August 04, 2004

A Seaweed Session

Bobbi has proved to be one of the most keen, enthusiastic new models I have worked with in years; she is not only open to working with a wide variety of landscapes and situations, she is also totally comfortable with working with other models, often asking if any other models will be coming along on a session. On this particular morning, both Bobbi and Elisabeth were free, and after checking with both, we made plans for a two model session.
4"x10" film
As we drove towards Prospect, I was having doubt about how the light would be. Inland, on the highway the sunlight was harsh and direct, but at the coast, thin fog and low clouds quickly changed the light to a much more pleasing indirect light. Deciding to skip the parts of Prospect I knew well, we walked on the inland path down the coast for about twenty minutes, until we were in unexplored territory (for me at least).

We actually spent the entire session working around a small rock outcrop that broke up the rock beach shoreline, and created a number of small pools of water separate from the ocean as a whole. After a number of portraits of the two models on the rocks and standing in the ocean, we moved out onto the rockweed that covered most of the shoreline that was submerged at high-tide. Neither model had worked in seaweed before, and both were surprised by how warm and soft it was to work on - quite a change from the Atlantic Ocean and bare rocks.
8"x10" film
After the rockweed images, I made a number of images of each model alone, working with their bodies emerging from seaweed or water, depending on the pose.

The biggest shock of the session came as I was setting up my first composition, and went to meter the light - my light meter was inoperative. It had taken a dip in the river three days earlier when I was working with Claudia, but as it was a weatherproof design, and continued to work through that session, I had assumed there wouldn't be a problem. Not the case. Occasionally in the past, I have worked through partial sessions without meters (due to battery failures), so I decided to continue, using the sunny-16 system (where the exposure is based upon a couple of simple rules for different lighting conditions) to generate the exposures.
8"x10" film
Problems aside, the session was very successful. I had decided to work only with the 8"x10" camera due to the short time-frame we had, and the decision proved influential to the results. As opposed to dozens of images of each pose, with slight variations on position or angle of view, I have close to a dozen images, each a singular composition.

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