October 31, 2009

Stephanie in a Masquerade (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original
I have never hidden my disconnection to photographing in the studio; where others are drawn to the incredible subtly and control it offers, I find the clinical sterility, and lack of inspiration stifling. That being said, when Stephanie asked if I wanted to do a studio session to celebrate Halloween, I was on board immediately.
Digital infrared original
The focus of the session was a Masquerade mask, which Stephanie had thought might make a good foil to inspire the session. We began with a set of images with Stephanie in a black dress with the mask, but there wasn't much there that inspiried me.
Digital infrared original
It was the second half of the session, when we worked with the mas and Stephanie nude that things came together for me. There was something cold and dispassionate about the mask, and I found the combination of that with the obvious comfort and openness of the nude created an interesting tension to work with. I am not sure if this will be something I pursue, but for this session, it really worked.

October 29, 2009

Frozen Blue (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 8 frame focus blend
Only a few of the frozen flower images in my series use more than one blossom, but when the ice freezes just right, these are some of the most pleasing photographs in the series.

October 28, 2009

A Detail Hero (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 9 frame focus blend
I found this orchid flower on the floor of a local supermarket, and asked if I could have it (there was no putting it back now); 30 minutes later it was surrounded by water in my freezer, waiting to freeze.

This image was included in the 2010 exhibition `Frozen Light` which was displayed atViewPoint Gallery, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

October 25, 2009

A Pair of Sunday Field Trips (Halifax & Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
A morning field trip, focused on shutter speed, went well, with the creation of the above composition of the fall rains running over the short waterfall at the Dingle.
Digital Original
The evening field trip, set on the Dartmouth waterfront, came with the perfectly timed evening train - just perfect for experimenting with different shutter speeds. The above, with the perfect glimpse of blue through the train, along side the shadow of the crossing sign!

October 19, 2009

Pale Orchid (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 61 frame focus blend, 8 image stitch

A new image…I haven’t worked with frozen flowers since the summer but, with the Fall in full force, I've begun freezing images.. This orchid was a gift from a friend who couldn't resist a half-price sale!
Digital original, 13 frame focus blend
The real pleasure came when I moved in for a tighter composition - the delicate colours of the flower and the pale yellow around it really looked great closer up. The 13 images it took to get everything in focus from front to back, and yielded something that looked even better than what I could see in person.

October 17, 2009

A Bridgewater Workshop (Bridgewater, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 2 frame exposure blend, 2 frame stitch
I made this image part way through a workshop I was teaching in Bridgewater; I was demonstrating how powerful ultra-wide lenses could be, and while the intent was only to model an approach to working, I was really pleased with the results!

October 12, 2009

Elissa at the Burned Forest (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared
Fall sessions have the advantage of having more angular, directional light, even on the sunniest of days. I usually avoid working with direct sunlight, but in this case, the harsh shadows, combined with the dramatic dark lines of the burnt trees seemed oddly appropriate,.
Digital infrared original
If trees and woodlands are challenging settings in which to work with the Nude, a burned out forest is even more challenging; in this case I was fortunate that undergrowth was just starting to come back, providing some dramatic relief in infrared from the charcoal on the forest floor, an the black branches that extend from Elissa's figure in the centre of the above composition.
Digital infrared original
The greatest struggle of this session was creating order out of chaos, and keeping the focus of the images on Elissa's figure, when it was so easy for her to become lost in the riot of hash forms around her. The easiest solution, it turned out, was to use extremely large apertures with long lenses - throwing the back ground out of focus, and forcing the eye to stay on the only in-focus elements - in this case, a screen of burnt brush, and Elissa's elongated figure.

Elissa in a Blueberry Barren (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
I have always said that trees are hard to work with, when the primary focus of the image is the Nude; in this case, the back-lit fall foliage doesn't really balance with the strong arc of the branch, though the colours are pleasing enough.
Digital original
I have always found fall colours challenging to work with; autumn can come fast, and leave even faster in Nova Scotia, so it is easy to miss the best of the season's colours. In this case, while most of the trees were bare, the low brush on the blueberry barren was alive with red, which presented the perfect setting in which to create a portrait of Elissa.
Digital infrared original
While Elissa and I were specifically looking to work with fall colours, I often found myself drawn the strong angular light of the fall afternoon, which provided strong shadows to work with. The beauty of the low light flooding across Elissa's body is just magical in this image.

October 09, 2009

Sunset (Prospect, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
This was an unusual evening; usually I visit Prospect in the company of models, and spend all my time working with the body and landscape, but on this particular evening, I was visiting for the evening itself. On the walk out to the coast, I noticed this granite rock emerging from the calm water, and made the above image.
Digital original, 8 frame stitch
The real magic of the evening was the subset; usually brilliant and colourful towards the east, on this night, it was out to sea, to the south-west that had all the colour - some lovely yellow-pink tones that were just breathtaking to see.

October 03, 2009

Night with a Lighthouse (Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 2 image stitch
The beauty of the Atlantic Coast after sunset is seldom explored, but this field trip did just that, with myself and students first working on the ocean side of the rocks at Peggy's Cove (far from the bright lights of the parking lot and restaurant).
Digital original
The best image of the field trip came towards the end, as soft high clouds rolled across the sky - this provided a lovely backdrop to the rocks and lighthouse below.