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Fade To Darkness

(970122_5081_19, View looking west from the Chateau Marmont, January 1997)

Darkness changes the urban landscape. Visual clutter is stripped away, and the artificial light selectively isolates objects. Night photography has always fascinated me. There is a more heightened sensory experience when walking outside at night. The sounds are different. Jasmine when in bloom can be more intoxicating at night than in the harsh sunlight of daytime. Although the darkness can simplify, reducing what you can see, it is that absence of what you can see that invites the imagination.

The transition from day to night and the drawn-out and often spectacular winter sunsets in Los Angeles make up for the early darkness of the season.

I waited over a few hours for this moment on a balcony at the Chateau Marmont. It was worth it to be able to capture the natural beauty of the sky changing simultaneously with the onset of artificial light on the ground below. It also marks a period of time when the Marlboro Man still glanced at you from a billboard.

(170917_015-026, September 17, 2017)

Shorter days can make doing mundane errands like washing your car seem like a late-night activity. However, the early darkness is wonderful for someone like me who likes to wander and observe. For one thing, it’s cooler. But it also provides me with an extra shield of anonymity when working with limited, yet multiple, light sources of the night.

This is actually two images pieced together to form a wide view, almost like setting a stage.

(161228_001-003, December 28, 2016 )

In the daytime this building looks very different, details flattened by bright sunlight. But at 5:25 pm on a December day, spot illumination and low light reveal rich colors and depth at the same time. There is a static quality because there is no activity going on – creating tension as though waiting for something to happen.

(161030_001, October 30, 2016)

The porch light of a classic California bungalow can be welcoming. But how odd that on the day before Halloween there were no pumpkins or other fall ephemera decorating this entrance. Back when trick or treating was a regular Halloween activity, one might be tempted to skip this house based on this lack of decoration.

(131216-v3-2, December 26, 2013)

I took this photo with an old Samsung cell phone. Later I added grain to the image to create a film like quality and to enhance the richness of the shadows and light. It’s a simple scene of a wet walkway after the rain yet it triggers so much relatability and longing for the damp, cool air that Angelenos can look forward to in the winter.

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