June 19, 2006

Ingrid Returns to Pennant River

Digital infrared original, 6 frame stitch

This was Ingrid's second time working with me at Pennant River (the first being almost a year ago to the day), but unlike the previous session, we were cursed with the worst possible light - bright harsh sunlight, without a cloud in the sky. Normally, given a day like this, I would have opted to work in a different space altogether (one with shade), but Ingrid is such a water baby that I knew there wasn't an option.
Digital infrared original
Working in direct sunlight has two serious issues when it comes to working with water nudes. The first is not specific to working with water and that is the harshness of the shadows; given that the session was two days before summer solstice, the light was about as top-down as it can be. This imposes some limitations on how Ingrid can pose, and where I can photograph from, but with some effort, is possible to overcome. The second, however, is uniquely specific to working with water, and can be more challenging to overcome. With direct sunlight falling upon the river and model, it can be hard to get a slow enough shutter speed to show the kind of motion in the water that I usually seek to show. By using my darkest neutral density filters, I was able to make exposures in the 1/6th of a second range with most of my lenses, which did show some motion, but usually this would be the shortest exposure I would make with moving water, not the longest!
Digital infrared original
Unlike our expedition to Pennant River in 2005, this session was relatively short. Due to the sunny day, the water seemed proportionally cooler, and Ingrid needed several breaks to warm up, which slowed down the session; then, some people came along to swim for the afternoon, effectively putting an end to the work for the day. Ingrid and I did manage to make some very strong images, but the difficult lighting and shorter (proportionally) session did little to help with that. The reality, however, is that given that Ingrid and I have worked together now for close to nine years, the pressure to make loads of brilliant images has been replaced by the quest to build upon what we have already created in previous sessions.

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