September 23, 2015

The Universe Delivers a Lesson (Herring Cove, Nova Scotia)

Any outdoor session with a model after mid September is a gift, so when Lavender asked if we could go out and do some images on this afternoon, I was more than enthusiastic. When we arrived at the coast, we were both enthralled with the massive breaking waves that were rolling in from the open ocean, and the first composition, below,  A challenging image to make, as the waves were moving from a sun-lit ocean into the deep shade of the rock face Lavender was posing on, I used a careful exposure blend to create a blend of the two levels of illumination.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame exposure blend
After we did a number of compositions working in the deep shade, we moved further up, to experiment with poses where Lavender was in the sun, with the breaking waves far below her. Unfortunately, moments after the below  image was made, a wave crashed up and over, giving a brief and unexpected shower to Lavender, myself, and my gear (fortunately it was brief enough to cause no damage to my new cameras, and the lenses). Unfortunately, as we hadn't planned for water-based images, we had no towel to dry Lavender off the session came to an abrupt halt as she huddled out of the wind and tried to dry off an warm up.
Digital original
After Lavender warmed up some from the unexpected shower, she offered to work on a couple of more images before we backed up and headed for home. And for the first time in the session, I looked up from the breaking surf, and saw the sky.

The hardest thing about photography is being able to see what is really in front of you, as opposed to what you think is there. From when we arrived at the coast, until well after the wave cut the session short, I was focused on the waves, and on trying to incorporate them into the images. In spite of the fact that they were in the worst place, for the light of the day. In spite of the fact that there was an increasingly beautiful sky forming right over our heads.
Digital infrared original, 8 frame mean blend
Fortunately, the universe kicked me in the ass, and made me sit up and pay attention. As Lavender was drying off and warming up, I started to really see the day, and saw the wonderful cloud formation over the harbour. The last composition of the session made the most of that shape, and set it against Lavender's figure nestled in the rock below. Usually I'd be frustrated to have a session cut so short unexpectedly, but after making the above image, I was positively glowing all the way back to the car, I was so happy.

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