Very rarely do I stumble upon a photographic project that I feel compelled to support because of its sheer beauty and inspiring story. Chuck East is a special photographer who has captured my attention in this way.
Here is the description he offered me of his labor of love and dedication in the making, and a digital preview of his compelling photographs rendered as fine art prints. The images seem to send us spiraling into almost secretive feeling microcosmic worlds through rarely documented aspects of action photography.
I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly is several years and thousands of images in the making: a gift from son to father. It was recently unveiled on Kickstarter.
Each limited edition is individually hand-stitched, hand-bound and housed in a matching hardcover slipcase. The book opens up to display 38 museum quality, archival prints of butterflies in flight, interwoven with words from the dream parable of the title, by the Chinese Daoist philosopher Zhuang Zhou and other, related writings.
At the very heart of our search for a book format was the desire to allow an uncompromising presentation of the museum quality prints of these photographs of the butterfly in flight. We wanted to create an exhibition in your hands, and we’re delighted with the result,”
With dream-like clarity, East’s images reframe our perceptions of the iconic butterfly. Rather than the butterfly captured on a flower or leaf, his camera arrives at improbable intersections within the butterfly’s turbo-charged, random flight labyrinth.
The limited edition book and individual prints from the book have been launched on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and will be published and shipped to those pledging before the 29th of May if the project reaches its funding goal.
Chuck East’s first taste of photography, at the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, was cut short when he was commissioned to write and direct a documentary film. This led to a 35-year career directing and producing documentaries, TV specials and advertisements, eventually focusing on theater and dance. Chuck returned to photography, as a more personal, meditative way to explore the world in his own backyard.
Chuck shoots with a ten year old Nikon D7000 and two Nikkor lenses; a 55-200mm 1:4-5.6 and a 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6. He prefers manual focusing when photographing butterflies flying. The image files have not been cropped, nor in any way reconstructed other than a minimum of corrections applied with image software, e.g. simple adjustments of light and dark and color temperature.
Click here to check out his Kickstarter page.