July 01, 2016

Ireland XII (Kilcooley Abbey, Ireland)

July 1 2016 marks the 18th anniversary of the first time Ingrid and I worked together!

This was one of only two times during the entire Ireland project that Ingrid and I went to the same place twice; however, though we walked by the abbey itself, the plan was very different from our first visit. Our ultimate destination was a massive tree in the forest past the ancient ruins.
While there are an incredibly number of trees in Nova Scotia, I can't recall seeing such a massive hardwood anywhere in my photographic exploration through Atlantic Canada. Immediately upon arriving at the tree (which might be a Beech Tree, but I am not certain), Ingrid and I set to work. The root system of the tree was unusual, starting almost a meter up the trunk, and provided a perfect setting for Ingrid to model against.

Though we started with some standing poses against the trunk, I quickly felt that approach wasn't working, and suggested a different approach, with Ingrid crouching and leaning into the roots.

The real challenge turned out to be creating a photograph that conveyed some sense of the true size and majesty of the tree. In the end, I flipped my camera upside down, and put it at ground level, looking upwards into the branches and leaves. This worked well, so all that remained was to work with Ingrid to find the best post to really celebrate the space. After a handful of variations, I felt we'd worked through the options, and decided to change the camera angle.
There was no doubt that the low camera angle was the way to go, so as I worked my way around the tree with the camera, Ingrid continued to explore pose potentials, all the while receiving suggestions and feedback from behind the camera. Eventually, both of us felt the reality that there was little more to be discovered, and decided to head back to the car.
On the way back, however, we had one more image in mind - an image of Ingrid standing Nude in the field, with the abbey behind her. Unfortunately, the image in my mind's eye wasn't to be, as we arrived at the abbey to find a truck parked beside it, and someone mowing the lawn. Not to be dissuaded, Ingrid and I moved to the dovecote, intending to use it to shield Ingrid from view.

As luck would have it, only minutes after we arrived at the small structure, the heavens opened up, and for several minutes, Ingrid and I were hiding from the rain within the building (which was nicely dry, for all that it had an opening in the ceiling). After the rain stopped, the truck was still on site, so Ingrid proceeded to pose within the doorway, with the ruins of the abbey behind her - not the exact image I'd envisioned, but the best we could do at the time!

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