August 31, 2019

Island Wandering (Prince Edward Island)

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Early in this day of wandering we drove east across the top of the province, photographing anything that caught the eye. In this case, a small fishing port at high tide.
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On our way towards the south-west of the province, we passed by a large field to sun flowers, and had to turn the car around, so I could park and make some photographs...I'd never seen such an endless sea of sunshine!
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The last photos of the day were made in Summerside, looking out towards the Northumberland straight, and some lovely layers of clouds.

August 30, 2019

The North Shore (North Rustico, Prince Edward Island)

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A three-day sojourn to Prince Edward Island provided me with the chance to do something I don't often do - walk with a camera. While waiting of a dinner reservation, I sauntered around the fishing village of North Rustico, and made some images.
Digital original
My favourite image of the evening was the above one, with the brilliant evening sun coming through  the edging on a wharf - the texture of the pressure treated lumber was lovely!
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The last images were of some lobster traps, working with large apertures to throw the incredibly busy background out of focus...the fact it gave me a fast enough shutter speed to avoid camera shake was an added advantage!

August 28, 2019

Hailey at Sunset (Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia)

Two weeks after Ingrid's solo session at Burntcoat Head, I planned to return with both Ingrid and Hailey to continue our explorations, but as things happened, Ingrid wasn't able, so Hailey and I headed out on our own (the real irony of this is that Hailey had hoped to come on the previous session, but was unable to attend for somewhat similar reasons).
Digital infrared original

As seems to be the weather this summer, the day was both sunny and hot, but unlike the previous Fundy session with Ingrid, I spent much of this session working with the direct evening light, taking advantage of the angular light closer to sunset. One of the first set of real successes was of Hailey standing on a rock ledge, set against a shadowy cliff behind her. The light flooded across Hailey 's figure from the side,

As the session progressed, Hailey and I moved further down the beach then I'd ever explored previously, which game a lovely feeling on exploration to the session, for all that we were working in a space I'd previously photographed in. The greatest find of this venture was a broad sweep of rock covered with fine green seaweed. Our first images here were made in infrared, focusing on a small rock at the edge, with a fan of lines in the sand flowing out from it. After some experimentation, I suggested Hailey try arching right across the rock, with her hands flowing into the lines - and the above image was born.

Both Hailey and I felt that the shock of the delicate green seaweed was too usual too unusual to pass by, so we spent some time working with it, both on the sun-lit side, and over the ridge in the shade. Both sets of images worked, but I decided the above composition, which presented a more delicate scene overall was the best counterpoint to the previous image, which drew heavily upon the contrast of the evening light.

By the time we finished working with the seaweed covered bedrock, the sun was approaching the horizon, so Hailey and I began to move towards the shore, to make our final images of the session. On our way, we stopped on a small line or rocks that rose out of the sea of sand, to make some images of Hailey against he distant horizon - the evening was quite breezy, so we had some fun with Hailey holding her hair up and letting it fly free!

As has been the focus all summer long, we ended the session working at the shoreline, with the incoming time at sunset. The challenge of doing this on the Bay of Fundy is further increased by the speed at which the tide comes in. Over the eight minutes I worked with the sunset, Hailey had to move inland three times, as the rising water made each space she posed in too set to continue working with. As a result, I worked far faster my usual approach, but the results were worth the rush! While the sky lacked some of the drama I was hoping for, the bright yellow sky provided some lovely highlights on Hailey's figure, and made the rock below her look like molten gold in some parts.

After making the last image, Hailey quickly dressed as I packed up the camera and tripod, and we rushed through the darkening dusk to the car, as the tide continued to lap at our heels. All in all, a great way to spend a lovely evening!

August 20, 2019

Hailey & Ingrid Continue Exploring the Coast (Atlantic Coast, Nova Scotia)

In many ways, this summer is less a series of photo sessions (which is more typical for me), and more one single extended session, working with both Hailey and Ingrid. This is in part because of both model's love of working with water, and the simple fact that 90%+ of the images I have made this summer have been of the two of them (with Carol being the third model along for a couple of sessions). 

Digital original, 2 image blend

There's no way to express in words how much Hailey and Ingrid love working in the ocean; they light up with delight when working in water, and it carries through into the images we make. The above photograph is an attempt to capture the drama of an incoming wave, but just hints at the power of the Atlantic Ocean.
Digital infrared original

In 2005 (14 years ago) I made some similar portraits when working on the Miranda Portfolio; ever since I have had a real love of infrared portraits made in high grasses - and along one section of the shore line, a perfect patch of high beach grasses grows above the shoreline. I pauses to make portraits of both Ingrid (above) there...if I had thought of it, I would have made some portraits of both models together (echoing the portrait of Ingrid and Miranda I made in 2007)...but I was so caught up in the beauty of the light, I totally blanked on that possibility.

