The second day of the New Brunswick Portfolio dawned much as the first had, overcast sky, a forecast for drizzle and rain, and little sign of respite. Miranda's spirits were high though, so we decided to return to Bas-Cap-Pele and work with some of the other spaces we'd seen on our brief visit the day before, but didn't have the opportunity to investigate.
|Digital infrared original, 28 frame stitch|
Much to our frustration, when we arrived at the coast, the weather
had shifted from ominous to inclement, with the rain being whipped about
by the wind off the ocean. Fortunately, one of the spaces created by
the eons of waves crashing upon the shore was made up of a series of
interlinked caves, perfect for sheltering both Miranda and the
camera-gear from the weather (though because of the slippery rocks and
rainy walk out to the caves, I declined to bring along the 8"x10"
camera). After making a five minute walk along the shoreline, we found
ourselves nicely sheltered from the weather, working in a location
overflowing with potential - that which sheltered us from the rain and
wind also provided a magical background against which to work.
session itself progressed well in spite of the weather, through Miranda
did take numerous breaks to warm up. We worked out way backwards
through the space, beginning at the farthest (and largest) cave, and
working our way back towards where we'd arrived over the session. Almost
all the images played off the lines and flow to the rock, with either
Miranda finding the pose herself, or myself showing her what I'd
envisioned, and her getting a sense of the pose from the camera's
|Digital infrared original, 5 frame stitch|
As the caves were so small, and the lines of the
rocks so dramatic and sweeping, almost all the images of Miranda in the
grottoes were multi frame stitches, often made with the 12mm wide lens.
These describe the spaces quite well, but are often quite challenging to
assemble in the computer, do to the distortion inherent in wide angle
lenses. For a small number of images, I was able to be further back from
Miranda (without moving out in to the rain) and could use a longer 50mm
or 105mm lens to make the images for the stitch - often these images
end up with the same dramatic wide-angle of a stitch made with a 12mm
lens, but they are much easier to assemble (and much higher in
resolution) due to the narrower angle of view of the longer lenses.
of my earlier work at Burntcoat Head, which shares the same deep red
rocks, I knew that the exposures in the caves would be difficult at
best, so I was especially careful to try to balance Miranda's pale skin
with the dark red rocks that surrounded her. The temptation is to expose for the rich detail in the rocks, but this inevitably leads to
loosing detail in the model's skin, so instead, exposures are biased
towards ensuring detail in Miranda's figure, and the tones of the rocks,
rendered too dark in the original image, are corrected in
post-production later in the computer.
|Digital infrared original, 26 frame stitch|
In the end, as sheltered as we were, the weather put an end to the session, with Miranda simply becoming too chilly to continue working. We gathered up the equipment and set out back to the car, but I knew that behind me lay one of the best spaces to work I'd found yet in my eighteen years of photographing the Nude. A space to which I would return to again and again.
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