January 28, 2022

Ingrid, Snow and Ice

I first worked with Ingrid on snow and ice in 2008, and this is literally the first time since those two back-to-back sessions that the weather, our schedules and river ice thick enough to work on has occurred at the right time, and in the right way to facilitate a return to the idea. Thew challenge of repeating this approach is probably more of a comment on global warming than any other factor in the co-ordination of a winter session.

Digital original, 8 image stitch

The first snow and ice session with Ingrid was very much an experiment, but this time, we had a much better idea of how to approach it, and what processes would make it easier, and more effective (less because of any extensive experience working with winter conditions, and more because of all the successes we had in Ireland, working in cool weather). This session was actually quite a bit colder then our first sessions in 2008 - the temperature was at the freezing point (0c or 32F), but with this location, there was not a breath of wind, and Ingrid could warm up between image sets, so the cold did not present much of an issue. Any poses which included contact with the ice involved cloth padding between skin and ice, minimizing the impact of the setting on Ingrid.

Digital original, 11 image stitch
As I'd worked in this setting several times before, I had a pretty good idea of were I wanted to work with Ingrid, and quickly we moved to these spaces. By far my favourite image sets were at the bottom of the watercourse, where it flows over a broad, flat rock in to a small basin (where the second image in Ingrid's first session in this space was made). With the winter freeze, with provided a solid platform of ice for Ingrid to pose on, right next to the cascading water and the pool below. After making images of a handful of pose variations, Ingrid got dressed, and I continued to make the rest of the composition, creating another 10 images of the space to stitch together into the final composition.
Digital original
Ultimately, the biggest challenge of this winter session was not for Ingrid, working on the snow and ice, but myself - shortly after we started , my foot went through the ice (I was standing where I would not have let Ingrid pose, so I knew I was on thin ice), and ice cold river water got into my boot. For the remainder of the session, my left foot grew progressively colder, but I am proud to say we worked until the images stopped presenting themselves, not until I could no longer bear the chill in my foot. in the end, we called the session as we'd run out of ideas for the spaces we felt were safe to work, and we headed home, happy in the knowledge we'd built on the two previous winter sessions fourteen years earlier.

January 01, 2022

New Year's Day at Peggy's Cove

Since at least 2008, I have been marking the arrival of each new calendar year with a photo trip to Peggy's Cove - most have been cold, many with snow, but this year was mild, with no snow or ice in sight. Most of these Peggy's Cove trips have been tied to my teaching, but this year, with COVID-19 still overshadowing society, I kept the event to myself, friends and family.