July 21, 2017

A Cool Session on a Hot Day (Polly Cove, Nova Scotia)

One of the best ways to cool off on a hot summer day in Nova Scotia is to head to the coast and wade into the ocean...or if you are Ingrid, model Nude in it. In recent days, Halifax has been sunny and swelteringly hot, so when Ingrid phoned and asked if I had time to do a coastal session, so she could cool off in the ocean, I enthusiastically cleared the time in my schedule, and the next day, we arrived at the coast in the early evening, enjoying the ocean breeze, and the cooling balm of the Atlantic Ocean.
Digital original
Ingrid's love of water has always influenced the images we have made (she is in 1/3 of the images in my 2008 water-focused exhibition Memory of Water). While I started working with the Nude in water a couple of years before we began working together in 1998, there is no denying that Ingrid's love of all things aquatic (except for sharks) has helped shape an entire direction in my work. 

We began the session working at the end of narrow spine of rock the pushed out into the ocean proper; though we saw some promising water pools en-route, the shallow water at the end of the rock, surrounded by beds of sea weed, seemed to be the perfect location to start the session.

Within minutes of starting to photograph, Ingrid was fully immersed in the ocean, cooling off and having the best of time.
Digital infrared original
Most of the session was spent working under a blazing summer sun, which made working with my infrared camera extra challenging. As infrared light can't be focused on with a traditional auto-focus system, I rely upon LiveView, and manual focus when using the infrared camera..and with the sun so bright, even this tried and true method proved challenging, to say the least. Many of the images I made took full advantage of smaller apertures and wide-angle lenses to ensure sharp images.
Digital original
As the session progressed, some low clouds began to form, softening the light some, and providing some welcome relief from the heat of the direct sun. This improved the sessions significantly, as it became much easier to focus the infrared camera, and in turn, easier to compose using the LiveView screen (many tout a major advantage of the SLR camera system is the ability to view the composition directly through the lens, but personally I prefer to work with the LiveView image, evaluating the entire image on the screen).
Digital infrared original
Towards the end of the session, with the tide coming in, Ingrid and I finally shifted to working with the tidal pools we'd seen when we first arrived...although by this point, they were no longer pools, but inlets, as the ocean gently reabsorbed them. To our benefit however, this formed a wonderful space for Ingrid to work with, creating a shallow inlet dividing two lines of bedrock. We worked for perhaps fifteen minutes in this space, refining the pose and composition until the final result (above) was made, bringing the line of the sky and the rock below Ingrid into alignment with the corners of the frame.

Ingrid and I both felt very positive about this session, and while our first session of the year provided some strong images, this session, especially towards the end, felt much more familiar - as if the one-year break between our work in Ireland and now, had only been a matter of days or weeks!

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