I’ve been shooting reference photos every summer for this project for the past three years. Although I’m used to shooting my own reference images, this is the first time that I’ve continued to shoot the same kinds of images over a long period of time. The fact that the images are of wading figures dictates that I have to allow long periods of time in between shoots. At first, this seemed like a huge inconvenience in the sense that when summer comes to an end, I have to wait until next summer to be able to shoot more images. However, this being my third round of photographs, what’s been interesting is that my method and motivation for the photographs has changed each time I shoot.
I’ve kept Walden Pond as the reference site for the past three years, which has helped establish one consistency in shooting these photographs. On the first round of photographs, I didn’t know what I was looking for since it was the beginning of the project, and it was simply a matter of acquiring images. The second time around, I had been working on drawings for about a year, so I had a much clearer sense of the visual effects that I needed to get in the reference photographs to help the drawings: dramatic reflections in the water, and subtlety in the figure gestures. This third time, I found myself looking at the ways the figures overlapped in front of each other to create a sense of depth, and the way figures grouped in the water. I was also significantly more conscious of the level of the water: was a figure fully immersed, or simply sitting in a few inches of shallow water? Another major difference is that I was able to purchase a telephoto lense this year, allowing me to shoot figures that were far away in the distance with greater resolution.