I’ve never done any personal project since the day I become a professional photographer, even don’t know the real meaning of the personal project. I’ve lost my own creation and lifestyle since I start my own business as fashion and event photography studio around 2010. I spent 80% of my life to learn and find out the rules of the game, try to catch more client, deal with the problem, manage the studio team. Then I moved to New York City in 2015, I was excited when standing on the street in this city like dreams come true, but in meantime, I feel lost. I have no idea what should I do and don’t want to go back my wrong way again. I have to find a way out while maintaining a livelihood, paying my rent and feed my family. I’ve always had the idea to shoot a personal project, but I don’t know how to start till one day. When I went back to a building and found that it had ceased to exist, I realized that the city in which I lived was quietly changing, and each one of us was here looking for balance. As I drove down the road to Sedona, I decided to name the project “BALANCE”. This one year-long project would be the most challenge thing to me in my tire life, and I will step on way of finding myself.

I took the first picture for this project on January 7, 2016 when back from Arizona, and continued daily through January 6, 2017. During this time I photographed 366 symmetrical subjects in and around New York City completing my project. I focused on diverse structures and perspectives of architecture as well as different views of the city enhanced by mood, harmony, proportion, and balance. Each day I traversed the city going from neighborhood to neighborhood and all five boroughs in search of symmetrical beauty. On these daily shoots, I had to be prepared for weather, lighting or any other random occurrence which either hindered or helped my work.

This project start from Jan 7, 2016 to Jan6, 2017

This concept of urban symmetry photographs was inspired by the fascinating and remarkable architecture of the city of New York. Everyone has their own idea of New York….what makes this city great? New York is a place where scenes, images, and events can appear at any time. I felt a calling and noticed how the environment where we live is ever changing. I explored the city and visited countless buildings, subways, museums, bridges and historical landmarks. Some of these places were chosen through extensive research and others just by happenstance. At times I would have to revisit locations for the perfect shot and in doing so noticed that some buildings either changed or even disappeared upon my return. Looking closely at some of the photographs you can see these changes that occurred, such as a pigeon standing on a structure or missing bricks in a building. These “imperfections” reflect the realities of life and that which surrounds us.

With an endless passion and a long list of shots to start with.
Cold temperatures are the biggest enemies of my own.
It usually takes a long time to capture a perfect moment.
The weather is getting warmer, take the tripod and start the long exposure.
There are few shots on the list, and I have to walk on the streets to find more targets.
Have to go farther to find, sometimes to travel a few hours of subway.
Waiting alone for a few hours to take a picture has become accustomed for me.
Sometimes I need to get the location 2 hours early before the job starts with only 4 hours sleep. I almost gave up the project, I was exhausted. Luckily, I kept it down.
One months of mental exhaustion, no target, no time.
The benefit of reduced work is that there can be a lot of time to explore this city.
The more tense I am when close to completion, the less I can do without relaxation.
When it’s almost done, it’s only just begun.

Some people hear the noise.

Some people hear the rhythm.

Some people seem glamorous.

Some people seem lonely.

Some people talk about fashion.

Some people are making history.

Sunrise, sunset.

Four seasons in one year.

One city. One person. One camera.

Published by Edi Chen

I'm a black and white fine art photographer specializing in architecture, conceptual, documentary photography. My version of photography is a way of finding myself, to extract beauty from ordinary subjects and places.

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