June 25, 2021

Ingrid and Stephanie on the Bay of Fundy's Floor

I have long had a love of working with the Nude in the Bay of Fundy; the dramatic landscape, couple with easy access and relative isolation makes it a perfect place to work. When talking with Stephanie about what she wished to create, in regards to pregnancy Nudes, working in water was top of her list. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the coastal spaces I work in are impractical for an unsteady pregnant woman to walk into - but the Bay of Fundy tends to be flat and easy to work on (ignoring the occasionally super sticky mud).

Digital infrared original

As soon as the session at the Bay of Fundy was confirmed, I check to see if Ingrid was available to come, as she always loves working there (the first time she and I worked in the Bay of Fundy was in 2004). Ingrid and I met up with Stephanie by the shore, and were greeted by an absolutely perfect evening - a light wind, soft light, with a dramatic sky above, which I hoped would extend all the way to sunset, giving us a dramatic end to the session.

Digital infrared original, 4 frame stitch
I have only worked in this part of the Bay of Fundy once before, so there was a wealth of locations that were new to me for Stephanie and Ingrid to work in. Long  before we made it to any rock-pools, I was happily photographing both women in turns, taking inspiration from the location, and delighting in the beautiful evening light. While I did make a few images in colour, the vast majority of the session was focused on working with my infrared camera, reveling in how the model's skin-tones looked so lovely against the darker rocks.

Digital infrared original
As session progressed, the lovely light persisted, and the two models and I slowly worked our way along the shore. There was some differences to how I approached each model; Ingrid's poses were much more physical, coming together into a series of compositions I made of her literally hanging off a rock shelf, against the delicate evening sky. Such an approach wasn't sensible (or likely even possible) with Stephanie, though several poses had her carefully walking up onto rock shelves, to get into a final pose for a composition or two. 

Digital infrared original

As the evening progressed, we decided to head away from the cliffs along the shore's edge, and out onto the ocean floor proper, in search of tidal pools to finish the session. An interesting reality to working at the Bay of Fundy is what is present one year (or even session) may not be present at another, as the powerful tides cover and reveal landscape with no rhyme or reason. As things happened, this tide presented a number of pools to work with, and I quickly settled upon one, attracted to how it interacted with the sand patterns around it, and the sky above. 

Digital infrared original
The previously luminous and light evening sky was quickly thickening, and parts were becoming decidedly gray in the distance. After initially trying (unsuccessfully) to find a composition with a longer lens, I moved out onto the sand and set up with a wide-angle lens, recording both the pool with Stephanie, and the sky above in a single composition.

Documentary image by Ingrid

After making a dozen or so variations of Stephanie in the water pool, her session was done, and I shifted to working with Ingrid, to bring the evening to a close. By this time, the sky had shifted so much that the outer end of the water pool no-longer worked, reflection-wise, so the two of us quickly shifted to the other end of the pool, which still had some of the quickly darkening evening sky reflecting brightly in it. With little intervention on my part, Ingrid moved through a couple of poses, and after a little experimentation with focus stacking and stitching, the session came to a close.

Digital infrared original

All in all, this was about as good as a session can get; the light was lovely, the location was inspiring and full of far more potential than I could touch on in a month of Sundays, and both models were enthusiastic and engaged. The end of the session came naturally, due to energy levels and changing light, and during the walk back to the cars, both models express how happy they were with the entire evening! Nothing to improve on!

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