'Like I once read: The best camera is the one you have with you. I would add to that, the best location is where you are, and your best model is who you have. Simplistic I know...but for me, up to this point, it has worked.'
Although it may sound simple, I also believe some of the most complicated and complex of processes can appear simple when done by a skilled and talented artist. I often write on FH, that what I look for most of all in an image, is to see something I have never seen before. That was the case when I first encountered the work of North Carolina photographer Patrick Slater. The first images of Patrick's I saw were of his 'square series'. It was amazing to me how different an image could look, and feel, simply by the framing of his images, and models, in a square not a rectangle. There was both a physical and emotional change in how bodies filled the space.
'While I have thousands of dollars of studio equipment, I have found that my best pictures are my camera, a flash and a good lens.'
We all have a visual spectrum and it's scope, limited only by an individuals creativity and desire. Although some might say the limits are also connected to the physical, I would argue physical limitations are only an obstacle that requires going over or around by the mind and imagination of the artist. Growing up in a family of photographers, Patrick Slater grew up and shooting and developing his own film and prints. As a boy, the young artist discovered he had severe colorblindness. Despite this challenge, Patrick's work is beautifully layered in texture, color and most importantly light. Without color as an anchor, Patrick uses light as a barometer and guide within his work.
'Even though most of my medium was black and white, I grew up in a color world. My switch to digital photography is a fairly recent one. Color references are a daily occurrence; sunsets, rainbows, the guy in the red shirt....really did nothing for me. So when I picked up a digital camera, I did what I've done all my life...I looked at the patterns of light. The shadows on the underside of clouds, lighting in movies, the flash of sun on water, or the gentle slope of light as it falls off a face. I found, very quickly, that when I shot for light, the color takes care of itself.'
Until recently, most of his physique work was relegated within his studio. Patrick says he realized the one-dimensionality of his work and really wanted to move outside. 'Luckily I had friends who were willing to model, and friends who graciously allowed me to shoot on their property.' Jon is the first of three models I will be featuring from the location on FH. None of the three models have MM pages as Patrick says he prefers to work with unheard of talent--a term he has dubbed "anti-models". Men who are raw, not jaded or overly prepared or experienced and without pretense.
'These shots are taken in around the Appalachians of North Carolina. The light here has a much more subtle quality than light out West or up North. I think it's the humidity, warmth and vegetation that scatters light and makes it...well...softer. Add to this the energy of old cabins, barns and forests, and you have the perfect recipe for amazing pictures.'
Last Monday I profiled photographer Chris Bosch of GD Photowerks and his work with the adorable Ricky Roman. (Laundry Day) That same evening, Chris and Ricky were together again at a charity event for Aids Project New Haven.
It was a paint party and as a part of it, local artist Ricky Mestre painted images onto Ricky Roman's body and then transferred them to canvas by pressing the canvas to Ricky's body. Chris photographed the event and graciously sent on some of the images! Most of the photos will eventually end up on Pulse Saturdays, the Facebook page of the club where the event was held, so be sure to check out more!