I remember my first visit to Chinatown when I was 9. The imagery and experience is distinct because I recall asking my parents more than once if we by any chance had left New York.
We arrived by train which was a relatively short commute from our house but the atmosphere in which we appeared when walking out from the subway was a complete transformation for a kid to take in. You’re more likely to recognize things for what they are rather than going by the signs describing them because everything is written in Chinese.
Chinatown in New York is not much different from the many others that exist throughout American cities but the biggest difference that ours has the largest population of Chinese immigrants than anywhere else.
Watching photographs of the place or catching glimpses of it from a tour bus is nothing compared to walking the back alleys or the main streets. Both Mulberry St. and Canal St. is where you’ll unquestionably find all the different variations of fruits, vegetables, poultry and seafood that garners a large portion of attention and not to mention the delicious high-rated restaurants where a lot of the fresh products end up.
I was off from work today and I had absolutely nothing planned so I gave myself the photographic assignment of documenting life in Chinatown. The goal was to combine photojournalistic images with color and produce a set of photos that would convey a feeling of being there.
You don’t have to have clients to have an assignment. A practical method to get your creative juices going is to identify a particular subject that interest you and photograph the hell out of it. The planning of it doesn’t become a burden if you love the process to begin with.
You can view the rest of the photographs from the assignment.