I'm a compulsive photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Although trained in the traditional dark room in the late 80s, I didn't start photographing seriously until 2012.
More than just a creative outlet, street photography allows me to live in the moment, make order out of chaos, and to see the world anew.
There's a charm to it. Empathizing with the emotions of strangers, witnessing the absurd, and experiencing the thrill successfully capturing blink-and-you'll-miss-it occurrences.
In many ways, street photography is a paradox. I let images come to me, yet I have to put myself in position in order to be found. I'm be a detached bystander, yet I'm intently surveying everything I can. Things seem to fall into place when I'm a blank slate, yet it also helps to envision things before they happen.
This is the zen of street photography and thankfully, it rejuvenates my spirit.
When not taking pictures, I spend my time assisting students as a community college counselor.
-Tony Van Le
Street photography is where I've ended up, but it's not where I started.
Up-close macro photography of insects and flora is how I first realized that that there is so much interesting stuff happening all the time, right under our noses. It also taught me how to approach a scene with open stealth, compassion, and respect.
Landscape photography allowed me to refine my sense of composition and light. It required for me to become a student of, and subservient to the uncontrollable and ever-changing environment in order to have just a chance at capturing a scene where all of the elements have fallen into place.