In-camera Effects Bring Natalie Field's  'Animal Within' to Life

In-camera Effects Bring Natalie Field's 'Animal Within' to Life

February 09, 2016

Natalie Field is a creative image-maker inspired by fashion and fantasy. She is based in Johannesburg where she works as conceptual portraiture and fashion photographer, specializing in the art of storytelling.


 Known for her digital artworks created from deconstructed images, Field’s latest interest lies with the spontaneity of in-camera effects. The images featured were created in front of a live audience on the Vanguard Stage at the Photo & Film Expo, an annual event hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa. The body of conceptual portraits is entitled “Animal Within”, and explores the themes of Animalism and Zoomorphism.

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Animalism is the concept that we as humans are intrinsically animals, set apart from other creatures simply by our cognitive thinking… our self-awareness. Field says, "We are organized chaos, our intellectual mind often at war with our animalistic instincts. The idea of acting on these instincts and giving in to desire is sometimes perceived in a negative light, but I imagine it more as giving in to free abandon on the dancefloor… Savage and untamed, yet graceful and charged with energy. This inspired me to seek out dancer Samantha Supra from Wessel’s Dance Studio to assist with the shoot. With a background in Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Spanish, Ballroom dancing and of course Classical Ballet, I felt she was someone who understands the spirit of dance and the limitations placed upon it by traditional forms”.

Field has portrayed this inner struggle through movement and dance, using in-camera effects such as colored lighting, multiple exposures, freeze photography and motion blur to capture the turmoil. She says, “I have chosen these techniques as I want to introduce chance into the work, allowing the motion and flow to bring something to the image that cannot be predicted or totally planned”. This comes after she recently started exploring the idea of Automatism: a technique developed during the Surrealist movement that shifted creation from conscious control to chance. Working with a good quality tripod is a necessity in her creative process, and Field relies on the Vanguard Pro 283CGH with a 300T pistol grip to create stable and accurate long and double exposures.

 The theme is visually established through the use of Zoomorphism, the addition of animal attributes to the human form. For the masks Field collaborated with paper art designers at Wintercroft. The origami-inspired templates were downloaded and constructed by Field herself. To complement the geometric shapes of the masks Field worked with the award-winning designs of Lizan Zondagh Couture, adding chiffon to add visual interest and chance into the images.

 Animal Within was created in front of a live audience at the Photo & Film Expo 2015 in Johannesburg.

Team Credits:
Capture & Retouching | Natalie Field Photography
Photographic Assistant | Mamaki Rakotsoana
Fashion | Lizan Zondagh Couture
Masks | Wintercroft
MUAH | Tris Alves
Model/Dancer | Samantha Supra at Wessels Dance Studio
Sponsors | Vanguard and Photon


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Field continues to work with in-camera techniques, and intends to take this journey of chance discovery onto location in Finland later this year!

Natalie Field is a brand ambassador for Vanguard SA and Photon SA.
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