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As he treaded onto German soil for the first time, this young man’s heart skipped a beat. A lifetime of impoverishment had given minimal opportunity for travel luxuries, but deployment opened a myriad of new horizons. He had always been a dreamer, and his mind could not quit exploring the limitless options laying before him. Introspectively thinking also about the trial encumbered life, working alongside his brother on the 106 acre farm in Oklahoma belonging to their poverty-strickengrandparents, who had raised them.
Culture shock was one of the conditions that helped to broaden his inquisitive mind. He was received with open arms by the indigenous European culture of this new, beautiful land and his senses constantly absorbed the landscape, the architecture, and the culture buzzing lively around him. This extensive admiration would direct him to the passion of his lifetime: his first camera. He began capturing images of anything and everything. It was not his equipment, that accentuated his uniqueness, for it was not the optimum, nor was it his skill. He was learning from the one that could be both his best and worst teacher, himself. It was also not his passion that had squelched that breeze upon arrival. There was a quality which viewed by many as a weakness which made Chuck Coleman stand out, his stubborn nature. His refusal to comply with common techniques and preferred looks within the world of artistic photography. This noncompliance soon lead him down a path of his own making. Each time, he was chastised for this he made the conscious effort to do the opposite. His work split further from traditional paths and he continued to do what he loved, not straying to become lost. Unsatisfied with his camera’s inability to overcome small technical difficulties as an unfocused subject or color distortion, he took it upon himself to learn how to edit his images. Editing soon became another element of his art; his work took on a life of its own, developing a look completely unique to him.
His view of beauty was not centered on digitally forever capturing what is socially accepted. He looked within the interior. He had experienced and delved into so much throughout his 11 year journey in Germany and Egypt. This dwelling among different languages caused him to probe deeply into emotions and heart over mere words. He built upon this ability when he returned to his country. Quite often the biggest barriers are between those who share the same language because there is no drive to dig deeper.
Chuck had always had an eye for fashion photography, and so, upon his return at the age of 33, he inevitably began dabbling in that as well. The fashion culture looked alive and vibrant, but, when the young man returned and started to take part in it, what he found appalled him. The using and taking advantage of a needy young woman purposefully drove him down his own pathway. This lead him to dig deep into the hearts of women creating The Queens of Steam and most assuredly The King Of Steam.
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