July 30, 2009

Miranda in Cape Breton (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original
Though this trip wasn't specifically focused on photographing Miranda, we did make time for some images to me made on the second day; not being familiar with the location made finding a space to work in a little challenging, but with some effort, we found ourselves a deserted stretch of coast, and began with some portraits.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame shutter blend
As pleasing as the portraits were, the real focus of much of the shoreline session was working with the waves; there were several large rocks which per perfect for Miranda to pose upon (keeping dry) while still being in a space where to movement of the water could be capitalized upon.
Digital infrared original
I hadn’t even noticed this tombstone, but when I’d finished photographing Miranda with the larger stone, Miranda asked if I wanted to work with this one - and as soon as I saw how surrounded it was by brush, I said yes, certainly, envisioning how light the foliage would look in infrared! This is my second Nude with a tombstone (the first being made two years before with Ingrid), and I have to say, I was much more comfortable with it the second time around...there is a reverence to Miranda's pose that seems to suit the setting..

July 26, 2009

Stepahnie's First Session Outdoors (Polly's Cove, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
Though the main focus of this session was the be Nudes, Stephanie and I made some portraits as we moved out onto the glacial barrens; her dress worked particularly well with her pale skin, and the green foliage set off her red air perfectly.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
Stephanie and I have been working together for more than six months, but this was our first chance to work outdoors - between her schedule and the weather, it took months for all the stars to align for both of us. This was made early into the session, and has a wonderful irony - Stephanie has told me I’d have to provide her with lots of direction, as she had no experience posing outdoors - yet for this image, the pose was entirely hers, and completely spontaneous!
Digital infrared original
After making the series of images of Stephanie lying on the rock, I wanted to create some portraits, but was initially at a loss as to where to make the image; a standing portrait against the foggy surroundings didn't resonate with me. Fortunately, there was a pair of boulders that had just enough space between them for Stephanie to fit in.
Digital infrared original
I really enjoyed playing with the layers that this rocky pair presented; Stephanie's body emerging between the two boulders makes perfect use of the luminous skin tones that infrared photographs provides, while making the lichens on the stones lighter as well.

July 20, 2009

Kayla Visits Halifax (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
Kayla came to Halifax for the weekend, and crashed on my couch. The next morning, I caught a glimpse of her checking out the great outdoors, and was lucky enough to make this image!
Digital infrared original, 7 image exposure blend, 2 frame stitch
As she only had late in the day available for modelling, we stayed close to Halifax, heading out to the glacial barrens for an hour or so of photography during the last light of the day. The sky was wonderful when finally got to the coast, and the above image, of Kayla perched on the side of a rock below a dramatic sky was by far the best of the short session.
Digital infrared original, 6 image exposure blend
The other set of really pleasing images from this session were with Kayla set against seaweed; I have always loved how light rockweed is when recorded with infrared light, and this image takes full advantage of that, placing the luminous seaweed as a parallel to the pale tone of Kayla's body.

Elissa on the Headland (Terrance Bay, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
This striking glacial erratic seemed perfect as a photographic setting but I was concerned its bulk would overwhelm Elissa’s figure; I asked her to perch as close to the edge of the rock as possible and used my widest lens to keep her prominent in the image. Though they are rare, there are times when the success of an image is immediately evident on the camera’s view screen. This image couldn’t have been made without my new 17mm tilt/shift lens, as I was actually standing to the right of Elissa, and shifted the lens to the left to achieve the framing (two images stitched together to create the more square aspect ratio).
Digital infrared original
I've never worked in this location before, so it was a real pleasure to come around a corner and find a mini-field; high bright green grasses surrounding a couple of small granite boulders. I asked Elissa if she could pose on the rock, expecting her to lie down upon it, or drape herself across it, but instead she simply sad, and twisted her body towards me - and then the wind caught her hair, spilling it over her face. At that moment I made this image, loving the contrast between much of the composition and the rich deep tones of Elissa's hair.
Digital infrared original
I frequently make portraits when working with the Nude in landscape, and the above image of Elissa captures everything I seek in these images; it could have been made indoors, or in a studio, but I don't think it would have had the same simple directness as it does in this setting, in the great outdoors.

July 16, 2009

The Kruzenshtern (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
The tall ships are in Halifax again this year, with several of the larger ones being berthed in the ocean-going piers near the mouth of Halifax Harbour.

