August 14, 2015

Waterfall II with Tanis (Dawson Brook, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
Tanis and I began our second session of the day working with a shelf of rocks that ran along a small brook; the geometric shapes of the rocks caught her eyes and Tanis wished to see what we could make of such a structured natural setting. After some experimentation, I felt that looking almost straight down worked best, accenting the hard lines of the rocks, but also focusing almost exclusively on their moss-covered top sides. The rich green worked perfectly with Tanis' colouring, and placing her body heading almost straight into the corner seemed the perfect way to both mirror and provide a visual counterpoint to the flow of the stones.
Digital Infrared Original
The reason I selected this location was for the brook that flows over the rock shelf and quickly transforms into a 20' waterfall - a waterfall that was unexpectedly inaccessible because of the three full-sized trees that were collapsed across it. Where I'd worked for a dozen or more sessions over fifteen years was now completely unusable. Not willing to give up, Tanis and I moved to exploring the possibilities of the brook itself, but to be candid, I had a hard time believing we'd find much to work with in the shallow water...

...until I began to look through the camera. While Tanis was stretching out in the rapids flowing over some rocky steps, the river to her right was as smooth as glass, and with a cloud obscuring the sun, the even light cascading down upon Tanis was perfect to set her figure off against the surrounding dark water and moss-covered rocks. I had time to make five separate compositions of three poses before the light changed, and Tanis and I moved further up the river, in search of softer light.
Digital original
Overall, the session at the second waterfall location was a blend between elation and frustration. Some of the images practically lept off the camera's LCD screen in review, the were so striking. At the same time, the fallen trees limited the composition and posing possibilities, and the light changed quite frequently, which made exposures challenging (there's nothing like the sun coming out during a 4 second exposure). In the end, with the sun more out than behind clouds, we called it a day and headed back to the car.

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