August 10, 2020

A Foggy Session with Ingrid

As this summer progresses, there are two overwhelming influences; COVID-19 is an obvious one, casting a shadow over everything. I'm fortunate to be in Nova Scotia, where (so far) the pandemic has been for the most part contained - but having a friend go onto a ventilator for close to a week made the risk all the more real for me. The second influence has been the heat; Nova Scotia used to be quite temperate in the summer, but increasingly, it has been shockingly hot...and this summer seemed to be even more extreme. For most of the summer, the sky has been clear, and the temperature (humidex, more specifically) well over 30 Halifax. As a result, almost all my photography has been at the coast, where it has been significantly cooler - and in the case of this session - foggy.

Digital original

This was the first foggy session this year (a couple of weeks ago there was fog at the end of a session), and it was really lovely to work with the soft palette that the fog provides. The first set of photos we made was on a split rock looking out to the open Atlantic Ocean - and the delicate colour of the rocks looked just perfect in harmony with Ingrid's delicate skin tones. The above image is absolutely my favourite colour images in ages - it just does not work in monochrome.

Digital infrared original

As we worked along the shore, there was an interesting challenge. Due to recent erosion, the beach I'd hoped to be working on was drastically changed, turned into a rocky shore, and ending at a severely weathered island. As the shoreline lacked any elements to take inspiration from, Ingrid and I turned to the driftwood and weathered trees high at the high-tide level, and spent a while blending her body with the lines of the bleached wood.

Digital infrared original

The fog that surrounded us for this entire session provided such soft, delicate light that it was hard to make a bad image; for so many sessions recently the evening sunlight has dictated what images worked and didn't, but for this session, there was a return to an emphasis on pose and composition, as the lighting was so even it was essentially not a concern.

Digital original

The last set of images were made working with some trees shrouded in old man's beard (Usnea). I have always loved the haunting look of this lichen, but only once before made image that blend it with models (in 2006). In this case, the soft light of the fog was perfect light for Ingrid, and when combined with the shallow depth of field of the 85mm f/1.2 lens, it created a moody, evocative photograph.

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