July 13, 2005

Miranda IX

Our second location near Woodstock was an abandoned farm, a mirror of my experience with Victoria in Alberta, although unlike that session, almost all our images at this farm were made within the buildings. Though the clouds were still dominating the sky, the weather was well on its way to clearing by the time we started working, but given the poor weather of the previous two days, all the images I'd pre-envisioned were under shelter, more out of caution than any real risk of rain.
8"x10" film
The first set of images were made in a open-sided barn, where a number of older hay bales were still stacked. An abandoned truck bed gave me a solid platform to work from, and interesting elements (the fold-down ramps) for Miranda to interact with. The first images we made were a series of pose explorations made with the DSLR, alternating between standing and crouching, and facing towards and away from the camera. Out of these experiments came my final pose decision - Miranda positioned low with the two bales swirling out over her outstretched arms. Once I was certain I'd made this image successfully with the infrared camera, I switched to the 8"x10" camera, and recomposed the image. Miranda found the pose again with relative ease, and within a couple of seconds, the film version of the image was made. Ironically, though the film image was made with the larger, slower-to-use view camera, it was the digital images that took a long time to make, as I created the final image out of an eighteen-frame multi-row stitch).
Digital original, 8 frame stitch
The other compositions from this location both focused on the same window - the first from outside, the second, from within. With so little of the New Brunswick portfolio to date involving architectural Nudes, I deliberately made the most of the first buildings we had to work with. Without a doubt, my favorite light to work with is window light, so to begin, I went against my instincts, and experimented with the view from the outside in, working from beside the building and looking through the window at Miranda. I debated over using a polarizer (literally, for the first time in a non-teaching image) to remove the reflection, but ended up feeling I liked the third layer to the image's depth (the window, the window behind it, and the reflection upon it). As we'd done in the open barm, once I'd set up the camera and made the base image (a large stitch of the window and building side), Miranda simply experimented with pose and position, each of which was dropped into the final images later in the computer.
Digital infrared original
The final images of the session were made with the window-light I love so much, augmented by the light coming through the doorway behind me (which is why the final portrait has less direction to the light than would usually exist with a window-light portrait). Before we packed up and departed, there was a short debate about working with the fields and trees around the farm, but given its proximity to the road, and the fact we had the whole rest of the day to work with landscape, it was mutually decided that the architectural images had made the most of the space.

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