Yesterday evening I was on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore at one of my favorite places, Taylor Head Provincial Park. Taylor Head is a long headland that juts out into the Atlantic and I’ve spent a great deal of time here over the years. On hot days this headland has a dreamy quality when the sea fog rolls in off the Atlantic to mix with the warm air overland. The fog subdues color and at times the sun will make an appearance, yesterday it was hanging like a white ball low in the West. When I am using black and white film I have to look for subjects in a different way than I would with color. I’m looking for contrast and value, textures and even movement.
Yesterday though it was almost effortless, the whole landscape reduced itself to monotones in the fog, creating a lovely sense of depth, when the sun came through the light shimmered, the landscape glowed, light dripped from the branches and blanketed the shoreline granite, it moved on the calm water, distilled and subtle. Timing is everything and in the course of the 4 hours I was there the light appeared perhaps 4 times, it was fleeting, sometimes for just seconds. I spend a lot of time hanging around in situations like this, looking for compositions and waiting. I shot a roll of Ilford Detla 100 (15 exposures) and it was the last shot that I think summed up the experience of yesterday.
I had spotted some long whale back granite ridges pointing out to the ocean from the shore, the sun hovered above and the mist moved over it like a veil. At one point the rocks were split setting up a perfect place to let the light come through, I took two photos of this scene while balancing on a steep cliff! The first was the rocks with the light coming down between them and for the second I wanted to add something more, another dimension to the photograph, so I asked my kid who was with me to stand on the rocks, looking out to sea, into the light. It worked, adding a human element into this already dreamy yet mysterious scene gave the image what it needed. Below you can see an iphone image of what I was intersted in, I got my kid to stand on the right side of the gap. This was taken after the light had gone.
It is hard to post online images from film right away! The above photograph was taken with my iPhone, sometimes I will use the phone to get a look at something I am interested in before I take the photograph. I convert it to black and white on the spot which helps to see if everything I think I am seeing is there and will work on film. Below are two other images from my iPhone, both of which I did eventually take with my medium format camera.