August 20, 2005

Miles & Natasha at Cape Enrage

Miles and Natasha drove up to Moncton from Halifax, for a combination visit and modeling trip; they had seen several of the locations I'd worked in with Miranda during the New Brunswick Portfolio production and hoped to be able to model in them. The plan was for Natasha to model for both Miles and me and the two of them to pose together.

Digital infrared original, 16 frame stitch
The day they arrived was bright with direct sun so we headed for Cape Enrage where I hoped the massive cliffs would provide enough shade to give us more even light. My guess proved correct and we arrived to find the entire cliff-face shrouded in shadow but lit by a mostly cloudless sky which gave the most beautiful, even description of tone a photographer could wish for.

After walking down the beach for a half-hour, we began working with most images beginning as solo poses of Natasha, with Miles being included once I'd made the most of what a single model in the  space could present. This method of working is very methodical, and not a luxury I can usually afford but, as we were planning to work for most of the day, my only concern for time was the tide, which was approaching its ebb when we'd arrived, providing us with six or more hours to work in.
Digital infrared original
 As the afternoon progressed, I became gradually more and more focused on the images of the two models. There is an subtle chemistry that flows between two partners when they are modeling together and, more often than not, this can take what was already a successful pose or composition and add an element to it that is impossible to create through direction from behind the camera. The more this occurred during the session, the more I focused on it, making fewer and fewer images of Natasha on her own and, much to Miles' chagrin, interrupting her partner's own photography to call him into the pose. Miles is quite indulgent in this regard, which I definitely appreciate, given the images it has helped me create over the years.

As the session moved along, the shadows along the shore lengthened until it covered all of the rocks, down to the sea. The three of us began moving down the shoreline, exploring the possibilities away from the rock shelf, where I'd focused almost all of the images I'd made to date at Cape Enrage.

The best aspect of moving below the high-tide line was the rockweed that is scattered around on the rocks. To the naked eye, this looks to be brown but, with the infrared converted DSLR camera, the rockweed turns into a luminous, pale plant, adding much needed contrast to the rocky landscape.
Digital infrared original, 5 frame stitch
The first images we made on the shoreline were of the two models entwined on the rocky bedrock, working their bodies to the lines of the rock, and into the lines of each other. Gradually, however, we shifted to working with landscape-based poses where Miles or Natasha would find a pose and then the other model would be fit into the space around the first pose. Unlike our earlier approach, each composition was intended to include the two models, so the design of the photographs was a little more deliberate and premeditated. By the end of the afternoon, we had spent more than six hours on the beach, the tide was coming in, and I knew I had some very successful images, both of Natasha alone and with Miles.

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