July 29, 2005

Victoria in Hampton, New Brunswick

The internet is a wonderful thing. Victoria and I have only worked sporadically since she moved to central Canada to work on her master's degree; in 2004 we managed a single session during a simultaneous visit to Halifax, but apart from that, the chances to work together just haven't presented themselves. Two weeks before this session however, Victoria popped up online, asking if I would be around New Brunswick in two weeks, as she was coming down for a weekend. After ten minutes to typing back and forth, our plans were laid, and after an early rise and an hour drive, I picked her up and we headed off to work together for a couple of hours.

 I don't know the area around Hampton well, so we stopped in at Jamie Wilson's to ask for suggestions for places to work (as it turned out, Victoria 's grandmother had been photographed by Jamie's father many years before, proving again just how small the world is). Jamie suggested driving down the road past his place, keeping an eye on the left, where the river ran. The advice was solid, and less than ten minutes later, Victoria and I were working by the side of the Kenebikasis river.
Digital infrared original, 8 frame stitch
Thought the day was bright and sunny, because we'd got such an early start, the light was wonderful and angular, and as we were on the western side of the river, coming from the same direction as Victoria would be facing, providing beautiful rim lighting. There wasn't much flexibility possible in the way of posing, as the river here was predominantly marsh, but the light (and model) was beautiful, and the images came relatively quickly. The vast majority were standing portraits (as Victoria and I have been working together since 1998, I find the evolution of our portrait images one of the most compelling aspects of our collaboration), but some images were more classical images of the body set against a sweeping backdrop of the marsh and river's edge.

Our second location along the river was actually within the flood plane, but away from the river proper. Here, the trees grew in a more open pattern, with rich ferns and underbrush growing between them amonst the detritus of the spring floods. This gave Victoria and I the opportunity to make some tree-based images (something that is underrepresented in my work due to the prevalence of bugs in New Brunswick, more than anything else).
Digital infrared original, 15 frame stitch
We started working in front of a tall, graceful tree, making both an 8"x10" negative, and a digital multi-image stitch, with several pose being created to drop into the final image later. This is a technique I am using more and more - making the multiple frames necessary for the landscape, and then making the images of the model for inserting into the final, assembled image later in the computer.I don't know the area around Hampton well, so we stopped in at Jamie Wilson's to ask for suggestions for places to work (as it turned out, Victoria 's grandmother had been photographed by Jamie's father many years before, proving again just how small the world is). Jamie suggested driving down the road past his place, keeping an eye on the left, where the river ran. The advice was solid, and less than ten minutes later, Victoria and I were working by the side of the Kenebikasis river.

Thought the day was bright and sunny, because we'd got such an early start, the light was wonderful and angular, and as we were on the western side of the river, coming from the same direction as Victoria would be facing, providing beautiful rim lighting. There wasn't much flexibility possible in the way of posing, as the river here was predominantly marsh, but the light (and model) was beautiful, and the images came relatively quickly. The vast majority were standing portraits (as Victoria and I have been working together since 1998, I find the evolution of our portrait images one of the most compelling aspects of our collaboration), but some images were more classical images of the body set against a sweeping backdrop of the marsh and river's edge.

Our second location along the river was actually within the flood plane, but away from the river proper. Here, the trees grew in a more open pattern, with rich ferns and underbrush growing between them amonst the detritus of the spring floods. This gave Victoria and I the opportunity to make some tree-based images (something that is underrepresented in my work due to the prevalence of bugs in New Brunswick, more than anything else).
8"x10" film
We started working in front of a tall, graceful tree, making both an 8"x10" negative, and a digital multi-image stitch, with several pose being created to drop into the final image later. This is a technique I am using more and more - making the multiple frames necessary for the landscape, and then making the images of the model for inserting into the final, assembled image later in the computer.

The end of the session saw is exploring the possibilities offered by a fallen trunk lying among the ferns. For this setting, I switched from the infrared to my 8”x10” view camera, making one of my most successful large format images of the year. As much as I like the infrared version of the image, the large format negative captured a totally different scene, with Victoria 's body looking delicate and sculptured among the darker tones of the surrounding woodland floor.

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