Saturday, September 14, 2013

Visible Spectrum: Jon by Patrick Slater

'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.'


David Asset said...

There are some models that make their eyes the focal point of their photos. Some make you look at their ass, my favorite part of a man's anatomy but with this model, one just stares at his dick. It's quite amazing!

Bobby F. said...

Jon is near perfection. I agree about the sunlight in that part of the country. I grew up on the other side of the mountains in East Tennessee. There is something magical about how the trees in the Great Smoky Mountains filter the light into a soft warm glows.

jeffcrippen said...

Those photographs are simply beautiful. Like the other commenter, Bobby F. I grew up on the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains and still live there. There is a real "otherworld" quality" to being in those mountains away from everyone else, only the sounds of animals and birds around you. It would be a rare but welcome find to see a man as beautiful as this in those mountains, proudly naked, allowing us the viewers to experience his sensuality and raw sexuality all at once. His penis is amazing, truly the focus of every photograph, intentionally or not. Wow!!

Devin Baker said...

Such a beautiful series of captures. The images feel natural and honest without being overtly posed. It's as if I happened upon Jon enjoying private time in nature. The settings and model are truly special.