February 26, 2006

Alexandra & Liam in Moncton II

The morning after our studio session, Alexandra and Liam joined me at a friend's house for a short available light session, before they resumed their drive across North America. I had been helping with the renovation of the home and, from my first tour of the house, had known I wanted to work with the pillars in the front hall.
Digital infrared original, 24 frame stitch

My usual approach to working with the Nude in a specific location is to find a model and then a location but in this case, it was the reverse - I'd known about the pillars for about a month before Alexandra and Liam's arrival but as soon as they indicated their timeline, I'd asked if they'd be available for a morning session, specifically to work with this location.
Digital infrared original, 3 frame stitch
Fortunately, the two didn't mind delaying their departure, so early on Sunday morning, we arrived at the house, turned up the heat (as it was still in mid-renovation, there was no one living in it yet) and started working. As I had hoped, the morning light was perfect, with soft even light coming through the blinds and lighting the front hall.

More than any other session since switching to working exclusively with digital, I missed having the flexibility of a view camera for this session. To get the angle of view that I sought with the models against the wooden floor, I had to work from fairly high up (on the stairway), which had the side effect of causing the perspective of the room to become seriously skewed.
Digital infrared original, 4 frame stitch
With a view camera, overcoming this would have been easy, shifting the front lens lower to compensate for the higher angle. With digita,l however, while there are specialty lenses which can do a similar thing, they are expensive, and not really functional with my multi-image stitching technique. All is not lost for digital photographers though, as it is possible with Photoshop and similar programs to digitally correct the perspective in an image and, while this is much more time consuming than making the original image with the corrections as I could have done with a view camera, in the end I could achieve much the same effect, keeping the pillars square and level, while photographing from above the models.

For all that I only had one specific image in my mind's eye when we began (the one of Alexandra perched between the pillar and the wall) between the three of us, we managed to come up with a fair number of other compositions, including some very successful poses working with the two models together between the pillars. If I ever have the chance to work with the space again, I would change some things, but given what we had to work with, I am incredibly pleased with the results.

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