My name is Charles Santora and I’m an Austin, TX based fine art photographer. I was born in Philadelphia and spent my formative years in New Jersey, nestled between Philadelphia and New York City. Living in close proximity to these two metro areas inspired my appreciation for the glamour and challenges of city life. With my photography I endeavor to capture the relationship between man and structure; the coexistence with architecture and infrastructure that city life necessitates. It’s this human experience that gives energy and purpose to my work.
My work could be summed up as an artistic view of man’s achievements combined with the human experience within the urban environment. It’s this combination that I draw upon to reveal the soul of a city and is so integral to the stories within my photographs.
I love finding stories that lurk in every neglected or grimy street and I’m constantly striving to bring my unique vision of the world and its many layers to life in my photographs. What may seem like a mundane human moment or commonplace scene to others, I see as inspiring with a world of promise and opportunity to create a beautiful print.
The impressive architecture and infrastructure of each metropolis sets the background for my scenes and plays a key role in the story of each of my prints. It’s man's architectural triumphs that force us to navigate our lives using streets and alleys, and it's here where the fabric of life against the backdrop of brick and mortar provides texture, emotion and stories for my photography.
My projects have taken me to the streets of London, Paris, Egypt, New York City, China and many US cities. I’ve exhibited my work in numerous galleries in California. I’ve also done extensive work for the US-China Cultural Association where I’ve been commissioned by China to photograph the City of Wuhan using my unique point of view and signature processing style. My photographs have been featured in the China Arts Festival, displayed in numerous galleries in China and exhibited in the San Francisco Public Library.
My creative process starts with a lot of time and an extreme amount of patience in the field where I hunt for those fleeting and unique moments and where I can apply my 4 golden rules - location, composition, light and the human element. My digital post-processing technique includes digitally developing these unique moments in time into black and white prints that are rich in detail and texture so the viewer feels they are part of the scene. I also create photos in vibrant color when the color lends itself to the story of the image. My work is produced on large aluminum substrate and archival paper.
When I’m not doing all things photography related I’m probably on a mountain bike or a long walk listening to podcasts.