June 24, 2019

Esme & I Return to the Coast (Atlantic Shore, Nova Scotia)

My second session of the year with Esme was something of a mirror of the first; faced with a lovely warm, sunny evening, we headed for the coast, both to avoid hordes of bugs, and to give Esme a chance to work with water - her favourite environment to model in.
Digital infrared original

We began the session with Esme working in a thick bed of seaweed, and me taking advantage of how infrared light renders the rock-weed (Fucus vesiculosus). After some initial compositions with longer lenses, made on tripods, I decided to risk working out on the seaweed covered rocks with a wide-lens (hand held). The result was a much wider composition, with luminous seaweed in the foreground wrapped around a pale, elegant figure, below a dark, dramatic sky.
Digital infrared original
From working on the seaweed, Esme moved on to working IN the seaweed, clambering out into the ocean proper, and finding a rock to work around; after making some photos of her on the rock, she slipped into the ocean. Initially, I made some images of her arching back onto the rock, but when I told her I was going to change lenses, she relaxed and just hung out bay the rock...which I caught a glimpse of, and asked her to hold until I could made the above image - a perfect use for my 300mm lens!
Digital infrared original
After finishing in the water, we moved a little down the coast, until I saw the perfect sea-weed covered rock, surrounded by water, and able to be photographed from above (standing on the shore, about 2m above the ocean. I asked Esme if she'd be able to pose on the rock (as opposed to in the water around it), and after some refining of the pose, I started making images. I quickly realized I wanted more dimension to the ocean around her, and used a neutral density filter to show the motion of the water.
Digital infrared original, 2-image shutter speed blend
Taking a break from the ocean to allow Esme to warm up a little (the ocean is averaging 6.7°C / 44°F at the moment), I asked if she'd be able to work below a large erratic balanced on a cliff-edge. After refining the pose a little, we made a small series of images of a couple of poses - then I made a 2 minute exposure (taking inspiration from the movement-focused image of the sea weed), permitting me to blend the two images together into the final image, above.
Digital infrared original
The last image set of the session saw Esme returning to posing in the ocean - the sun was moving lower in the sky by this time, and providing long, dramatic shadows to work with - yielding a striking series of images, of which my favourite is the above! The only thing missing was additional models - something I hope to add to the process in upcoming session!

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