April 30, 2009

Jessica & Ryan at the Coast

Digital infrared original
There are a variety of reasons to head out to photograph - some are obvious, and visible, and others, more obscure. In this case, I had just received a new lens, a Canon 24mm f/1.4, and I was eager to try it out. It so happened that Jessica and Ryan had nothing more interesting to do, so on a warm(ish) late April day, we headed out to the coast, to see what the lens could do.
Digital infrared original
I don't often work with only a single lens, but in this case, I simply brought the infrared camera, the lens, and my tripod and filters. In many ways it was freeing to have no lens choices, and it served as a great trial-by-fire for the new lens, but all the same, it would have been a better session had I a portrait lens or two along (the above image works for me, but would have been much stronger I suspect, with a more distant perspective with a narrower angle of view).
Digital infrared original, 2 frame shutter blend
By far my favorite image of the session was made right at the end, with the two models reclining on a rock, with the ocean waves softly breaking in the background. I used a neutral density filter to provide a slower shutter speed and blur the ocean, which help produce a quite magical image.

April 28, 2009

The Frozen Flowers Continue

Digital original, 10 image focus blend, 2 frame stitch
As I continue to work with the frozen flowers, I find myself challenged to create more varied images; I am experimenting with different shapes of tupperware, and smaller (and larger) flowers in hopes that I can inject some variation into the series.
Digital original, 50 image focus blend, 10 frame stitch
This calla lily looked really good, but to create a high resolution image, I had to use a ten frames on my Canon 5D MKII (21 mp camera) with each frame made up of 5 images focused from front to back. The final result was worth it however!
Digital original, 28image focus blend, 3 frame stitch
The third in this set of flowers was one of the most interesting - the yellow rose was completely clouded by bubbles on the top (looking down on the flower), but from one side, I was fortunate that the ice was almost clear...I had to use 12 frames on each side to get enough depth of field to cover the entire flower, but the effort was worth the investment in time.

April 27, 2009

Ingrid at Herring Cove

Digital infrared original
I have very mixed feeling about working at Herring Cove; it is such a fabulous setting with great potential - and it is VERY public in places, which severely limits its potential. For this session, this was tempered by the time of year (early spring) and the fact a good friend was along as a spotter. As we walked out along the rocks, my eye kept going to the sky above, and I knew it would have to play a prominent role in the session.
Digital infrared original, 4 frame stitch
Ingrid has a wonderful talent for finding the perfect pose - even after working with her for over eleven years, she can make the most beautiful images come to fruition. It was just as we were making this image that the sky began to clear, giving the perfect finishing touch to the image.
Digital infrared original
The final images of the session worked with an interesting convergence of rock, set against the ocean. Ingrid experimented with a number of poses, but it was the above image, with such a beautiful flow to her back and hips, that really resonated with me.

April 26, 2009

Jessica & Ryan at Prospect

Digital infrared original
Today was my first chance to work with models outdoors this year (whoot), and while the weather could have been warmer, the four models I had a chance to work with (two models each session, two sessions) were real troopers.

The session began with one of the most pleasing images I had made in some time - Jessica was just standing in a thin shirt and shorts, looking out to sea - I asked her if she could disrobe, and take the same pose...except this time, she closed her eyes.
Digital infrared original
For most of this session, I worked with either Jessica or Ryan solo, but in several places, including the above rock crevasse, the two models worked together. It is always an advantage having two (or more) models available, as when a composition needs a second body, one is right there, ready to jump in. The best part of the above image is that Ryan moved his head at the last minute, blurring his head and hair against the bright featureless sky behind him.
Digital infrared original.
I have a long, and deep love affair with soft light, and on this particularly sunny afternoon, I tucked Jessica away under a rock-face, just to get good light. While she was waiting for me to finish focusing and composing the image, she glanced down - and this was made.
Digital original, 5 image exposure blend, 2 frame stitch
The final image displayed here was one of the first I assembled after the session (between the morning and afternoon session, the day saw me create 17.4gb of files). This was the last composition I worked on this session; I made a dozen or so images of a variety of poses with each model, and the two of them together, but this photograph, with Jessica placed below the drama of the end of the day, appeals to me the most.

