July 30, 2005

Victoria at an Abandoned Farm

As Victoria and I still had an hour or more left to work in, we decided to change the look of the space we were working in, and headed to an abandoned farm I had discovered a week earlier, while working with Miranda.
Digital infrared original, 15 frame stitch

Almost all the images I made of Victoria in this space were multi-image stitches - a frustrating approach to try with rapidly changing light. Numerous times, I had to abandon stitches as the light changed half-way through the image creation. Still, there were frequently periods of shade long enough complete a multi-image stitch in, and the increase in image fidelity and resolution was more than work it.
Digital infrared original, 7 frame stitch
Though I spent much of my time waiting for the right light, I did made a number of compositions when Victoria was lit by the direct sun - with these, I simply resorted to bracketing the exposures heavily, and hoping I managed to get one that looks right. This is a frustrating process, but necessary, as the infrared camera’s exposure cannot be judged by the histogram as is recommended with conventional digital SLRs. I usually use the colour of image on the LCD screen to judge the success of a given exposure, but in bright sunlight, this can be difficult to do.

At the very end of the session, Victoria and I worked on a set of concrete sets leading to nowhere - the original building attached to them had burned down years ago, so now the stairs go nowhere. Victoria found them quite easy to pose upon, and while the light was harsh, once I found the angle to work from, the compositions were relatively easy to create.
Digital infrared original, 5 frame stitch
The real issue came from the steps proximity to the road, less than 10 meters to the right. We had a somewhat restricted view in either direction, and had to rely on the sound of approaching cars to know whether the coast was clear to continue working. The whole process was reminiscent of working with Victoria in the Canadian Rockies while we were producing the Alberta Portfolio in 1999 - there we made an image on a rock outcrop by the road after more than half-an-hour of waiting for a cap in the traffic. This space was by no means so busy, but it was still amusing to have Victoria ducking on and off the stairs, as cars would rumble their approach in the distance.

Victoria departed in the winter of 2005 for Great Britain, where she will be studying for her PhD - quite possibly the next time I will see her, she will be Dr. Vicky!

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