Out of the Park: A Home Run

I wrote in my last post, that I had registered again for a course at Image Explorations 2016 offered by Laurie Klein, noted teacher, photographer and infrared photography guru. I reasoned that I enjoyed and learned so much from the course last year that attendance this year might push me even farther along on my photographic journey.

I understood the benefits of repeat attendance but I also knew that Laurie would know my work and what I accomplished last year. She would certainly comment if she felt I was not extending myself.

A remote section of the Koksilah River on Vancouver Island near Shawnigan Lake, B.C. was the setting for our classes’ first shoot. Our models, 3 males and 3 females, for the most part would be nude.

The results of this shoot, despite such a beautiful location, were not my best. It was obviously an uninspired effort. At our image review session the next morning Laurie recognized this and helped me determine a direction for the second shoot that afternoon.

A derelict stone church on Cowichan Indian Band land was the setting for our second shoot. Called the ‘Butter Church’ it was covered with graffiti. Windows and doors were missing and there were obvious signs that pigeons had long inhabited its interior.

The Butter Church, I felt, was perfect for one of our models, Claire. Her tattoos combined with the colours of the graffiti and textures of the stone walls had real possibilities. Over the course of several hours I had several opportunities to photograph Claire. I was much happier with the results and Laurie was quick to recognize the change in direction I had made.

Beautiful textures and a narrow shaft of light highlight the tattoos on the model's back

Beautiful textures and a narrow shaft of light highlight the tattoos on the model’s back

Trees hung low over a secluded area along the shores of Shawnigan Lake, the location of our third shoot. Keith our only male model, I thought would work well in this location. His First Nations heritage provided the inspiration for what I had in mind.

The model appears to be reaching out from leaf like canoe

The model appears to be reaching out from leaf like canoe

Here I set my camera in ‘multiple exposure’ mode. My thought was to capture an action image of Keith in the water followed by two images of leaves and fronds from the surrounding forest. I spent most of my time making these combined ‘in camera’ compositions.

The workflow that I employed in producing the final images from the shoots from day 2 and 3 started in Lightroom, progressed through plugins from Nik Software and Topaz Labs.

The images I made of Claire at the Butter Church were much better than those I made on our first shoot. But those that I made with our model Keith, I thought were even better. I had the feeling that I had hit a home run.

This entry was posted in Education, My Work.

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