February 14, 2021

A Shower Session with Esme

After my recent shower session with Ingrid, I'd asked Esme if she'd be interested in working in a shower sometime. She was, but her personal situation made her modeling in her shower challenging...but then an unexpected development occurred, and after a short text discussion, we set up this session.

digital original

It may be stating the obvious, but I've come to realize that every shower is different; like Ingrid's, Esme's shower has the light coming from the opposite side to the shower head, resulting in all the images being lit from the backside, in regards to where the water was. While less than ideal, short of bringing in my own lighting, this was the way things were, and I had to roll with it. The vast majority of the images were made with my new colour camera (a Canon EOS R5 that I will soon convert to infrared), and the camera worked really well...but in the end, I was less than pleased with the overall colour tonality of the images, so prefer the above black and white image, which calls more attention to the light and water, as opposed to being all about the colour.

digital infrared original

At the end of December, I sold by infrared converted Canon EOS 5Ds, and expected the shower session with Ingrid to be my last infrared session working with a DSLR camera, but for this session, just in case, I brought along my older IR converted Canon EOS 5D MKII, which I had kept as a backup, when I upgraded to the EOS 5Ds; this turned out to be a  wise decision! While there wasn't a lot of infrared light to work with (about 1/10th as bright as the visible light), it turned out the tonality of the infrared images was much more pleasing than the colour photographs, so while I only made a handful of infrared photographs during the session, one of them (above), is my absolute favorite of the show images, both because of the pose and composition, and the tonality provided by the infrared cameras.

digital original

After we'd finished in the shower, as I was packing up my gear, I caught sight of a oval mirror and flower bouquet in the hall, and asked Esme if she'd mind making a small set of images with it, before I headed on my way. Esme enthusiastically agreed, and we made a final set of photographs, working with the space. In the end, the concept worked, but the images, less so - the background (wooden closet doors) was less than pleasing, so after reviewing the images with Esme, we both decided it was worth revisiting, so in the future, we'll return to the space with a more controlled background, and see what we can create!

February 13, 2021

A Winter Field Trip (Halifax, NS)

 As seems to be the trend in these times, this winter has been unusually warm, so it was mid-February before I had any opportunity to photograph water and ice (taking advantage of a Photo 101 field trip as an excuse to get out.

Digital original

As I've been working with ice and water for years now, returning to it felt much like pulling on an old glove - within minutes I was back into the pleasure of working with such a magical subject, and for more than an hour (after the field trip students headed off), I explored the potential of the small waterfall.

Digital original, 2 frame stitch
The real gift of the session, however, came as I was waking back to the car - I passed a beach, and saw that the tide cycle had created lines of thin ice piles, which were catching the reflection of the afternoon sun off of a nearby building - which was quite interesting, visually. I set up my tripod, and discovered it was only with my longest lens (a 300mm f/4) that I could get the composition I thought...but with such a long lens, the depth of field needed to record the entire scene was essentially impossible. So, with great excitement, I turned to technology for a solution, using the Canon EOS R5's "focus bracketing" to create images to focus-stack together on the computer. After some experimentation, it turned out that between 35 and 40 frames were needed for each composition, and the below image was created.

Digital original, 25 frame focus stack