September 10, 2006

R_ Returns for a Visit

I had a great (and wonderful) surprise waiting for me in my e-mail several weeks before this session; R_ wrote me to say that she was expecting to be visiting Nova Scotia in September and was wondering if I'd be available to work on some new photographs.
Digital original. 20 frame stitch
 R_ began working with me in the spring of 2001, and over the next fourteen months, we worked together fifteen times (which is no small feat, given that R_ had to drive for 90 minutes just to meet up with me in Halifax). This all came to an end when R_ moved back to Europe in the spring of 2002, so her e-mail and interest in continuing to work together four years was an unexpected chance to continue building on the strong images we already had.

For the first session of R_'s short visit, we decided to return to the woods where we first worked together outdoors, both for the nostalgic factor, and because we only had a couple of hours to work; these woods are less than ten minutes from where I live, and therefore maximized the time we spent actually making images.
Digital infrared original. 20 frame stitch
As soon as we started working, it was as if no time had passed at all. My technical approach had changed since when we last worked together (large format and 35mm cameras both having been replaced by digital SLR cameras), but other than that, the session could have been a week after our previous one, four years earlier. R_'s enthusiasm for modeling had, if anything, grown, and from the moment we started making images, she was right in the process, helping to make some striking images from the first composition of the session.

We worked solidly for two hours, moving through the woodland as needed, from space to space. For the most part, I worked in infrared, taking advantage of all the foliage around us. but occasionally, I switched to the colour camera, working with the rich green tones of the leaves, as a counterpoint to R_'s warm skin.
Digital infrared original. 20 frame stitch
I have always appreciated the wealth that extended collaborations have brought to my work, but I don't think I have ever been more aware of it than during this session.

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