July 27, 2007

A First Session for a New Model

Digital infrared original
Every first session with a model is full of potential; there is no way to predict how they'll respond to the process, what they'll bring to it, and how they will reflect it back to me. For this session, the model specifically asked to work at a beach, so with a beautiful warm day, we headed out to Martinique beach, where I have has great success in the past.
Digital infrared original
Many people think beaches are great places to work in with the Nude, but they’re actually pretty hard to photograph on, being mostly flat and featureless - in this case, I walked back into the dunes, where the grass gave some complexity to the image. The hard, direct mid day sun wasn't easy to work with either.
Digital infrared original
In the end, through the combination of a constant stream of beach walkers, and a time limit on the model's part, the session came to a close; much of our time had been spent working in rolling plains of sand on the land-ward side of dunes, but for a relatively short session, we made some really pleasing photographs.

July 21, 2007

Tanya in the Studio

Tanya is one of the most enthusiastic models I have had the chance to work with; she has a fabulous comfort in front of the camera, and more than enough patience to permit me to get just what I am looking for in an image! The greatest frustration of course is that she lived in Moncton, and I am in Halifax, a 2.5 hour drive away.
Digital orignal
Fortunately, I am in Moncton frequently for teaching, so we can often meet up to work together. For this session, neither of us was free until well after sundown, so I brought my studio lighting and Tanya modelled for her first studio session.
Digital infrared original, 5 frame stitch
Like her first time modelling three months earlier, the entire session focused on portraits; Tanya's comfort and confidence before the camera really shows in these images. The space we worked in (her apartment) was a little challenging when it came to controlling the lighting (walls and ceilings reflect a surprising amount of light), but we did the best we could given the issues.
Digital original
By far the most successful lighting set-up was when I switched to working with the white sheets, and just flooded the room with light from my three strobes. The even illumination kept the focus on Tanya's connection with the camera, and created fewer issues with pose and framing. While not quite the same as when I work with natural light (when all the light is typically coming from behind the model), this has some of the same luminance that that work is so dependant upon.

July 19, 2007

A Summer Field Trip

Digital original
An interesting side effect of doing so many course related field trips is that I spend a lot of time photographing in the same places time and time again...which makes everything that is old new again! This emergency phone, by the side of the path, looked particularly night against the soft out of focus green background.
Digital original
Long exposures have always fascinated me, so any time I see something that moves, I find myself asking...would that look better stopped, or blurred. In the case of the Atlantic ocean breaking over the rocks at Point Pleasant, blurred was definitely the answer.
Digital original
Of course, the newest fascination (some years old now, but still new) is with macro, so I couldn't let the filed trip go by without making some new macro photographs. I really enjoyed the colour contrast of these small flowers.

July 11, 2007

Ingrid in the Fog

As frequent as fog is in Nova Scotia, I have seldom had the chance to work with it, and models. Too often fog is accompanied by a chill in the air which is decidedly unpleasant to be Nude in. In this case however, the fog was unusually warm, and Ingrid and I spent a good hour working along the coast, exploring the possibilities of a landscape that seems to go on forever.
Digital infrared original, 6 frame stitch
Many of the photographs we made together were of wide vistas, with the landscape disappearing into the fog. The above image, with an interesting casual feel to Ingrid's pose, is particularly pleasing.
Digital original
One unexpected element the fog leant to the session was how soft and delicate the colours of the rocks became - they almost perfectly matched Ingrid's skin tone.
Digital original
I am quite used to using skies in my compositions, but was frequently at a loss as to how to deal with the flat even white of the foggy surroundings. In the end, I just stopped trying to make the sky worked, and paid more attention to the foreground, and Ingrid's place in it.

July 08, 2007

More Flowers

Digital original
After a long meeting down town, while waiting for a lift home, I made some macro photos of a garden next to ViewPoint Gallery; I was drawn to the little and of the above plant, and used a macro lens with a pair of extension tubes (32mm in length) to get as close as I could, while still having an interesting composition.
Digital original
The other thing that caught my eye was a white flower, still wet with morning dew; I tried hard to fill the frame with white, but was only partially successful, with a little green showing on the top right.