When looking at those around us, one would like to think everyone is a super hero in disguise. Not to suggest that the removal of an ordinary Joe Shmoe’s glasses could render them a literal Superman, but one would like to believe that each of us has a secret passion or hidden talent, imperceptible to the naked eye. Upon meeting with accounting major Scott Lam, a personwould identify his statistics book, Abercrombie and Fitch sweatshirt, and five o’clock shadow as tell-tale signs that he is a practical and seemingly average West Chester University student.
Lam, however, has a special quality. Though he is unable to see through walls he can certainly take fantastic photographs of them. This aspiring photographer shoots anything from flowers to WCU sporting events.
Combining a visual dexterity in lighting with a keen eye for texture and depth, Lam has fused elegant scenes with an urban edge, bringing a fresh new perspective to the increasingly stagnant world of amateur photography.
Slightly abashed by the exposure of his talent, Lam admits that upon receiving his first digital camera as a gift, he recognized his flair for taking artful photos.
“I never took classes; just a lot of hands on experimenting and reading,” Lam said. I was pretty good to start but I keep trying to improve and learn more every time I go out to shoot.”
With nearly three years of experience under his belt and frequent outings to find his next great shot, Lam has built quite a portfolio.
He has been equipped with his Cannon 20d (a very bulky and consequently heavy camera) while attending sporting events, family get-togethers, vacations, and even parties with friends.
At these events, Lam explains, “It’s not about the message or artful expression in this case, but about capturing the moment and substantiating the memory.”
Yet his online gallery, ScottLam.com, is filled with aesthetically exhilarating galleries including categories such as “animals,” “architecture,” “automotive” and “landscapes” with nearly 300 mastered photos. Some truly powerful messages can be extracted from these galleries if looked at with an objective mind.
“Occasionally I’ll go out to shoot with a purpose to convey a message.”
However, Lam admits that the best way to find a great shot is to simply look at the world as freeze frames in the mind. “Walking around I pretty much look at everything as a picture and think of different ways to compose it to find a perspective I like.”
Even without the heavy analysis, Lam’s landscape shots will find you tranquil and indulged in exquisite scenes from all over the East Coast.
His floral photos have the ability to elicit compassion and sentimentality as he glorifies these small and delicate subjects. The textures and patterns found in his work mesmerize and intrigue.
Whether it be a city trapped behind a fence or a ring casting the shadow of a heart (both striking images found in Lam’s gallery), it goes without saying: the complexity and diversity of Lam’s work spans far beyond his initial impression. That is to say, many of us would expect to find the owner of this talent among the art majors here at West Chester.
But Lam’s future focus is on number-crunching and succeeding in the world of business. With his strong ambition and determination, Lam has already gotten started on his own entrepreneurial business.
“For now I was thinking of doing photography as a side job or looking for someone needing a second shooter for events.” Lam shrugs. “If that leads anywhere I’d stick with it.”
That’s not to say we should not expect more fabulous work from Lam. In the meantime, for those of you looking to sample some of his work, check out WCU’s annual literary magazine, “Daedalus.”
Many of his pictures were strewn throughout the pages of last year’s edition and can be found there again.
Although Scott Lam’s “super power” might not be the stuff of Marvel comic books, it does have the potential to enrich, uplift and prove that each of us has a dynamic extending beyond the surface. Look out at the world with that “lens” and you, too, can be a super hero.
Abigail Dredge is a third-year student at West Chester University majoring in English. She can be reached at AD615398@wcupa.edu.