Crystal Vision


Crystal Vision © 2013 NATE METZ

Winter has finally relaxed its tight grip. Most mornings I’d find my car frozen over with frost, so I used the few moments waiting for the defroster to capture these Crystal Visions.

CHALLENGE: 5

Sleigh Trails © 2012 NATE METZ
Sleigh-trails on Christmas Day © 2012 NATE METZ

It was a much better way to start out the new year on the photo challenge front. The theme, 5, left me faced with several obvious choices: dice, watches/clocks, hands/feet/fingers/toes, money. I opted for a grouping because it lent more freedom creatively as to how 5 would show up. I was not having much luck finding five of anything in a natural setup without my physically placing 5 items together. Remember I’m not a huge fan of studio work and forcing a shot under controlled settings. In the last few days before the deadline I resigned to sit this round out because I wanted to submit a photograph that fits my aesthetic and my voice. After posting Linear Sunrise, I glanced back through all of my shots and realized that a different frame had five contrails. And as I reflected more on my audience I did tell a white lie and say I took the photograph Christmas Day instead of Christmas Eve because it fit the story better:

Santa’s sleigh left 5 contrails criss-crossing the sky on Christmas!

I received some nice, positive feedback that I had an unexpected approach and that the backstory information was fun. I know this photograph is a success because I managed to keep my point of view and add some fluff that would appeal to a specific audience that would help them to understand my work.

14th Place
Apple iPhone 4
1/539 sec, f2, ISO 80
Post-Processing– PS actions: crop, levels adjustment, hue shift +15, saturation +3, lightness +3, resize, USM, export

My constant comparison of my work to others in the challenges does appear to be unhealthy to you readers of that I am sure! It only appears that way because I’m not sure what else to talk about in these challenge entries. A huge part of the content for my art blog for a challenge entry is the competition, the judging, the comparing. I’m also really just putting myself out there (here) as I define my artistic voice and learn how to present my work. I have an exhibit coming up this summer and this forum has been instrumental in me learning to speak intelligently about my work and my process.

Thanks for reading!

Damn Good Advice – FIVE

Oh yes, here we are again: the rebel. I remember having to take a stand with my work on a few occasions during my school years. I didn’t take art classes in high school and only a couple of electives in college. My primary foundation in creativity were my college fashion design courses. During my study abroad I visited Barcelona and caught inspiration off of Gaudi and the tile mosaics. After 9 months in the incubator upstairs I entered my senior year and began my senior collection. Of the 12-15 looks designed we were to construct 3 for the runway. My masterpiece design was a pair of pants with 2 optional panels (embroidered or chiffon) that converted to capris and again into bermudas, and with one final conversion it became a pencil skirt. Out of 1 pattern I got 5 looks! Here is were I took the stand. My professor only wanted to count this feat of engineering towards one of my final three, but I stood my ground: the pant/short combo for one and the skirt for another. [images below]

And again, I will reiterate: I think it is just dumb to rebel, take a stand, or be outside of the box for sake of being different. Outrageous ideas should still be grounded with a purpose or an intelligent point of view, elsewise the effects of pushing those boundaries will be lost. A wonderful contemporary example is Lady Gaga. I implore you to watch one of her hour-long interviews, listen to the ballad versions and see what an amazingly beautiful, articulate, educated, and talents woman she is. I guess my mentor would say it’s about “having the goods to back it all up!”

As for the excitement of an idea, let me say that upon inspiration and brainstorming new work I operate so well (organized, punctual, error free), adrenaline is coursing through my body (often denying me sleep), and when I have the goods to back it all up I find other people are excited about my work!