Others call me an engineer.
The past decade of my life has indeed been devoted to science, in full-fledged preparation as an engineer. Almost inordinately passionate about my education, my parents deserve credit for raising me as an objective thinker. From seeking to define the undefined in the field of engineering, my foundation in analytical thinking transferred to all aspects of my life with one exception.
From as far back as I can remember, I have always been strongly attracted to art. Even at a young age, the eagerness with which I filled every blank paper with my interpretation of the world was unquenchable. My worried parents actively tried to discourage my interests, which they considered a potential distraction to excelling academically. As time passed, the voice was ignored, shoved aside by the trials and tribulations, constantly agonizing over the theorems and equations of engineering. Yet my attraction to the beauty of the world from my own perspective always resurfaced, escaping conventional reasoning.
My life thus far has provided ample opportunities to learn. In the course of pursuing a doctoral degree at one of the best universities in my second home country, I have been fortunate enough to meet a number of spectacular individuals. Intense competition in the program drove me to push my own limits. But undeniably, all else paled in comparison to the undescribable beauty of nature in the golden state. Yosemite National Park reopened my eyes and unleashed a life-long passion. My heart was constantly at the snow-covered peaks by Lake Tahoe, or beating with the pounding waves along the Pacific coastline. At some moment, the answer dawned on me: I wanted to call myself a photographer.
I have given an admittedly subjective definition to the word 'photographer', which is two-fold.
Oftentimes in the world, many elements of nature come together, coalescing to create a breathtaking ensemble in a uniquely memorable way. These occurrences are momentary glimpses of the profound beauty of this world and the universe that we live in, which may alter one's perceptions of the planet and our lives permanently. These brief moments generally are caught only by those who are simply lucky, or by those who explore with patience and tenacity. However, many people miss the magnificence for a number of reasons, one being that they may simply not be aware. Therefore, the photographer, in my opinion and definition, is a person who records and shares these special moments with the rest of the world.
A large number of people around the globe unfortunately still struggle for basic daily necessities and amenities, and because of the overwhelming weight of life on their shoulders, experience life through an entirely different lens. I am well aware of those who do not even dream of having the small things that I take for granted everyday. As much as providing opportunities to share the beauty of nature with others generally, I personally believe that more importantly, a photographer seeks to enable those who are less fortunate the opportunity to appreciate nature's wonders as well. This is precisely what motivates my goal of creating a fine art photography organization, which seeks to share the awe of nature with more people through landscape photography and simultaneously alleviate the burden of the underprivileged through charitable donations of profits.
These ambitions have raised a number of eyebrows. It's true that engineering ensures the income and stable life valued by many. Yet increasingly, this is not what I look for.