I love the medium of photography. I am a street photographer and urban landscape photographer in my free time. A native of New York City, it is perhaps natural that I should be drawn to these genres and to photography in general, my hometown being so seminal to establishing photography as a legitimate and celebrated fine art medium, and being home to such an overwhelmingly impressive lineage of famous photographers and bodies of photographic work.
Like the experience of museums, I think there is something about the act of making and consuming photography that lends itself to coping with my ADHD condition. I think it is why I am passionate about both. Both seem to provide endless visual and intellectual stimuli, as well as sufficient succinctness and randomness that helps me to overcome my challenges focusing and processing things over extended periods of time. Indeed, both museums and photography manages to make things interesting, focused, and addictive for the unfocused mind. Perhaps these are reasons why both are so popular in this busy modern age. I can easily spend hours in a museum soaking up visual stimuli and chunks of information, or hours being creative, but struggle with the daily rigidity, hectic pace, and endless multi-tasking that is such a hallmark of life in the modern developed world.
I think the popular phrase, “a photograph is worth a thousand words”, is indeed true. Though perhaps it should be phrased as, “a photograph is a gateway to a thousand thoughts and feelings”, for a successful photography acts as an effective trigger to not only deeper and broader discovery and discourse, but also to connecting with powerful emotions and memories. The most effective photos manage to do these things for both the taker and the viewer, though naturally in different ways.
As a spiritually-inclined individual, photography supports my affinity for observing meaning and value in the seemingly mundane and fleeting milieu of the everyday around me. Those who know me best, know that I am rarely without a camera of some sort during my daily life. It provides me the means to look, to order, to document, to interpret, and to process an otherwise overwhelming world.
My photography suffers the same fate as my other creative output. It is rarely seen, shown, or shared, relegated to dark digital bits and bytes on computer and online storage repositories, ever susceptible to instant annihilation from existence should something happen. Like any art, lack of exposure (badum-pum) and feedback means that my art inevitably suffers in evolution and improvement. Therefore, I thought I should give these images a modicum of respect by giving them some very small light of day in the virtual realm.
I’m not much skilled at curating my own photography or focusing my work into themes or categories. I supposed some day soon, I’ll get around to self-publishing my photography in a series of physical photo books. But as this is not a book, I’ve attempted to separate some of my work into digestible chunks here for the sake of easier navigation and consumption versus one big long image gallery. This photography section is most definitely a work in progress. Like many photographers, I am woefully backlogged in the processing and organization of my photography. I will add content and categories here continuously over time as opportunity permits.
©️ Charles Chen. All rights reserved.