July 01, 2004

Models in an Abandoned House

As it turned out, try as we might after the lake, we drew blanks for other spaces to work for the afternoon; a drive up the coast yielded little other than construction delays and distant views of the muddy Bay of Fundy. Even after hunting down some promising looking rocks at Advocate, it turned out as perfect as they were to work with, they were in the middle of a popular tourist beach, complete with ...well...tourists.

After a short conference (after all, there were six people involved) we decided to cut our losses and begin the drive back, stopping on the way at a couple of abandoned houses we'd passed, to see if they had any potential. As it turned out, we never made it past the first one. Boarded up from the roadside, the back of the house was open, and we quickly agreed that the space had great possibilities.
Digital original
I spent almost my entire time in the house working on the second floor - for one reason, the second story windows were still intact (as opposed to kicked in, or boarded up); for another, the rooms had
beautiful lines to them, with the roof sloping down on one side and the old floorboards radiating out from below the windows.
8"x10" film
The first room I worked in (of two spaces plus the hall) had a wonderful element - a smashed light-bulb dangling from the ceiling. It was just lovely, lit by the light from the window. Bobbi spent five minutes energetically kicking debris to the other side of the room to get the floor relatively clean. The final composition, with the stark room and Bobbi leaning against the wall, wouldn't have been the same with paper and detritus piling up around her feet. The final image, with the white, empty
room has a much more appropriate feeling...a quiet, almost disturbing sense of calm.
8"x10" film

Both Bobbi and Miranda found a wealth of possibilities in the house and over a couple of hours, helped create a number of very strong images. The final photograph of the session, however, was carefully constructed by myself with a low angle, looking through two doorways at the two models. The hope was to try to create an image which demanded an absent narrative which would demand the viewer make up a story to explain the scene before them. I am not sure where this image originated, or if the approach (a deliberately constructed image pointing more towards a narrative, than simple celebration of beauty) will reoccur, but on the most basic level, I think the image is successful, which is all that really counts in the end. In some ways, it reminds me of an image I made exactly two
years earlier.

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