Letters to DOMAI
Dear DOMAII would like to share with you and the visitors to your site an experience that had a major effect for the better on the course of my life.
The experience that I am referring to occurred during my junior year in college. I had discovered the joys of photography, and become a compulsive "shutterbug" as an eleventh grader in high school. A year after that, shortly before my high school graduation, I had been initiated into the joys of photographing the nude. During my college years I did a great deal of photography, not necessarily nude photography but photography of all kinds.
Early in my junior year of college I was introduced to Janet by a mutual friend, who had been asked to recommend a photographer to do a shoot of the women's tennis team of which Janet was a member. Janet was a junior as I was and a truly stunning looking young woman. She was 5'9" tall (about 1.75 meters; for some reason I have always been attracted to tall women). She had glossy back hair and amethyst-colored eyes that contrasted beautifully with her fair complexion. She moved with the fluid grace of the natural athlete; besides being one of the mainstays of the women's tennis team, she was an avid swimmer and ice skater. She also was active in modern dance, and had studied ballet as a child.
We started seeing each other, and on one occasion I mentioned that I also liked to ice skate. This resulted in several dates at the local skating rink, which we both enjoyed greatly. It was after one of these dates that Janet said, "You know, skating rinks are all well and good, and I have nothing against them, but you haven't really skated until, you have done it the old-fashioned way, out in the country, on a frozen pond." I told her that I had never had a chance to do that, and she said that we would have to remedy that.
A few days after this conversation, she told me that she had talked to her grandparents, who lived on a farm in the country, about fifty miles from our town and our university. She said that they would be glad to have us visit them during the upcoming semester break. "Bring your camera," she added. "You might want to take some skating pictures."
We arrived at her grandparents' farm on the second day of the weeklong semester break, and her grandparents made me feel welcome right away. They suggested a number of things that we could do, including skating on the frozen pond.
After Janet's grandparents had given us lunch, Janet and I headed for the pond. It was a fairly large pond with plenty of room to skate on, and not visible from either the road or the house due to a grove of trees that surrounded it. We put on our skates, sitting on a single bench that was there to accommodate swimmers in the summer and skaters in the winter. Janet was right: The atmosphere was very different from a skating rink. The reflection of the bright sun on the snow and the quiet unbroken except by the occasional song of a winter bird made for a completely different environment.
Janet and I skated together, and I took pictures as we skated. Janet did a number of figure skating maneuvers, into which she incorporated some moves from modern dance. I marveled, as I had marveled before, at the incredible grace of her movements; she seemed to defy the law of gravity.
When I had used up one of the two roles of film that I had brought I sat down to reload the camera. Janet's skating outfit was now soaked with sweat and clinging to her body. I asked her if she was tired and would like to take a break.
"Are you kidding?" she asked. "I'm just getting started!"
"You aren't tired" I asked.
"No," said Janet, "not tired, but sweaty and hot. For the next roll let's try something different. How would you like to shoot me skating nude?"
With these words she pulled off her sweat-soaked skating dress, folded it and laid it on the bench. A minute later her panties and sports bra were lying on the bench beside it, and she was gliding across the pond, naked except for her skates.
Janet skating naked on that pond in the afternoon sun was truly a sight to die for. I had to stop and catch my breath before I had the presence of mind to pick up my camera and start shooting. Her fair complexion contrasted breathtakingly with her glossy black hair, the dark coral-colored nipples of her breasts and her dark pubic hair. Her whole upper body perfectly complemented her long graceful athletic legs. The maneuvers that she executed now were even more involved that those she had done earlier, and if she had seemed gravity defying before, she seemed absolutely supernatural now. She seemed to float on air. I shot more slowly this time, taking more time between exposures, but Janet didn't seem to mind, didn't seem to tire. She came across as exuberance incarnate.
After I had used up my last roll of film, Janet said "There is one more thing that I would like you to try." She skated over to the bench to where her clothes lay and picked up a canister that I had not noticed before. The canister contained a roll of infrared film. "Let's see what we can come up with using this!"
I had never done any work with infrared film before, but I certainly was willing to give it a try. The result added a whole new dimension to my photography. The effect of a nude body in a cold environment on infrared film has to be seen to be appreciated. The contrasting light and dark silhouettes have an effect that is absolutely surreal.
After all the exposures on the infrared film had been used Janet said "We have had a nice productive photo shoot, now let's skate." I left my camera and the rolls of film on the bench and rejoined her on the ice, but she still made no move to put her clothes back on. We skated together the rest of the afternoon, talking, laughing and enjoying each other's company. Only when the sun was low on the horizon, and it was time to go back to the house for dinner did Janet bother to get dressed.
Two significant developments came of this afternoon. First of all, at Janet's urging I entered the best of my infrared photos in an art show sponsored by our university, and won first prize for photography. The other develpment is that shortly after our graduation the following year, Janet and I were married. We celebrated our sixth anniversary last July, but we still think of the anniversary of our afternoon skating at the pond as the one that perhaps counts the most.
-Morris "Mole the Shutterbug"