July 27, 2008

Stephanie Models in a Forest

Though we've already worked together once in the studio, this was my first chance to work with Stephanie in my preferred setting - the great outdoors. Though I usually avoid working in woods at this time of year, due to the risk of bug bites, Stephanie was enthusiastic about the possibilities a woodland setting offered, and was willing to put up with the bugs.
Digital infrared original
Made in a shade of a huge glacial erratic, this portrait has such luminous skin tones that Stephanie's skin almost blend into her white-blond hair. Part of the magic of working with infrared is how differently it renders the familiar. In this case, Stephanie’s blue eyes turned out extremely dark, in contrast to her fair skin.
Digital original
Though we worked on many images of Stephanie's body interwoven with the trees and forest, I continually returned to making portraits, drawn to the lovely colour of her hair and skin. The above image was made moments after a such a portrait, proving me with a completely spontaneous moment.
Digital infrared original
Of all the full-body images I made with Stephanie in the forest, this is my favourite - it has such a magical feeling, rooted in both the other-worldly quality of the infrared image, and the fleeting grace of Stephanie's figure.

July 16, 2008

Nicole at the Bay of Fundy

Since I first worked there, Burntcoast Head has been one of my favorite places to photograph at, though its distance from Halifax, and the necessity to sync the visit to low tide make it a seldom-visited space.
Digital infrared original, 6 frame stitch
Though Nicole was only posing in a small tidal pool, the long lens I used to make the image gave it the appearance of an endless sea. The infrared camera created some incredibly strong contrast (due to no infrared light being reflected into the shadows from the water), while the stitching created a higher resolution image for printing.
Digital original, 8 frame stitch
The whole environment at Burntcoat Head is flavored by the world's highest tides; all the rock forms are weathered and carved by the relentless tidal motion, and even the huge rocks at the edge of the mainland are covered with a skin of seaweed. In the above image, I thought Nicole's red hair would set of nicely against the green seaweed, and mirror the colour of the rock beneath.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
Because of its geographic setting, there are few location in Nova Scotia that look directly out onto a sunset over water, but fortunately the Bay of Fundy solves these problems - not so much because it faces the right direction, but because, with almost 10 metres of tide range, there is very little at low tide to obscure the setting sun.

July 07, 2008

Andree Poses in a River

Digital original, 18 frame stitch
This was my third time working with this river space, but I feel it still have not really revealed its full potential, visually. The first composition (above) gives some indication of how low the river level is; in the spring when it is in full-run, all the visible rocks are covered with water.
Digital original
Because of the low level of the river, Andree and I had some challenges finding spaces with deep enough pools to immerse her body; most of the places we found were like the above - deep enough to cover a portion of her body, but leading most of her above the surface.
Digital original, 3 frame exposure blend
This is by far my favourite image of the session - Andre's pose fits the space perfectly, and the dark rocks surrounding Andree play a wonderful counterpart to her pale skin. The shutter speed blend permitted me to get the motion blur in the water while having Andree's figure crisp and detailed.

July 06, 2008

Nicole Models at the Coast

Digital infrared original
As soon as Nicole saw this up-rooted tree, she asked if it would be possible to work with it…and promptly spent five minutes or more worming her way into a pose.  It was hard to hold the exposure detail in the sky, and still see her figure atop the rock, but with careful processing, the image reaches all its potential.
Digital infrared original
Though this session was to focus on working at the coast, when we came across a small field of high grasses, I couldn't resist. It took some experimentation to find the right aperture to keep the grasses close to me crisp enough to read as grass, but soft enough not to detract, but the effort put into making the image was worth it.
Digital original
Towards the close of the session, Nicole did some full-immersion modelling in some of the water pools that were one of the reasons I selected this location. Late in the afternoon, with the sun lower in the sky, the reflections on the water surface, and the light on Nicole's body, was just lovely to work with.

July 02, 2008

Scotland 2008 Part XL: Sweetheart Abbey & Glasgow

Digital original
My last day of this visit to Scotland saw me return to Sweetheart Abbey, where I'd ended the previous day; I didn't feel I made the most of the location in the previous day's rain, so I spent the morning working with the soft overcast light, and made many more images of this haunting space.
Digital original
My last photography in Scotland was of the Glasgow Necropolis; I always seem to default to photographing grave yards when I am in unfamiliar cities. I suspect it is the combination of the beauty of European tombs combined with their relative peacefulness (compared to the bustle of the city around them)
Digital original
This was my last image made during my 2008 visit to Scotland; a small, weathered head on a long eroded grave in the Glasgow Necropolis.

July 01, 2008

Scotland 2008 Part XXXIX: My Last Day on the Scottish Borders

Digital infrared original
I usually dislike perspective distortion in images (a side effect of working with view cameras for more than fifteen years), but when I was working with Hermitage Castle, it’s massive bulk seemed to call out for something dramatic.
Digital infrared original

This small church was by the side of the road in Lockerbie, which I passed through on my way through southern Scotland.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame shutter blend

This was the last of the ruins I photographed in Scotland, and by far, my favourite of the architectural images I made. A blended exposure, with one for Sweetheart Abbey, and a second, with a much longer shutter speed, for the wind-swept sky behind it, lead to an image that focused as much on mood and ambiance as it does on composition and light.