December 27, 2004

Lymari & Katarina Arrive

One of the unexpected rewards of working with a single subject (the Nude) for so long is the extended collaborations so integral to the pursuit of my vision. Most of these ongoing relationships have been with local models but some come from further afield. Lymari first drove up from New England to work with me in 2001 and since then has turned her visits into an annual event, coming up to photograph, be photographed, and catch up on each year's evolution in my work.
Digital original, 6 frame stitch
This year's visit was loosely planned for the fall but kept being pushed back later and later until Lymari suggested visiting during her December break. She brought Katarina, a friend who was also interested in modelling. On December 26th, in the middle of the afternoon, Lymari and Katarina arrived several hours ahead of schedule and a storm.

It wasn't until the next afternoon that we started photographing - I had hoped to start photographing in the morning but the snow-storm precluded that, keeping the light low and dull throughout the day. In the end, I opted to use the living room as a setting, taking a cue from the previous sessions with Jesse and setting up the space much the same.
Digital original
I started the session working with Lymari. Katarina, who had never modeled nude before though she had been appeared onstage nude, decided to observe for a while to get the flow of a session.As with much of my other indoor work, I began by focusing on portraits and portrait nudes, revelling in the strength of Lymari's gaze and the muted beauty of the snowstorm light. Truth be told, the light was pretty dim, but it was so even and enveloping that the longer exposures were more than worth it just to get that particular look in the images.

After an hour of working with Lymari, with an eye to the clock, I asked Katarina if she would be comfortable trying some modeling with Lymari (I figured if she was going to model today, it had better be soon as the light would begin to drop rapidly ). A minute or two later, she and Lymari were side-by-side on the futon with the late afternoon light falling over them.
Digital original
By this point the light was dropping rapidly and my exposures were growing longer which put added pressure on me to make the most of the time we had before the light totally left the session. Fortunately, I have a particular attraction to images with shallow depth of field so working with large apertures is never a problem. By the time we conceded defeat to the low light and packed in the session, I was making second-long exposures at f/1.4, indicating the light had dropped more then 256 times in brightness from my first images of Lymari ninety minutes earlier!

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