Evolving Beauty: New Brunswick was exhibited in 2008, and presented a retrospective of the work I produced in the province of New Brunswick over four years. The exhibition has a focus on my work with the Nude, but also includes a number of other subjects which attracted my camera over my explorations of the province.
Unlike most of my exhibitions, this show presented a mix of all the subjects I photograph, and as such is in some ways a better representation of my work overall than an exhibition focused on a single subject.
I have always been fascinated by windows, photographically (the American photo curator John Szarkowski proposed in the 1970’s that there were only two kinds of photographs, mirrors or windows). While Miranda and I were working inside this house, I kept having to go outside to change equipment, and I repeatedly glanced through one window at another. I asked Miranda if she could stand inside, and look out the front of the house - with her in place, the whole image came together.
This was the first image selected for the New Brunswick Portfolio. When we’d arrived home from our second day of photographing, I took a quick look through the images we’d produced, and even though this photograph was made up of eighteen frames, I could tell I’d captured what I was looking for even before it was assembled, with the delicate light casting across Miranda’s torso and legs.
As Miranda and I worked around this abandoned farm, I kept glancing at an old barn sheathed in vines, wondering what Miranda could do with the space. As the sun dropped lower, the stark contrast between the vines and the doorway served as the perfect setting for a classic pose, and after ten minutes of exploration and experimentation, Miranda and I packed up for the day, secure in the knowledge that the last image set of the day was one of the strongest. Digital infrared, 8 image stitch
Miranda and had driven north to the Miramirchi on our second last day of working on the New Brunswick Portfolio in hopes of making some images on one of New Brunswick’s largest rivers. The best images of the session came from our exploration of some abandoned bridge piers - they were too far out into the river to work with directly, so we simply used them as the backdrop, using a wide-angle lens to open up the perspective, and keep Miranda’s figure prominent in the composition.
As soon as I got the camera into position, I knew this was a strong image. The flow of Krista’s body out of the small cave and the incredible detail in the surface of the rock that surrounded her all added up to a striking image. Made from a 43 image stitch, this image is one of the highest resolution digital originals I have produced, capable of being printed to over 1.2m (50”) wide without resizing, though the largest I can produce on my printer is a 38x81cm (15"X32") print.
It was only with an extreme wide angle lens that I was able to make this image, focusing on the flow of the fallen tree and Victoria‘s arm. The exaggerated proportions inherent in a wide angle lens help keep the figure prominent in this image, with so much chaos around Victoria’s body.
While I was drawn to the flowers as subjects in themselves, much of what I did with them was formal in nature, relying on composition and framing to build images that engaged my eye. The subject could just as well have been broken pottery or clouds.
I don’t think I have a better portrait of these two fabulous women, though I have worked with Ingrid and Miranda for more than fourteen years, combined. The irony of course is that as soon as I stepped outside, to begin working, I began cursing the direct sunlight - the very thing that makes this image work! Digital infrared
Made during a focused weekend of photography in New Brunswick (four models over two days), this portrait of Tanya was made in a shallow river that ran through the property we were working on. In one space, it swept through a pool that was just deep enough for the models kneel in - proving to be the perfect location for portraits to be made!
All along the banks of the Petitcodiac River are the remains of wharfs and other structures; most are time worn and slowly being absorbed into the marsh. These old wooden piles were perfect for Ingrid and Tanya to pose together; two models in one composition is sometimes hard, but in this case, I could have even accommodated a third model.
Ingrid and I had come to the banks of the Petitcodiac River, and found the mud, usually soft and squishy, baked hard by the afternoon sun. With great hesitation, Ingrid tried walking on the mud, and found it only lightly marker her feet. Minutes later we were working on the cracked riverbank, and making slow progress out into the mud, finally making this image. Perhaps once a year I am lucky enough to make an image as striking as this.
Made that the end of a long weekend of photography (six models over two days), this was one of the most memorable photographs I made of the sun setting across the Tantramar marshes. Working at sunset was always a problem with film - even with black and white, the high contrast inherent at that time of the day is hard to control. With digital photograph however, these problems can often be easily addressed though a combination of camera and post-processing tools - in this case, exposure blending
The last session of the Shenstone weekend was spent on the New Brunswick side of the Nova Scotian border, along the shore of the Bay of Fundy. I’d never been in the location before, but as I’d hoped, it was rich in possibilities, including low mud cliffs, where the tide had undercut the soil. Ingrid took great advantage of this, arching her body against the setting sun.
The simple beauty of Jesse’s gaze in this image says it all. I made only a couple of 8"x10” images during this session, compared to more than eighty digital compositions but, given that one of the two is this image, I have no doubt it was worth slowing things down for the larger camera.
The rocks provided a perfect contrast to Miranda‘s warm skin tones.
My previous session with Ingrid at the gypsum silos worked with the interior, so I opted to work with the exterior for this session, beginning with Bobbi working in the discarded machinery between the two silos. It was hard to decide whether to work close to her, and focus on her body surrounded by the rusted metal, or work from further back, and show the entire space. After looking at both compositions, I opted to show the entire scene, as it gives a little more context for the machinery.
When I’d first walked down the shoreline at Cape Enrage, I noticed a rock shelf about six feet up the cliff-wall - a perfect space to work in with a model; it took little effort to get Bobbi into the space and, once up on the rock, she spent a couple of minutes exploring the possibilities - in the end, it was when she was shifting from one pose to another that this image was was born.