July 10, 2006

Ingrid at Dawson Brook

It occurs to me that something that is fresh and new should, though logical extension, eventually become stale and old, and yet, after working with a model and water for more than a decade (my first water nudes were made in 1996), I still find myself as mesmerized and engaged by the combination as I was on the day I made my first water nude.
Digital Infrared original, 15 frame stitch
Ingrid's love for modeling in water is similar to mine for photographing it, and she never tires of spending an afternoon exploring a river or lake, regardless of whether she has been there a dozen times before, or it is a new, undiscovered space. This session was perhaps our fifth or sixth working at Dawson Brook, and yet Ingrid was as spontaneous and open to the possibilities she space offered as if she had never seen it before.

One of the challenging aspects of working with a single subject or approach for more than a decade is the risk of self-censorship; not making an image, because it's been done before, or not investigating a pose, because the model has used it before.
Digital Infrared original, 22 frame stitch
I always try to work "in the moment" when I photograph, in order to respond to what is happening before the camera, and not be concerned with what has gone before. Ingrid too seems to have this approach to modeling, seldom worrying if she had used a pose, or even been in a specific space previously, and simply working to get the best photograph for then and there.
Digital Infrared original, 9 frame stitch
This session, more than many, proved that this manner of working is effective. Ingrid and I have worked with the fall at Dawson Brook many times before, and each session focused on water nudes, but this was the first where we really hit our stride. The particular geography of Dawson Brook falls makes them difficult to photograph, but for this session, time and time again, we made images that surpassed the best we'd done in the past, all the while while not even considering what had gone before.

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