Portfolio XV (2003)
Released in 2003, Portfolio XV celebrates fifteen years of my work with the Nude. A collection of black and white prints, Portfolio XV provides a survey of the best of my personal vision of the human body. Portfolio XV is my third public portfolio offering. Unlike his first two offerings (Cassandra, the Nova Scotia Portfolio and Victoria, the Alberta Portfolio), Portfolio XV is a retrospective, drawn from fifteen years and thousands of images. As such, it represents the finest of my work with the Nude indoors and out.
This portfolio was also exhibited at ViewPoint Gallery in 2003.
Portfolio XV is made up of fifteen 8"x10" hand printed, archival processed and toned, fibre-based prints, each presented in an 11"x14" acid-free mat and enclosed as a group within an archival portfolio box. Portfolio XV is sold out . The Portfolio was limited to an edition of 15, plus one artist copy.
More than almost any other image I have made, this photograph speaks for itself. Denise is my longest-term model; my first images of her were made in 1989.
My favourite of the bridge nudes of Ingrid, this photograph takes full advantage of the strong perspective of a wide angle lens, and the perspective controls of a view camera. The flowing lines of Ingrid’s torso and legs are a perfect counterpoint to the straight lines of the girders, while the counterpoint of the image, being so low, creates a wonderfully light feeling to the photo as a whole.
When I first approached this pose, I was concentrating on the lines of the dunes behind Megan, but when I began exploring the space with my 35mm camera, the sudden parallel between the pose and the clouds sweeping across the sky became apparent. Switching the image form a horizontal to vertical, combined with the rich sky contrast provided by the infrared film, produced one of my favourite infrared images ever.
This is my favourite portrait of the year, without a doubt. The crisp clarity of Krista’s eye, and the sweeping planes of her progressively out-of focus body, melding with the sheets around her make it just sing. The fact that the image is so sharp and detailed that every eyelash is countable is an added bonus.
This image marks the beginning of my work with water Nudes. What started this summer has grown to a major focus of my figure work. I just love the way the water is fluid on one side, and static on the other.
This image used my 75mm wide angle lens to great advantage, opening up the space around Victoria, while simultaneously creating a strong visual flow to her as the centre of the image. The setting of the window behind Victoria’s head, and the ring of barbed-wire on the floor below her add religious signifiers which build the image’s presence.
Of all the water nudes I have ever made, this was the one that best captured the power of the water; Miles had to wedge himself against a rock to keep steady within the spring run-off that surged down the river. Three years later, Miles and I would make a second image of a similar power and intensity.
By far my favourite of my early couple nudes, this image was the one that provoked my switching to T-Max 100 in 1995 as my main film. In some ways this image is the most explicit of my early couple nudes, being a hair-line from openly erotic…if the hand was closed over the breast, the image would have shifted into something different all together. I don’t necessarily think the image would suffer if it was different, but the delicate sensuality that exists in it now makes is breathtaking to me.
Thee are, once in a blue moon, images that you instantly recognize as strong. In this case, the photograph actually began with a failure; Miranda was in the pose but the composition was weak, with Miranda‘s back leg suddenly emerging from the curve of her hips. Frustrated with the flawed composition, I began looking for other viewpoints - when I saw the line from Miranda’s back through her hips, and then down to her lower leg, I knew I had found it again.
Often the best images can be made from a blend of happenstance and good timing. Four of us were exploring new territory, looking for new spaces to photograph in. We`d worked our way along the river’s edge and came to a high cliff, below which was a surprising sea of white. As we stood, looking down at the swirls of rapid-foam in a pool below. Trisha looked at me and asked “You want me to pose in that, don’t you?”. I just smiled, and minutes later, this image was made.
This image is the most important nude in my body of work. Produced during my first summer working with my own 4"x5” camera, it built my confidence and demonstrated that what I strove to reveal could be seen. Towards the end of the session, Catya was sitting on the side of a lighthouse when the sun came out. She leaned forward to cover her eyes from the glare and, in that instant, I made the first nude which totally surpassed my expectations and fulfilled everything I wanted to portray in my work
The more I photograph, the more I learn how interwoven images can be. This image of Claire was actually begun weeks before, with a photograph of Victoria in ferns. Where that image was all about hardness and shadows, this was more of a mix between that photo and my usual approach. The ability to trace the evolution of an idea through my own images, and witness how it changes and grows is fascinating, and somewhat like seeing double.
Made during my first session with Aeyla, a pivotal model for my 1997 work, this image exists in about 6 variations - none of which comes close to this. The flare coming from the centre of the image onto Aeyla’s hip, combined with the deep, empty shadows, gives this a rich, mythical look. The images which I made on 4"x5” film have little of the power of this image - the black sky and wonderfully directed sunburst draw the viewer’s eyes straight to Aeyla’s hips, the centre of the image.
Though I was not conscious of it at the time, I have no doubt that the roots of this image lie in the photo I made of Trav and Miranda on New Year’s Day, 2002. The lines of the torsos and the rich description of the light make it a very different image, but the two certainly come from the same place.
In many ways, the images made during the final indoor session with Carol were the ones that all the other sessions rely upon - they are the cumulation and the fruition of more than six months of photos and complete my longest “exposure” to date, as the final image will span the full series of photographs in a single frame.