July 11, 2005

Miranda II

The first day of the New Brunswick Portfolio dawned dull and overcast. The forecast threatened rain, but we headed out anyway, determined to make the most of what weather we had. All through the drive down to Hillsborough the weather held, and by the time we'd stopped and set up the equipment the day was looking to be improving.
Digital infrared original
The first images of the portfolio were a wide panorama of Miranda, backed by the muddy edge of the peticodiac river. Eight times wider than they are high, these only hint at the broad sweep of the river's edge, and almost dwarf the figure of Miranda - not an image for inclusion in the portfolio, but definitely a photograph that had to be made. After we completed the panoramic images, Miranda and I walked further down the riverbank, to where a lone tree was growing out of the dyke.
As is often the case, I worked from the general to the specific with the tree, making a few initial images from a distance, and then moving closer to work with Miranda in among the leaves. Though the sky was heavily overcast, the infrared camera still yielded magical images, with the tree developing a beautiful separation between the leaves and branches, due to the high infrared reflective qualities of the leaves.
Digital original
As I moved closer to the tree and had Miranda move in among the branches, I began to work with both the infrared camera, and the unmodified DSLR, which permitted me to make images in colour.  One of the most liberating aspects of digital imaging is the freedom it permits in realizing an image - every digital image I make with the conventional DSLR has the potential of being colour, or black and white, with an almost unlimited range of possible modifications and variations to the final image. In this case however, it was the rich greens of the leaves, in contrast to Miranda's delicate skin tones and soft golden brown hair that drew me in - hence the importance of keeping the image in colour.
Digital infrared original, 15 frame stitch

After completing a whole series of portraits of Miranda among the leaves and branches of the tree, we set about to discover if there was anything else in the area to work with. Just behind the tree was an old weather log, set into a block of concrete at an almost horizontal angle. With careful composition, it was possible to isolate the old trunk in the landscape, simplifying the background to the sea of green grass and minimizing the content to just the wood, and Miranda. The only other issue was how much longer the log was than the model - this by default meant that Miranda had to work with an elongated pose - and rather than trying to explain my way through it, I just showed her, stretching out along the log as I wanted her to be positioned.

The end of the first session came rather spontaneously, happening to coincide with the start of a little rain - not the torrential downpour that I had feared, but certainly enough to put a damper on the session. Regardless, after much planning and anticipation, the New Brunswick Portfolio was now underway, and though I didn't know it yet, the first image for the final portfolio had even been made!

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