Andre & Karen at the Shore (Halifax, Nova Scotia)


Digital infrared original, 4 frame stitch
I’ve worked with Andree for over two years, and when she suggested a session with her good friend Karen, I was more than enthusiastic; it took weeks to work out, but fortunately, the weather co-operated, so on a crisp spring day, we headed out, and made a striking set of images. One of the first successes was a composition of the two models posing on a massive rock by the shore.
Digital infrared original
The above image of Karen is one of the best examples of how lovely infrared can be when used well; in this case, it turns Karen into a sculpture, as much as a photograph. I normally would be bothered by the truncating of her left arm, but in this case, with the strong sculptural quality to the photograph, it actually feels balanced!
Digital infrared original
The last set of images from this session were made right along the shore line, working again with both models. The challenge was working the two figures into the scene, but after some experimentation, with Karen perched on the top of the rock, and Andre leaning back into her, everything came together.

April 23, 2009

Herring Cove

Digital infrared original

Digital original, 2 frame stitch
Some questions asked by a friend prompted this visit to the coast - was infrared just of interest to me because of how luminous and rich it made the Nude, or did I like it for landscape as well. Though landscape is not really my thing, the above images settled the debate for me.
Digital original
As much as the focus of this visit was on working with infrared, I made a whole series of images focused on breaking waves - in this case, in the ocean surrounding one of my favorite water-pools.

April 06, 2009

A Master Work (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 141 image focus blend, 18 image stitch

I was visiting a friend’s house, when I noticed a vase of pretty tulips on the table…as I was leaving, I asked if I could have one, to freeze and photograph. An hour later, it was in my freezer. This is the largest, and most pleasing of my Frozen Light series yet - it prints 87” high without interpolation (it is stitched from 18 frames, which were in turn assembled from a total of 141 frames, which assured the entire image was sharp front to back). I can't think of a single frozen flower which even comes close to this one for me - a true masterwork, if I say so myself.

This image was included in the 2010 exhibition `Frozen Light` which was displayed at ViewPoint Gallery, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Digital original, 8 frame stitch
After finishing with the tulip, I moved onto some smaller flowers which I'd frozen at the same time; the images were as successful as the tulips, in terms of the effectiveness of the focus stacking, but after working with the stunning clarity of the tulip, the smaller flowers just...faded.

April 05, 2009

A Solo Session (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original
A month after her first session modelling with a friend, S_ was pleased with the results, and asked if she could come and pose for a solo session. The day we met up at my apartment was sunny and bright, so I covered the windows with white sheers. Our first images were of S_ standing against the side wall.
Digital infrared original
As the session progressed, we moved through a variety of poses, most of them generated by S_; this one was inspired by a glimpse of S_'s hands - in infrared they looked even better.
Digital original
By far my favorite image of the session was the above photograph; the super shallow depth of field, combined with the delicate colour being everything I love to the final photograph.

April 01, 2009

Ryan and Jessica Model Again (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original
Unlike the first time I worked with Jessica and Ryan, this session began with studio lighting; the two had just had a shower together, and I made a series of images of them while the last water of the shower evaporated from their skin. The studio light permitted me to control the lighting more than usually, so I created a number of highly stylized compositions.
Digital infrared original
Once I felt the studio lighting options had been realized, I set the lights aside, and returned to working with the couple on white sheets below a large window. By far this is my favorite way to work, with the luminous back light providing a lovely setting to work in, and perfect for focusing on the intimacy between the two models.
Digital infrared original
As with other sessions, the close came not when we ran out of time, but when we felt we'd run out of inspiration. This is probably the biggest difference to working with digital cameras as opposed to film; then I'd photograph until the resources (film) ran our, as opposed to finishing up when the session felt like it had concluded.