Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chun Ming Huang works as a camera operator in Hollywood but frequently takes time off to indulge his love of still photography. Always searching for roads less traveled, Chun Ming captures beautiful environments that are sadly disappearing in the hopes that by photographing them, they will be preserved for generations to enjoy.
We caught up with Chun Ming to find out more about his life and his work.
Hi, Chun Ming. What perked your interest and got you started taking photographs?
I remembered holding a camera on a trip with my family in Europe when I was 7 years old. The thought of keeping your subject in a specific part of the frame came to me naturally. From then on my father trusted me with his camera and I was the designated the family photographer.
Why mainly photographs of nature?
I have always enjoyed the outdoors, I would say that’s the core of my joy in nature photography. However, as I grow I realize this natural beauty is being affected by people in negative ways. Seeing these effects first hand in my travels, I’m even more passionate about capturing the wonderful scenery. Letting others see that the beauty of our world is definitely worth preserving, not just for ourselves, but for future generations to come.
Who were your early influences?
Without sounding cliche, I look up to Thomas Mangelsen. He’s exceptional at incorporating wildlife into his landscapes, plus he delivers a conservation message which I admire. His earlier works with film are especially stunning. Art Wolfe is another photographer I look up to. He really tries to incorporate human elements, when he sees fit, into his nature subjects.
You mostly shoot in the 6×17 format. What is it about that format you find appealing?
It is that unique format that attracts me the most. With it being much wider than it is tall, it has the power to make you want to see more. At the same time, it really makes you feel like you’re there in person, especially when it’s a large print. And because of the nature of the format, you can really feel a sense of depth in the photos, making it an ideal format for nature or grand scope subjects.
I understand you also have a background in film production. What are some of the film projects you have worked on?
I’ve done a lot of low and medium-budget features and documentaries in the past. I’ve enjoyed them all. In recent years, I’m focusing on sitcoms. I love what I do in the sitcom genre, it’s a good place to be. I do have to say working on the reboot of Mad About You was a highlight because I watched the originals and fell in love with them when I first arrived in this country. Working alongside such awesome and talented actors like Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt was a dream come true.
Do you have aspirations of being a cinematographer or are you happy taking photographs?
I feel very fortunate to be doing what I’m doing, to be able to create images for my job, and have fun doing it. At the same time, I’m the type of person that always wants a challenge, so if the opportunity of stepping up to be the cinematographer arose, I’m definitely down for the challenge. For me, photography will always be my creative outlet and something I’m passionate about. With photography, I’m able to create images for myself. The whole process of capturing images depends on my skills, a true creation of self art. So I’m happy with the ability to do both. Play at work, work at play.
How has the pandemic impacted your work?
The inability to travel has been a major obstacle for my photographic work. When I take photos, I would rather go somewhere that is completely different from where I live, to experience something unique and inspiring. On the other hand, why rush it and takes risks with the pandemic still not under control. I would rather take proper precautions and have my good health carry me for future excursions many decades from now.
Thanks for talking with us.
You can check out Chun Ming’s exhibit and meet the Artist at:
The Perfect Exposure Gallery, 2424 W. Valley Blvd. Alhambra, CA 91803
Opening Reception: September 18, 2021, 5pm – 8pm – FREE