Steve Chinn photographs in Avon |

Steve Chinn photographs in Avon

Caramie SchnellVail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailySteve Chinn, "Fire Fall"

Vail Daily: What does photography mean to you?Steve Chinn: Creative expression and outlet for my creative side. Capturing a split second of time in history, capturing something that will never happen or be the same again. Learning lighting and composition is where the challenge and fun begin.VD: When did you know that you wanted to be a photographer?SC: I just stumbled into to it. I studied art in school and had one class in photography but never went as my dad was a portrait photographer and I guess I learned a lot from him growing up as a kid. When he died, my sister took over the business and did very well herself without any training. As I traveled to far away lands I often took the camera with me and after one long trip, the processing lab asked who I was shooting for. From there one thing led to another, and I got more involved in photography and learning more about it. As photography turned to the digital age, I still felt that photography didnt come through the latest and greatest technologies but still the fundamentals of the camera, lighting and composition. Technology is nice and all but I often feel like a dog chasing its tail trying to keep up and its just as expensive, if not more expensive, than traditional photography. I still use film for much of my work, as I still feel that if gives me a better quality image.VD: What inspires you to create? What kind of mood do you have to be in?SC: Creativity for me often just happens out of nowhere when I am relaxed and not under the gun, I feel that is when things come together. Sometimes and often when I am in nature things slow down and become real clear to me just as in life, as technology speeds up, I feel myself struggling to keep up. My pace is generally slower, so when things are slower I often feel the creative juices come forth and no matter what tool or medium is there, I just try and let something happen.VD: Why did you choose the medium that you work with, or did it choose you?SC: I guess it was a combination of both. I have a creative side that is different than most I guess. I like to create whatever it is, but I guess when I get in the mood, who knows what will surface? Give me a tool or a medium and with the right moment something could surface and I will start creating. I guess (my) dads soul found me and decided I should be using a camera more for my creative path … I guess it is in the blood.VD: Describe your style.SC: My style of shooting varies depending on the subject. People shots are often times more loose and I like to vary the composition. Static poses often do not reflect the true character of the person, shooting when they are not really expecting it or are having fun captures a real side that is often missed otherwise. My sports shots I prefer to shoot tight, its more challenging to me. Scenics, I like simple but strong elements and composition that is unique; lighting is key to bringing subjects to life. One comment that I hear often is, You have a unique and powerful eye!VD: If you were to meet any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?SC: Ansel Adams is one, as I have heard many who have worked and known him personally have mentioned what a great person he was, besides his work being some of the best. Art Wolfe is another as I really like his style and I have heard nice things about him as well.My dad is one I knew and know in both senses: he taught me the basics and keeping it simple, but yet keeping it clean and powerful. … I often feel his presence when I shoot.Arts & Entertainment Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or

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