model's parts, so we hoped the weekend would give us a chance to work at a more measured pace, taking advantage of images as they presented themselves, and working until the session came to a natural conclusion.
8"x10" film
My biggest concern for the work with Monique wasn't the location, it was the weather. Even the morning that we met, there was a forecast of showers and rain, but ever optimistic, we headed out and proposed to work until the weather drove us to the car. We arrived at Rockport at low tide (this is important on the Bay of Fundy, where 10 metre tides are the norm) and quickly started working. Both Monique and I were more than inspired by the landscape, and between the eroded rocks and large pieces of driftwood, we happily worked for over three hours.

The first thing that I realized about Rockport was how different the some was from most of what I was used to in Halifax - even at Burntcoat Head, which lies in Nova Scotia, across the Bay of Fundy, the rock was different - there the sandstone was brick red, while at Rockport there were shades from a light gray through to yellow and brown. Without a doubt, my favorite portion of the session was working with a steep wall of sandstone, with perfect model-sized crevasses in its surface. Initially I sketched with the digital camera, but once I found the composition that spoke the clearest, I swiftly set up the 8"X10" view camera, and made the image with that. This very much reflects my older approach of work with infra-red film to explore a scene and pose and then switching to the larger camera on the images that really seemed strong,
Digital original
In the end, the session was rain free (we may have felt a dozen drops at one point, but that was all); it was other visitors and the rising tide that drew the session to a close. By that point, I was all out of film (you can only carry so much 8"x10" sheet film at a time) and near the end of the digital resources, so we all agreed that it was time to head home.

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