August 01, 2004

Claudia at a Beach

Claudia learned of my work through a US screening of the Revealing Beauty video held by Eric Hayes, the photographer/videographer who produced it in 2002. A naturist, Claudia is an experienced model, totally comfortable with nudity and even involved on political issues surrounding public nudity. She was planning to visit Nova Scotia to model for Eric Hayes and his partner Mary Dixon, and asked by e-mail if I would be able to spend some time working with her during her visit. After a short discussion, we set aside August 1, planning to work together for the whole day.
8"x10" film
Given that Claudia was staying on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to return to Carter's Beach and the old rusty boat where I had worked with Fern two years earlier. I had always felt that Fern and I had only scratched the surface of the space,and that more was possible, given some time.The possibility of making some colour images was in the back of my mind.
Digital original, 2 frame stitch
When we arrived at the beach, however, a great disappointment greeted us - the rusty boat was full of broken glass and burnt wood, and totally unworkable. Rather then give up on the space, we simply move ten meters past the boat, and work along the shoreline with the water and rocks. Initially, I wasn't sure if Claudia would be able to work in the ocean, as it was so cold, but she appeared to be immune to the bite of the North Atlantic, and we made a number of images of her reclining on a sea-weed covered rock emerging from the ocean.

After exploring the possibilities offered by the ocean, we moved back onto dry land, and made a few images in the woods that bordered the beach. One particular tree had a strange "U" shape to its trunk, which I worked into an image of Claudia's hair and back.
Digital original
On the whole, for a first session, the morning went very well - Claudia's comfort and enthusiasm was unusual for a model's first session with me and really helped propel the session past the "getting comfortable" stage, and turn it into a focused morning of figure work.

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