At the end of the day

On the same day as the Hamburglar, Anna Maria and I continued on with the dogs to the skate park and shot some pictures until sunset.  There’s always a mixed bag of talents at the park… from beginners to people that can tear up the pool like they were born to do it.  The guy in the picture was absolutely the latter.  I waited to find a shot that was more dynamic than “this skater did a trick” and eventually I figured out what I wanted.  I moved over toward the deep pool and knelt down by the barrier.  The sun began to sink in the sky and as it did this guy moved over to the big pool to get a couple more runs in before the sun went all the way down.   

On his first run he slid around the edge right where I was waiting.  When he came all the way around so he was backlit by the sun I hit the trigger.  I knew I had something with that hair and that hand but when I saw the neg I was pretty damn happy.

Shot on the same Mamiya 6MF with the 50mm on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed to 800.

In transit

Sunday’s are days for shooting and riding the metro with Elliot.  Most of my Union series has been taken with Elliot and a camera bag in tow and since we often take many of the same routes, I get to remake a lot of the same pictures over and over.  There’s a bit of comfort in trying to perfect something—revisiting it and tweaking it till it feels right.  This particular shot though, as much as I love it, is no longer one of those images.  I am officially done with the Pershing Square station entrance and exit.  I’ve made and remade it so many times there’s nothing that can be made better.  So this is it.  The last one.  I swear to god.

Which is something I can say about many of the images that I’ve made in the past.  I need to move on to new subjects and ideas and failures and successes.  Part of the reason for redoing the site and adding this blog is to satisfy that need.  It’s time to try and fail at new locations, subjects and techniques.  If the work suffers ok as long as it doesn’t feel routine—as long as I can continue to push things forward.

I am in transit.  Shot on a Mamiya 6MF at 50mm on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed a stop.

The Hamburglar

I made this image a few weeks back on the Venice beach boardwalk.  Anna Maria and I were walking with the dogs, so I had a leash in one hand and my Mamiya 6MF in the other.  The end game was to make it to the skate park, shoot until sunset and then walk back to the car in Santa Monica at magic hour.  There’s always pictures in Venice, but so often to me they feel forced and obvious.  People getting high and heading to the drum circle.  Tourists taking in the freak show, which I realized is actually gone now (so no more pictures of the bearded lady and the completely tattooed freaky clown guy).  Just as I moping a bit because there was nothing on the boardwalk that felt good, the hamburger guy stepped right in front of me with his sign, like a lightning bolt from the heavens.  I stopped dead in my tracks, put the camera to my face and click.  

But nothing happened.  At some point a few months back the Mamiya started becoming all kind of persnickity about the frame advance, and more often than not I don’t advance the whole way.  Full disclosure, I think it happened when I dropped it getting out of the car.  So down comes the camera, and as I go to advance with camera in both hands, Avril (our half rabbit hal sheep half dog thing) sees a skater and jerks on the leash.  Well I almost drop the camera but as it’s flying out of my hands my thumb manages to catch AND cock the frame advance the rest of the way while I somehow manage to wrap my other fingers around the grip and hold tight. 

Again the camera goes to my eye and this image was the result.  Everything happened in 5 seconds maybe, but it felt like an eternity and the Hamburglar almost got away.  Shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed a stop on a (slightly damaged) Mamiya 6MF at 50mm.  


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