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The other day, after posting more images to my series “Los Angeles, Dedicated to Raymond Chandler,” a kind friend, suggested a drive down to San Pedro, an area rife with noirish environments. Tempting, as the idea seemed, my inner photographer rejected it immediately… opting instead to explain, with this blog.

Shooting urban-scapes, landscapes, built-scapes, and other architectures, has been a major subject for me since I picked up a camera, over 30 years ago. Although I have been regularly hired, by consumer publications for my portraiture work, and exhibited the same (Men Series, etc.) upon this year’s archive review, it was the consistent shooting of natural and built landscapes that caught my eye. If you read my artist’s statement: which details my three moves in four years within Los Angeles, one can see the development of a theory: I prefer to live where I shoot, and not pass through.

I don’t grab scapes. I ponder them. I watch the light for weeks. I wait, expectantly, for dawn, dusk, rain, fog, and other atmospherics that impact my choice of subject. I force myself to get layered with clothing to shoot in cold weather. I shoot the same scene over and over again, until a time-lapse grid is formed: I watch how the color changes, or doesn’t, shooting mono-chromatically whenever possible. Or, even in harsh mid-day light, if something interesting is happening. I shoot out of my windows, from my studios, and my car. I sense light all day long. Usually, I get it “right” on the first try, ala William Eggleston, who only shoots a subject once, he says, in the documentary about him I recently viewed at LACMA. Occasionally, I go back, or am cameraless, and the scene falls into that lost file, forever.

This has been my method since 1971, with my first b+w scapes while living in NYC, taken from my bicycle. Yes, I have grabbed a few, actually quite a few, particularly while traveling, Paris, Italy, the US, etc. That’s how the “Road Pictures” evolved. So, no, Jim….I won’t be driving down to San Pedro with you to grab shots. But, maybe I’ll move there for awhile……..

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