x|WORANGEW|x © 2013 NATE METZ
It is time for some honest reflection on the ideas behind my digital photography. My captures do not always go for the Big Idea. While it’s true, I have been able to get some amazing work together, the bulk of it is safe and “pretty.” I can say all of this because I have not pursued my craft with much seriousness, about all that was required of a good hobby. My more recent work is finding it’s voice and making a statement, for which I am very grateful! And, more importantly, my book AWAKE is a Big Idea. That is one project that really penetrates the mind, touches the heart, and elicits a reaction.
In deeper reflection, art should have purpose. My acrylics and collage work is some of my most pointed work. My spirituality and philosophical musings are much more apparent here, for example:
A Tree of Life © 2010 NATE METZ
The connection between body, mind, and spirit / heart, brain, and aura is apparent within the context of a tree. The image easily pulls the viewer around the canvas exploring our personal connectivity.
I can look at my photography and see the deeper themes, but it certainly takes more work on the viewer’s part to explore them. In working with a critique of AWAKE, I can see how some pictures lack intention and purpose. The book works, though, because of the accompanying text. This image is a great example:
From Prince Charming for Snow White © 2007 NATE METZ
This peony if framed on a wall would like some context. The title is ambiguous, although the story is just a personal memory: in a school play, I was Prince Charming and on opening night, I picked a bouquet of white peonies from the garden and gave them to the girl playing Snow White. Isn’t that sweet? I took a different approach though when I published this image. In AWAKE, this is frame 49, stating
We have the power and responsibility to transcend anything in our lives that keeps us from accessing the magnificence of our being.
The soft fullness of the petals create a mystical atmosphere where contemplating transcendence works. Personal power is a Big Idea.
My goals now are to transition from exploring the subjects themselves to exploring artistic concepts. I will not rely any longer on clever titles, backstories, or spiritual text to provide the necessary working context of my photography. I am in the pursuit of higher work: inspiring images without limitation and truly Big Ideas! This is what I’m referencing:
I Prefer the Unfurling of a Rose © 2012 NATE METZ
Here the translucency is unexpected, and one of the next concepts I am exploring. I purchased a high-intensity flashlight to help me capture this magical lighting when not naturally available. I will surely share my progress here, so be sure to bookmark my blog!
Portrait of Grounded Beings(left) and Portrait of Grounded Beings in Profile(right)
© 2012 NATE METZ
The latest challenge that I entered was for portraits of people or animals without capturing faces. As I had predicted most entries were of artisans using their hands or some clever silhouetting slash messy hair slash object just covering the face to capture the portrait. My entry was the one on the left (above). If you remember before I didn’t place too well, and that was the case again: 26/27. I received some constructive criticism about my lighting choice and barely blown highlights, but I don’t understand the comment that said the foot should have been on a ball or something to add interest. Maybe my title reference to the ground was not understood. I prefer to give little explanation of my work and let viewers interpret and see what they may, but perhaps my abstracts with metaphysical leanings could benefit from a quick note:
Trees illustrate many spiritual truths. Here, I captured a tree’s exposed roots to show how it is grounded. One of the greatest grounding experiences we can have is walking or standing barefoot on the earth. Portrait of Grounded Beings captures a simple frame of two beings grounded on a beautiful sunny day.