January 03, 2006

Kyla & Tom by Candle Light

While Kayla and Tom live in Moncton, it has been almost six months since our last session working together; this is indicative of how dependent my working process has become on transportation. During the summer, my only times with a rental car are weekends when I am teaching in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This inevitably means that the days in which I manage to get out and work with a model are spent 300km away from Moncton in Nova Scotia.
Digital original, 5 frame stitch

During the winter months, however, all this changes.To mark the beginning of a New Year, I asked if Tom and Kayla would be up for another session together (since their first time modeling together, they have become an actual couple, as opposed to two friends modeling together). Both were enthusiastic and Kayla proposed it would be interesting to work with candlelight so, as much as any session can be planned, the decision on what to do was made.
Digital original, 4 frame stitch
It cannot be overstated how much working by candlelight influences a session; the soft glow of the candles sets a pace and tenor for the session that is unique - a regular studio session tends to be well lit, technical looking and very "busy", while working with a couple and a single candle is about as simple as photography can get. This, in turn, influences the models' reactions to the process as a whole and leads to a very relaxed session. This is not to say that studio or outdoor sessions aren't relaxed but more points out that candle sessions begin this way and other sessions may become mellow by the end.
Digital original, 3 frame stitch
One unexpected element to this candle session was the number of images I opted to create using stitched images. I think, more than anything, this indicates how internalized the process of stitching has become to my workflow in general; as opposed to something exotic and occasional, it has pretty much become the default way to make an image, assuming the subject matter isn't moving too much or the light isn't changing rapidly. I keep wondering if the answer to my affection for stitches would be higher resolution cameras, but I suspect that, until I got up to the medium format 22-39mp cameras, I would find stitching preferable to single frames, almost regardless of the in-camera resolution.

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