June 26, 2005

A Second Session with Jane

Though I produced a Nova Scotia Portfolio with Cassandra in 2001, this is the first time I'd worked this far south of Halifax (ironically, it is almost as far away from Moncton as you can go to the southeast, without driving into the Atlantic Ocean). In stark contrast to Jane's first session, this afternoon was sunny and warm without the stifling head of the previous day which had peaked at 35 degrees Celsius.
Digital infrared original
Besides their own interest and enthusiasm, one of the most valuable elements a model can bring to a session is local knowledge; in this case, Jane took me out onto several of the numerous islands in Pubnico Harbour, first working with a number rocks on one island and then working with the grass and trees on a second.

Because of the day's heat, and our limited time (not to mention traveling by boat), I decided to work with my digital camera exclusively. I had hoped to work with the 8"x10", but I feared the day would just be too hot (in the end, the weather was beautiful on the water, so I should have taken the camera along, but hind-sight is 20/20).
Digital infrared original
With the first space, the impetus for the choice of the space was a large and distinct looking rock perched on a point – I could envision Jane's body interplaying with the lines of the rock, so we quickly moved ashore and began to work. I had thought the direct sunlight would cause a problem for the infrared digital camera, but it turned out to have no problem dealing with the extreme contrast, though careful exposure is very important I always do some bracketing with the infrared digital camera, to insure I get a good exposure.

Once we finished working with the rocks and shoreline on the first island, we traveled by boat to a second - more a flat sea of grass than an island proper. Here, it was a little easier to work with the harsh light, as the landscape was a little more open, and I could better choose the angle from which to photograph. A couple of times during the session, Jane had to duck down into the grass as locals went by in their motorboats, but for the most part, we worked undisturbed, free to explore the possibilities the island offered.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
It has been well over six years since I last had the advantage of using a boat to get to an island location and I had totally forgotten the sense of freedom it injects into a session. When working on the mainland, even in spaces well removed from the general populous, there is always a weather eye kept out, looking for the unexpected interloper (this is out of concern for their own comfort with the process, not because I feel that there is anything wrong with working with a figure model in the middle of the wilderness). But working on the island, with the only chance of unexpected guests being those who came by boat as well, there was a simple relaxation injected into the session that is quite subtle, but definitely welcome.

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