August 20, 2015

Victoria Returns (Ingramport River, Nova Scotia)

In some ways, this year seems to have the theme of reunion...between the winter studio sessions with the waterpool, and my summer work outdoors, I have reconnected with a significant number of former models. The last time I worked with Victoria was in 2008, when she came up from London to work with me in Scotland. Since then, we've kept in touch, but never had the chance to continue building on the images we began making together in 1998. This summer, however, Victoria had a longer visit home, so we finally had a chance to get out and make some new images, coincidently returning to the first location we'd worked in outdoors seventeen years ago.
Digital original with a mean shutter blend
There is little as enjoyable as reconnecting with a friend after a long separation, and it is much the same when it comes photography; it was fabulous to have a chance to photograph Victoria again, and only minutes into the session, we made our first strong image (above) taking full advantage of the late evening light, and the smooth flowing river to blend her body perfectly into the composition.
Digital infrared original with a mean shutter blend
In contrast to the previous river session with K_, while I had my neutral density filters with me this time, I couldn't put them to much use; Victoria and I had timed the session for evening light, but I didn't expect high fog to roll in, and push the light levels significantly lower. I'd planned to use a 6-stop (64x or 1.8) filter to get a 2- 4 second shutter speed range, but it turned out I could get a shutter of 0.6 seconds without a filter (this in turn meant the 64x filter was giving me shutter speeds 8 seconds or longer, which are not practical when working with a model). So the irony was that the session I really needed filters for (with K_) was when I forgot them, yet the next session, when I had the filters in hand, I didn't need them. All the same, with most images, I ended up using a mean shutter blend to create and even more even sweep to the moving water.
Digital infrared original with a mean shutter blend
Though we made a number of really pleasing images, I think the above photograph, made towards the end of the session, is my favorite - I love the way the pose works with the surroundings, and the contrast between all the textures - the rock, wood, skin and water.

Victoria and I both really enjoyed the session - as we walked back to the car, she mentioned how easy it was, even after a seven year hiatus, to rediscover the dance that is so integral to the way we work together - her exploring the space to find the pose, the two of use refining the pose, and then myself explore the potential through a lens. 

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