September 13, 2021

Return to the Northumberland Shore 2/2

After finishing with the waterfall, we took a break for dinner, and then headed to the coast for the final images of the day. Jessica had told me of this location during my last visit, but we didn't get a chance to visit it then - so it was the logical place to finish up this session at.

On the walk in to the coast, we passed through a number of twisted, bare dead trees, bleached white by the constant onslaught of the nearby Northumberland Strait. Given the wonderful soft light on this side of the hill we were about the climb, I suggested we stop and work with the trees for a time - and was really pleased with the results.

Digital infrared original

Each model spend some time working with the trees - both focused primarily on one tree in particular that lent itself to posing, and was perfectly situated for maximal access with a camera. One of the most positive elements of switching to mirrorless cameras (Canon 5R) over the past year is how suddenly practical hand-held infrared photography is. The ease of accurate auto-focus, coupled with the incredibly broad range of focus points makes the focus issue that was constant with DSLR infrared photography non-existant, and the incredible image stabilization makes a much broader range of shutter-speeds usable - total game-changer.

Digital infrared original

The work Ingrid, Jessica and I made on the old tree was so thrilling to make - each pose worked well from multiple angles, and both models really enjoyed the posing flexibility the space presented. If there was a problem, it was on the editing end - I had so many good images, with such subtle variation between them that it took significant effort to distill them down to the best. Probably the biggest difference between working hand-held and with a tripod is how many more images I take hand-held.

Digital infrared original

The real goal for the location was the crest of a large rock outcrop, right by the ocean. The afternoon was bright and sunny, which made for some harsh light on the top, but thankfully it was getting later, and the angle at least was low and pleasing. Unfortunately, just after we started working, a young couple came by....we spend some time waiting them out, but eventually Jessica just went over and asked them if they would mind if she modeled nude....which the pair found amusing, and said wasn't an issue. So we resumed working with the low, angular sun and a disinterested audience.

Digital infrared original, 14 frame stitch

By far the best image of the day however, was made just after sunset (as had been the trend for the past 2-3 years, since I made the decision to never photograph in bad light). We'd worked our way down to the shoreline, and initially I had a plan for an image of the two models against a large rock, surrounded on three sides by the ocean...but I caught sight of a small glint sunset on water over a rock further down the beach. Leaving the models behind, I went to investigate, and found a lovely narrow rock pool, with a perfect low rock-outcrop for the two models to pose on. After signaling to them that I wish them to join me further down the beach, I frantically set the camera up, and worked out the composition. After initially composing it with my 17mm lens, I realized it would work even better with a narrow crop - which meant I could use a longer lens and stitch it. 

By the time Ingrid and Jessica arrived and found their pose, I had everything ready, and began to photograph. I made four sets of images of the models, exploring subtle variations in their posing. Once that was done, they moved out-of-frame and dressed (it was getting cool), and I finished the full width of the stitch. The resulting file was over 200mp in resolution - now I need an excuse to print it BIG!

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