The Kruzenshtern is a 375’ long Russian four masted barque and tall ship that was built in 1926 in Bremerhaven-Wesermünde, Germany, as shipyard number “S408” under the name Padua (named after the eponymous Italian city). She was given to the USSR in 1946 as war reparation and renamed after the early 19th century Baltic German explorer in Russian service, Adam Johann Krusenstern (1770-1846). The Kruzenshtern is the second largest ship in the Russian fleet.

Of the four remaining Flying P-Liners, the Ex-Padua is the only one still in use, mainly for training purposes, with her home ports in Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg) and Murmansk. After the Sedov, another former German ship, she is the largest traditional sailing vessel still in operation. Originally, like all P-liners, she was painted according to the colours of the German national flag of the German Empire era, black (hull above water, topsides), white (waterline area) and red (underwater body).

Harriet on the Tracks and in the Woods (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original
This session wasn't going to last long, so I decided to work really close to home - less than 5 minutes away by car. I'd never worked in this space before, but knew it, and thought it had potential. Hariet's first question, when we arrived, was "how can we make an image with the train tack in it. I suggested she walk down to tracks towards the sun. Both of us thought it might be a but silly, but the results were quite nice - focusing on her as she walked was a little hard, but a couple, like this, were tack sharp!
Digital infrared original
I have always loved how infrared light works with foliage; when I worked with infrared film, one my my favourite settings to work in was forests or woodland; with digital infrared, there is a lot more freedom to work in other settings, but images like the above remind me of how brilliant a tool it is for images full of plants and trees.
Digital infrared original
I don't think this image would have been anywhere as successful if Harriet's hair was blond; the deep black of her hair helps ground the image to her figure, though the pale forest around her is crucial to the overall image.

July 15, 2009

Tia Models Outdoors (Terrance Bay, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
On a warm summer day, Tia and I headed to the coast; after a great first session indoors, we'd hoped to build on the experience of a couple of weeks before in the great outdoors.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
This image was the last in a series of four different compositions in this space. At the bottom of a seaside gorge, the rock wall above Tia was just lovely, rich in texture, but it took some time to find the right pose - in the end, it was happenstance, as Tia moved from one pose to the next, that lead to this beautiful infrared portrait.
Digital original
Some of the best images of our first session were portraits, and the same theme ran through this session - the above image was my favorite, and I sold a beautiful 23"x34" print of it not more than a week after it was made!

July 03, 2009

New site goes live…

Digital infrared original, 12 frame stitch
On Friday, July 3, 2009, my first major site redesign in more than ten years is launched. The new site is by no means complete, but given that the old site was more than 30 months stale (no new work added since December of 2006), I felt it was better to post the new site, than to simply let the stale site sit.

With the new site live, new work will be added as it is created, and older work (from the 30 months of silence) will be added as I have time, with the goal of having the chronology of my work restored and coherent by the end of 2009.

St. John's Anglican Church (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 8 image exposure blend
When St. John's Anglican church caught fire and burned, in 2001, I was able to get permission to photograph the ruins 11 days after the fire; the church is now reconstructed, and as beautiful as ever.
Digital original, 6 image exposure blend
While I wasn't specifically trying to copy any of the  post-fire images I'd made, I can't deny they were in my mind's eye as I worked. The building looked lovely, and while I knew it was a reconstruction, it had the feel and tone of the original, which was quite something to behold.
Digital original, 10 image exposure blend
Overall, this was a great session - I quite enjoyed working in the space, and in contrast to my older monochrome images, the colour images give a wonderful sense of the luminous qualities of the building.

July 02, 2009

Tia Models for the First Time (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
Location is a great contributor to the tone of images, and my current apartment has proved to be a great space to photograph within; the large windows in the living room provide a lovely directional light, but the room is light enough to provide enough fill-light to prevent images from becoming too contrasty. With the above image, I used an extremely large aperture to ensure that only Tia's face was in sharp focus.
Digital original
After working for some time upon the flattened futon, Tia and I shifted to standing poses, with her standing against the side wall; I used a free-standing reflector to reduce the image contrast, but it ultimately was Tia's unsolicited pose which make the image stand out.
Add caption
I don’t have many images of models smiling (though my favorite to date is of Tanya), but this portrait has such a wonderful comfort and warmth to it that I immediately knew it was one of the best images of the session. It was, incidentally, the last image of our session, and Tia’s first time posing nude.