Digital infrared original
The last images of the day (above) was something of a surprise. After finishing in the grasses, the three of us simultaneously realized that sunset was imminent - so we rushed down to the shore, and sought out a last location to work in, focusing on the sunset light falling across the two models. After a few minutes, we found a good spot, and as the sun crossed the horizon, both models worked their way into the rocks, facing the sunset. I made a couple of colour compositions, and then, on a whim, shifted to working in infrared - and the light was just lovely. Where the earlier direct sunlight was giving stark highlights and deep shadows, the sunset sky provided soft, yet directional that flowed across the women in just the right way. While I do agree the colours of sunset can be lovely, in this case, I'll take the lumious tones of infrared!

August 15, 2019

Ingrid Returns to the Ocean Floor (Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original
A month after the session with the three models at Burntcoat Head, Ingrid and I returned on our own, to continue to explore the potential of this space. Where the previous session took advantage of the presence of multiple models, this session, focused solely upon Ingrid, had a very different flow to it. From the first images made by a wonderfully undercut rock to the sunset that ended the session, Ingrid and I moved from space to space, drawing inspiration from the setting and light.
Digital original
One of the most pleasing images from this session centered around a massive sea-weed covered rock; after focusing so much on working with my infrared camera, it was refreshing to make an image that was undeniably a colour composition - the rick red rocks set off the seaweed perfectly, and after some pose refinement, we created this image. I did make an alternative version in infrared, but it pales next to the rich, yet delicate colours present in the first image.
Digital infrared original
When Ingrid and I shifted to working in the water-carved caves in the rock walls, I immediately shifted back to working in infrared - the lovely rock textures show up far better in that medium, and I just love how it records skin tones. After numerous different compositions, I made the above image of Ingrid wigged right back into the rock-face - a composition reminiscent of work I did fourteen years ago with Miranda and Krista.
Digital infrared original
As the sun moved lower in the sky, the shadows grew longer, and more dramatic - I caught sight of this lone rock set into a small water pool, and immediately wished to work with Ingrid upon it. I photographed the rock before she moved into position, and composited the untouched sand back into the final image!
Digital original, 4 image exposure blend, 2 image stitch
The final images of the session were made in the fading post-sunset light; we set up by a large water pool, catching the reflection of the sky in the still water. The planned pose, of Ingrid arching back against the rock behind her, worked well enough, but when I asked her to experiment with other positions, she folded forward, and the above composition was made.

August 07, 2019

A Flower (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

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During a recent class, a student brought up how frustrated she was with shallow depth of field and photos of flowers...which sent me out to the back yard, to make some examples of how I approach the very same issue. It took a couple of minutes to revise the composition until I liked it, and while I made images at f/2.8, f/8 and f/22, the only one I really liked was the first image, with the shallowest depth of field.

August 06, 2019

Hailey and Ingrid on a Calm Evening (Atlantic Coast, Nova Scotia)

The weekly trend of going to the coast with Hailey &/or Ingrid continues - both model's love and comfort with working in the ocean has propelled my work with water forward in ways I could never have anticipated a couple of months ago.

Digital infrared original

That being said, the first image set of this evening was of Hailey posing with a worn and battered tree right on the path to the coast - the evening light was perfect for the space, and with no hikers visible in either distance, and Ingrid on watch, Hailey and I made a handful of compositions with the space, before continuing the walk to the headland.

Digital infrared original

When we finally arrived at the headland, quite a surprise awaited us. Unlike every other coastal session this year (and perhaps ever, to my memory), the ocean was calm...instead of waves arriving every couple of sessions, the ocean just...rose and fell. It was quite literally calm. Initially, I was disappointing, as the whole reason for these ocean-side session was to work with the ocean's movement and power...and it was, essentially, subdued. Then I caught sight of a large rock covered in kelp - it was gently appearing and disappearing every 20 second or so...quite magical. The only issue was that there was nowhere near the rock for me to potion my camera...except where I was then - hundreds of feet away, and probably 40 above sea level. Fortunately, I had brought my 300mm lens, and it was just about the perfect focal length to work with.

Digital infrared original

The only real issue was that I invested so much time in the space that with 30 minutes of light left, I had really only made one set of compositions.

Digital infrared original
The last images of the session were made right by the shore (in contrast to the earlier images were I was hundreds of feet away from the models), again taking advantage of the calm sea. With the low sun, the horizon was becoming leaden, and the angular light lit up the seaweed along the shore, and models posing upon it. I would have loved to continue the session for another hour, but with the fading light, we finished up what images would could, and headed for home.