I love taking pictures.
That’s what it boils down to.
I just love taking pictures.
I do a lot of my picture taking in Central Park.
I was born and raised in New York City. As a child in the sixties and a teen in the seventies I never went into Central Park. In my late twenties and early thirties I did a lot of cycling and rode around the Park more times than I can possibly remember. But, still, I never really went into the Park.
In May of 2005 my father had a quadruple bypass at Mount Sinai Hospital. There were some complications and he ended up being hospitalized for five weeks. That was the first of four big hospital stays over a two year period.
Mount Sinai is on the East side of Central Park, on Fifth Avenue in the low 100’s. At the time I was living on the West side of the Park, on 106th Street. To ease a bit of the stress I started walking back and forth across the Park during my visits to the hospital.
The year before I had purchased my first digital camera and started taking pictures here and there. When I started walking across the Park for those hospital visits I started carrying a camera every day because I’d started noticing things I’d never noticed before. Since then I’ve carried a camera with me pretty much every day. It makes me feel more connected to the world around me and “in the moment”. And when I see something that appeals to my eye, I try to “capture that moment”.
I started out life as an actor, studying at Northwestern and New York Universities. I had the good fortune to study with David Mamet. The technique he taught was deeply rooted in the works of the acting teacher Sanford Meisner. In this technique the job of the actor is to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances”. This is accomplished by: 1) analyzing and understanding the text, 2) coming on stage with an action, and, 3) attempting to achieve that action by working off of what you’re getting from the other actor or actors. That is, being alive to the moment…working moment to moment with the other actors and adjusting what you do based on what you’re getting from them.
Though very different, the thing that unites acting and photography for me is the idea of being alive to what’s around you, alive to the moment…acting truthfully in the moment in one and trying to capture the moment in a way that is pleasing or evocative to the eye in the other. When they’re good, they both make you pause.
I run around a lot.
I love taking pictures because it forces me to slow down and to be present and alive to the moments around me.
Enjoy your visit and feel free to contact me with any questions.
© Charles Chessler Photography