June 26, 2005

A Second Session in South-West Pubnico

After a couple of hours of working on the islands, Jane and I returned to the mainland, only to discover we still had another hour or more of good light available to us. Jane suggested a quick drive to the other side of the bay; less than fifteen minutes later, we were walking through a very different afternoon: here the sky was shrouded in fog and what had been harsh, direct light on the islands had metatmorphed into soft, diffused light. With considerable enthusiasm because of this improvement, we walked down the beach until we found a good place to start photographing.
Digital infrared original, 18 frame stitch
We were fortunate to arrive at low tide, when the water-worn rocks were fully exposed, permitting Jane to work her way into the curves and flow of the stone. In stark contrast to the rocks in east Pubnico, which were granite, the stone here was smoother and darker, giving Jane a more comfortable setting in which to work, and setting off her pale skin.

As the light was so consistent, and the setting so striking, I made almost all the images here as multi-image stitches - this both increased the resolution of the final images, as well as permitting me to choose my perspective and composition independent of the lenses I had with me and the shape of the DLSR image (2:3 proportion, like conventional 35mm cameras). This does slow the photographic process down quite a bit but I've found models are more than willing to accommodate the slower workflow in exchange for the results, which can be quite stunning, both in terms of the image quality and the occasionally exaggerated angle of view.
Digital infrared original, 5 frame stitch
Beside the dark smooth rocks, the second visual element which worked well in Southwest Pubnico was the rockweed. Normally dark brown, on the infrared digital camera the seaweed turned luminous white, providing welcome tonal contrasts in the images of Jane in the rocks. In conventional black and white, the rockweed would have simply faded into the tones of the rocks, but in infrared, its pale textured highlight provided some contrast to the smooth, pale tones of Jane's body.
Digital infrared original, 4 frame stitch
Sadly, due to time restrictions, we had to call the work in the fog to a close well before I had exhausted all the possibilities. If it hadn't been such a long drive from Halifax to Pubnico, I could have spent all day in either the island or shoreline locations in which we worked in a single afternoon. All I can do is hope for another chance to work with this varied and wonder fill landscape in the future, perhaps during a longer visit.

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