A model, a fox and a winter forest: Photographer Drew Gardner gets the shot with Phase One


posted Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM EDT


If summer feels unbearably hot to you, just try imagining you're totally nude in a winter forest in England with only a fox to keep you company. That's the scenario photographer Drew Gardner set up last March while capturing the dramatic image below using a Phase One medium-format camera system.

Gardner borrowed an 80-megapixel Phase One IQ180 back and used it with 645DF medium-format camera body to create the image, which is part of his on-going "Forest Series."

"I have had my eye on this location in Southern England for 4 or 5 years (yes that long) and I knew Winter would suit this unique location," Gardner writes in a blog post about the shoot.

"Firstly, planning the shoot was a nightmare, it involved getting a trained fox and model in the same location when it was not lashing down with rain. Models, trained foxes and crew, all add up to not inconsiderable expense, which means you have to get it right - It simply had to work."

Photo © Drew Gardner, used with permission

Some terrible weather, even by England's standards, threatened to derail the shoot just days before it was set to happen. Luckily for Gardner, he had a brave model -- the serendipitously named Ivory Flame -- who was undeterred. The trained fox "Arthur," also cooperated and the forest shoot, which was five years in the making, went off smoothly despite the unpredictable weather.

"The wind, which was pushing the weather system through, had broken the cloud to such an extent that the harsh early morning sun was shining deep into the relatively steep gorge we were shooting in," Gardner writes. "I really had not planned for this, but the IQ180 has a deeply useful native ISO 35 which allied with the leaf shutter on the Schneider Kreuzenach LS 110mm F2.8, enabled me to balance the light, bearing in mind that the river bed was in complete shadow, while the bank of the gorge was in full sun."

Read more about the shoot on Gardner's blog and check out the behind-the-scenes footage below.