Photography and text by Nathaniel Stephens.
Formatting by Somi Jun.
These are my recent photographs in which I experiment with the fundamental photography technique: perspective. Dabbling and toying with the common compositional tools of photography (pattern, symmetry, texture, depth of field etc.) it turned out to be quite the endeavor. I realized, quickly, how visually perplexing a photo can be, without of course, losing the content of the photo and using a bit of your innate imagination.
This experiment was inspired by a mister Charlie Rouse (a fantastic saxophonist with many accolades, one including being a brilliant member of Thelonious Monk’s Quartet for eleven years.) I wondered if I would be able to put as much creatively intricate art, ominous and confound as it seems, yet its reflective symbolism so plain in sight. To generate art that evokes the human spirit [is] to produce an emotion so full of essence you’re overwhelmed by its purity. Whether obdurate adequate filled with elation, or mournful sorrowful struck with realization, and a small step toward sweet sweet self actualization.
Thinking back to me sitting in my room, letting Charlie do what he does best, I wondered if I could put such creatively complex art into my photographs, as he does in his rhythmic tone and fluctuating melody. I am not at the photographic level I desire and it may be eons until I reach it. However, that is only life’s modus operandi, it will either break down an artist’s dreams and aspirations or develop and evolve them. All I know is that for certain, this was an endeavor worth undertaking and I haven’t come nigh the thought of slake.
This is the second installment of Nathaniel Stephens’ work on Tunnel. It is part of an ongoing program called the Rolling List, where artists are featured regularly every 2-5 months. The goal of the Rolling List is to document an artist’s development over time, and support them through this development.
NATHANIEL PART I
ABOUT NATHANIEL: “I am going to start my senior year at Daily High school in Glendale, California in the beginning of August 2015. I have become enthralled with photography as of recently (September of this year will be my one year anniversary as a photographer) What interests me in photography is simplicity. I want my photos to be concise without losing any kind of dynamics. As I dabbled more and more into photography I began to grow fond of taking portraits of people, candid or staged and of areas that have remnants of human presence. It brought about a feeling in me I never felt before. It became a relief from stress, a pursuit of happiness, a beloved partner that in the near future I do not see myself parting from. My ultimate goal in photography is finding my own voice, finding my own photographic idiosyncrasy that cannot be copied successfully. I want my pure self, to show through my photography.”