Yosemite Aspens Nude

Model: Roxanne Kernohan

Camera Info:  Pentax 6×7  165mm lens

Film: Kodak TMax 400

Shoot Date:  May 15, 1988

In 1988, I was invited to be Artist In Residence at the Yosemite National Park Museum.

My goal was to produce photographs for a museum gallery show, featuring images that juxtapose nude human physiques, against the dramatic natural features of Yosemite.

I was provided with extended stay privileges, a rangers residence for my home base, facilities for my assistants, crew and models, along with complete access to anywhere in the park I wished to shoot.

This image of Roxanne Kernohan, a Canadian actress / model, was taken late in the day in Tuolumne Canyon, as the sun was setting over the surrounding granite cliffs. We had spent much of the afternoon shooting nudes against the glacier smoothed canyon walls and I thought we had finished for the day.

We were on our way back to our van, when I spotted these long shadows cast by aspen trees . The bent and twisted trunks of the trees appeared almost as feminine shapes in the low angled direct light.

Realizing that we only had a few moments before we would loose our sunlight, I

shouted over to Roxanne to “Get Naked, Quick!”

In a few seconds, Roxanne had stripped out of the Air Force jump suit that she wore for hiking, and ran over to the aspen grove where I had set up my camera. I instructed her to lean into one of the twisted trees and hide half her body. I’m sure she thought I was nuts at the time.

Working fast, I was only able to expose one frame of film before we lost our light altogether. I didn’t realize what I had actually captured, and neither did she.

A few weeks later, as I was developing the proof sheets in my darkroom, I looked on in amazement, as I watched this image slowly appear in the developer tray. I had totally forgotten about this shot, as it happened so fast during a day when we did so much.

About a month later, Roxanne came to my studio to view the results of our week long shoot. Once she saw this image, Roxanne finally understood what that crazy rushed moment was all about. She was very excited and thrilled when I presented her with a large signed print, for her home.

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