August 04, 2004

Three Models at Martinique Beach

It is unusual for me to have a set plan or expectation for a session, but occasionally an experience or image makes such an impression on me that I will seek out to build upon it. For this session, I'd made arrangements with Bobbi and Ingrid to head to the beach for a sunset session. I was hoping for a sunset like the one Miranda and I had worked with in August of 2002, but when we arrived at the beach, the sky looked dubious - there was some great clouds but also more then a few wisps of fog, which I suspected would come in as the day came to a close.
Digital original, 5 frame exposure blend, 2 frame stitch
Regardless, the light was beautiful when we arrived, so we quickly set up the equipment and started working. I'd chosen the day to work because it would be low tide when we arrived at the beach, guaranteeing shallow water to work in over the hour or so of the session.

I worked with both Bobbi and Ingrid in the water, making multiple frames of each composition, so I could later blend the images together, thereby preserving both the detail in the models, and the sunset sky behind them. The water was quite smooth to begin with, making it easy to blend the images between the bright sky and the dimmer foreground.

Numerous time, I asked if one or the other of the models would be able to come in to add a second figure to the image - this made coordinating the poses a little more difficult, as I had to communicate to both models, as well as respond to the changing light at the same time, but for a number of  images, it was more than worth the effort.
Digital original, 1 frame resolution blend, 3 frame exposure blend
When the sun was a hand's breadth above the sky, I realized that we definitely were not going to have our beautiful red sunset - there were beautiful clouds in the sky, but below them in a narrow band along the horizon, was a line of fog, which was thickening swiftly, obscuring the sky. I didn't know how this would play out, but I had the feeling that we would be looking at something different from the fiery sky and water I had been hoping to work with.

Within a space of half-a-minute or less, the light changed dramatically - the sky was a mass of dull gray, and the only hint of the sun was a red smudge on the horizon. I moved closer to Bobbi and Ingrid, and asked them both to move as low in the water as they could. I set the horizon high in the
frame, and making the most of the surreal nature of the image, with the two models huddled against the leaden sky, and the tiny fire of the setting sun almost lost behind them.
Digital original

As with the Miranda session two years earlier, the light changed almost faster then I could respond, and the session ended all too soon. This time, however, because of the shift to using a digital camera, I had the advantage of both a faster working process, and the option of working in colour (almost all the images I ended up with were in full colour, though some did work well in monochrome). Working with two models (three actually, as Miles, who was along as a photographer, also ended up modeling once the light fell) was defiantly beneficial, as some of the most pleasing images relied upon the interplay between the models, as much as between them and the landscape.

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