Friday, June 28, 2013

Day At The Farm by M Grace-Martin Photo

'Although Upstate New York has some urban areas, the vast majority of it consists of pastures, forests, farms, and rocky gorges. Due to this, it is an ideal place to photograph natural environmental nudes.'

It is always fascinating to me how some features on the blog start out and how many themes that I write about blend together when I find images that I am passionate about. Last month I wrote about an idea that stemmed from photographer Robert Guttke telling me he was about to shoot a client who wanted to be photographed with their pet chicken.

For some reason, this intrigued me greatly. Although I post many incredible studio shoots, over time, my focus has shifted to location and the capturing of natural moments which blend subject and environment. Not simply models in front of, or even within a location, but images where the models become a part of their surroundings. This has become the focus of many of my features including most recently, last week with Snake On A Train and one of my all time favorite pieces on the blog, Bank Job by Robert Colgan.

As I began my research to find images of models with chickens, models with barn yard animals (I know...) I stumbled upon Photography & Life by Michael Grace-Martin. Finding Michael's work was like turning a corner on an otherwise shitty and dreary day and finding a huge garden full of color, beauty and life. The page was this series, Day On The Farm, and I felt like I was almost destined to find this page featuring Michael's work.

On his site, Michael states that his primary mission is to discuss photography and life and how they go together as well as inform each other. Those words stuck with me as they summed up what I have attempted to say about so many images in so many pieces on the blog. Michael's images were so quiet. They were not Sex on a farm, they were not penis on a farm, they were as stated, a day on the farm. A beautiful blending of the human body body and it's surroundings. The utilization of daily life events to create a visually stimulating and erotic story. The model became part of the barn, the greenhouse, the land. Touching it, laying on it, interacting with it.

What was most interesting to me, is that so much of the focus of many who shoot the human form is an attempt to entice the viewer to want the model, the body, or parts of it. The model becomes an object, a collection of body parts with context or connection to who the person they are attached to is. When shooting environmental nudes, the artist and model must look, think and feel beyond the physical and somehow find an emotional connection with who this person is, and why they are interacting as they are within their surroundings.

With this particular shoot, I did not want to be with the model, I wanted to be within that environment instead of him. Experiencing the land and area, the rain on my body and the feel of the wooden logs under my skin. Michael created a world that I wanted to not just visualize, but be a part of.

After finding this series, I spent more than a few hours scanning through Michael's work as well as reading his thoughtful, intelligent and lyrical commentaries. I should tell you though, that although I strongly encourage you to head on over and spend time on his site, that most of the nudes within are the female persuasion. What was interesting the more time I spent with Michael's images, was that when the connection between body and environment was made, the sex, shape and specific physical attributes of the model became secondary to the beauty of the image.

For this series, and with most of the images on Michael's site that focus on the male form, that form is that of the photographer himself. Although Day At The Farm was Michael's brainchild and mostly orchestrated by the photographer himself, he was assisted bye his friend Damaris Vasquez of Damaris Photography This series is the only series on his website where someone else is holding the camera.

'I collaborate with you to make images that reflect your inner self. From our work together, you will get intriguing personal photographs, deeper insight into who you are, and a glimpse of who you are becoming.'

I love the above quote from Damaris, especially the last few words. It made be think how beautifully her philosophy weaves with Michael's own mission statement and how incredible the results of their collaboration and melding visions. These images, within the greenhouse are some of my favorites from the series.


Erik said...

Great series Tye, but the images are so small when you click them

JiEL said...

I wanted to so the same remark...

Very nice photos but so small when we click on the thumsnails...

Great post here.


Bobby F said...

Beautiful pics. I cannot wait until next weekend for my 4-day naked weekend in the country.

Bobby F said...

Erik, if you right click to Open in New Window, you can see larger versions of the pics.

JiEL said...

I tried it, Bobby, and it doesn't work...

Still small version of the pics...

Hope Tye will be able to change that because those photos are awesome..