Ones to Watch: Nathaniel Shields
Name: Nathaniel Shields
Inspiration: Philippe Halsman, Doug Aitken, Akos Major, Josef Koudelka
If you follow us on Facebook, you might recognise Nathaniel’s name and work from our recent ‘Silence’ competition. Nathaniel, along with other entrant Xana Murell, won the competition in which we challenged artists, photographers, illustrators, and designers alike to create a work which would encapsulate ‘Silence’. Something normally signified by sound, we were intrigued to see just how entrants would convey silence in a visual format…
How would you say your winning entry for our Facebook competition encapsulated the theme 'Silence'?
I have always imagined that the smoke looks like a person’s noiseless cogitation. When you find yourself in a silent situation the brain tends to fill itself inanely with thoughts and inner monologue as if to drown out the silence.
Much of your work includes some kind of X-ray aesthetic. Why is this?
The aesthetic came from the multiple-exposure technique; where, multiple photographs are essentially overlaid to create one image. By over-exposing parts of the photographs, I was able to achieve a selectively layered effect that often resembled x-rays. I was particularly interested in how the combining of often juxtaposing images created a stronger narrative in the final photo.
What is the thing you most enjoy about photography?
How easy it is to experiment with. It’s not like a painting, where hours are invested in a single image that may turn out to be rubbish. I can take hundreds of photographs, adapting and fine-tuning as I go.
Describe your style in three words.
Ephemeral, minimal and explorative.
What is your method of working? How do you get from concept to finished product?
I don't really have a concise method. Projects usually start as an idle curiosity that I’ll experiment with and expand on. I very rarely start with a fully formed idea or concept that I wish to convey. The multiple
exposure project for example started just as an experimentation of the technique itself, and developed with no foreseeable goal as I pushed the technique as far as I could.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I hope I end up in some sort of creative career. Possibly, an architect but really I’d be very happy with any sort of creative lifestyle.
It is clear to see that Nathaniel has creativity in bucketloads. His photography demonstrates not only a wealth of originality, but also a drive to challenge himself and experiment.
See more of Nathaniel’s work at: Flickr.com