July 10, 2018

The First Session with Esme, Accompanied by Carol & Ingrid (Prospect, Nova Scotia)


Digital original
This session was several weeks in the planning; Carol has been trying to introduce me to Esme, a potential model, but plans kept falling through. Finally, on this days, the stars aligned, and Esme and I, along with Carol and Ingrid (because one can never have enough company!), headed out onto the rocks and shoreline of Prospect, to make some images. I started the session with a couple of composition of Carol, and Carol and Ingrid, to give Esme some insight into how I work, but very quickly jumped in with two feet, and we made some compositions of her along the rocky shoreline, taking advantage of the angular evening light.
Digital infrared original
As first sessions go, the evening was less than ideal; it was quite windy, which mixed with the evening air to create quite a cool ambient temperature. Esme insisted it was fine (she grew up in the Canadian arctic), and continued, enthusiastically, to work with me. One of the best images of her was set against a small glacial erratic; the initial composition had her arching towards the ground, but the light on her back was not very descriptive...then I asked her to arch back, pushing her shoulders back, and the angular light provided beautiful description of her back, placing a delicate line running down her spine!
Digital infrared original
Though the intent of the session was to give Esme an introduction to working with me, the presence of Carol and Ingrid made the temptation of creating multi-model images too hard to resist. Quite rapidly, each location turned into a multi-model exploration, with me frequently finding more possibilities than I could reasonably realize, given the chill in the air. Time and time again, the models would finish a particular location, and I'd suggest that it might be getting too cool to continue, and time and time again the three would agree I was crazy, the evening was beautiful, and one more would be possible.
Digital infrared original, 25 image mean blend
The last composition of this session was created in a space I know well, having worked there with models at least half-a-dozen times over the past 20+ years. A lovely but challenging settings with several fingers of rock reaching into a rock pool, I have always struggled with how small a figure looks in such a dramatic setting. For the first time, I found a solution - multiple models. When I asked Carol and Esme to pose together in the space, I realized I was onto something. The final addition of Ingrid as a third figure, and third layer, brought everything together. The above image, the final of the session, is the kind of photograph that I hunger for - an image that sums up all I seek when making images of the Nude. To have such an image come out of the first session with a new model (who is featured front and centre in the image) is especially surprising!

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