June 11, 2005

Three Models at Cape Enrage

My first exhibition in New Brunswick, a show of water abstracts and nudes called "Aquis" was held in June in a small cafe in Moncton, where I live. At the opening, Genevieve, who has modeled for me previously, brought friends, Kayla and Tom, who expressed interest in modeling. So not four days later, the four of us set out for a day of photography.
Digital infrared original, 4 frame stitch
This not only marked an opportunity to work with figure models in New Brunswick, but also to try out my newly received infrared sensitive Nikon D70. While I had tested this camera extensively over the previous week or so, I hadn't had the chance to make any nude images with the camera; I was quite looking forward to the opportunity.

Usually, with first time models, I prefer to head to a space in which I've already worked so the only new variable is the model. In this case, we headed for the best space I know of in New Brunswick - Cape Enrage. When I'd first worked there with models in 2004, I was totally amazed at the rich variety of possibilities and knew immediately it would become a frequently utilized location.
Digital infrared original, 6 frame resolution blend
The afternoon during which we had the opportunity to work coordinated well with the tide; we'd arrived with the full 10 metre height of the tide receded but with less than ideal light - the sky was big and blue and the sun beat down upon us, giving a harsh, contrasty light to the shoreline. I dealt with this in two ways - either working with the models under the sun and always keeping the compositions focusing on the lines of the body created by the sun, or by working in the shallow sea caves the ocean had carved out of the cliff-face, where the light was soft and even.

As has happened before, I found the embarrassment of riches represented by having three models available to work with somewhat distracting. Over the session I purposely rotated through the three models, working with the first, then adding a second for a set of images, then working with the second exclusively, then adding a third. The process seemed the only logical way to be fair to all involved, but at the same time, injected artificiality into the session that seemed to interrupt the natural flow of things.
Digital infrared original
This is not to suggest for a moment that I'd rather have had fewer models along for the session, or that things should have gone differently but more that, in addition to the elements that usually go into an image (light, setting, lens, model), there was an additional consideration of. which model or models to use. With models that I know better, I'd have an idea of who to work with for each particular setting but, for this session, I was focusing more on making the best images of each of the three models, as opposed to making the best image for each setting, which would be a very different process.

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