Tyson the photog: 'This is my passion'

Tyson Chandler likes to catch his subjects in "organic" moments, like this one of ex-Knick Landry Fields. Tyson Chandler

If you watched any New York Knicks games last season, you probably know Tyson Chandler as a hulking, 7-1, 240-pound defensive force. Night in and night out, Chandler patrolled the paint with intensity, projecting an intimidating persona.

But there's another side to Chandler.

A creative side. A compassionate side.

Both were on display late last month, when Chandler unveiled a collection of photo's that he'd taken over the past year.

Chandler's exhibit -- dubbed "A Year In A New York Minute" -- featured photos from Chandler's time in New York and Africa over the past 12 months.

Chandler has been an avid photographer for the past five years.

But he recently decided to put his photos on display for the first time.

"Basketball is what I do, but this is my passion," Chandler said. "I take pride in this."

And it showed. I'm no art critic, but it didn't take a trained eye to see that Chandler was a talented photographer.

Included in his gallery were shots of teammate Carmelo Anthony and ex-teammates Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields (above).

Chandler said he tried to catch his teammates in 'organic' moments. He got Lin after a workout in the weight room, where the ex Knick was "trying to get swole" Chandler recalled with a laugh.

On Lin leaving for Houston, Chandler said: "We'll miss him. I love the dude; he brought energy to the Garden that changed our year around. I've got a lot of respect for the kid for doing that so we'll miss him."

Chandler also took shots during his post-Olympics trip to Tanzania with UNICEF, during which he embedded himself in the African nation's culture.

Chandler got a first-hand look at UNICEF programs in the city of Dar es Salaam, including a child protection program at a center providing support for children living on the streets, a clinic for mothers of children with HIV/AIDS and a school where children were taking part in clean water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives.

He captured it all with his camera.

His photos, on display at Canoe Studio in Manhattan, went up for auction.

James Dolan, Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, J.R. Smith and nearly all of the other Knicks under contract attended the exhibition.

Proceeds from the auction went to UNICEF.

"To be able to do something -- even this small thing -- to help them out, it means the world to me," Chandler said.