September 24, 2020

A Final Ocean Session for the Year

Though COVID-19 has shaped this year beyond reckoning, the passion Esme and Ingrid have for working with water has shaped my work, and lead to me creating some of my strongest work in years (much of which is yet to be seen, as it is part of a planned exhibition). This session, the last outdoor one of the year, was also a session that had a little more drama than I'd hoped for.

Digital Original

The first part of the session saw Ingrid and I building on the water images I'd already created this summer - but this time, we came dangerously close to pushing things too far. Caution is always the name of the game when working with something as unpredictable as the ocean, but during the last of a handful of locations we worked in, a rouge wave came in with significantly more water than expected, and actually lifted Ingrid up, and had the potential to do quite some damage. Fortunately, moments later the water subsided, and Ingrid was only shifted a hands-breadth from her original location, but it was enough of a scare to put us both off ocean based images for the rest of the session...I could not help but thing how badly the session could have ended, if things had gone differently.

Digital infrared original

After bringing the work with the ocean to and end, we began to hunt for other spaces to work in, and with no little irony, ended up returning immediately to work with water, but this time, it was a still water pool further inland on the inter-tidal zone. After a series of exploratory posed, we hit on the above pose and composition, which was both flattering to Ingrid, and made the most of the oncoming evening light, which lit up the far side of the pool so beautifully.

Digital infrared original, 6 frame focus blend

I have not combined focus blending with the Nude often - in part because I am often far enough away from models to not need to extend depth of field in such an extreme way, and also because people breathe, and for focus stacking to work well, all part of the image need to be static. In this case, however, focus stacking was the only solution, as the rock pools in the foreground are mere inches wide, and Ingrid was a good 10 meters away from me - one frame of Ingrid, and five additional images, focusing progressively closer across the water pools yielded exactly the image I saw in my mind's eye!

Digital original

The last images of the session were made just after sunset, and for lack of a better space to pose in, Ingrid found a convenient rock shelf to arch back upon - I quickly shifted my position to place her directly below the sun's last burning light in the sky. A colorful end to a dramatic session!

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