Union Station III


This is another shot from Union Station taken while learning from Sam Abell and is another example of his compose and wait philosophy.

One of my fellow students showed Sam and the class a shot taken of my back, arms raised with camera to my face, holding still and waiting at this location.

In her shot there is a mother and child doing interesting (more…)

Union Station II



At the end of the workshop with Sam Abell each of us presented four sets of images that we had made during the class.

These sets included the first shot we took of a scene, and the best shot that we made of that scene.

This image, and the ones I have posted in the last (more…)

Union Station


One of the places we went as a class while studying with Sam Abell last weekend was the train station in Los Angeles.

It is a remarkable building with many beautiful details and on a quiet day I expect I would be in my element there, taking photos of a lot of architectural details.

But it wasn’t quiet and I really did not enjoy photographing in or near the station.

There were too many people, waves and waves of them breaking on the shores of the building and its platforms.

And I could not figure out how to resolve some clarity out of (more…)

Irregular Patterns



One of the things I struggled with during the course I took from Sam Abell is the concept of compose a scene and wait for it to be animated.

In Sam’s work the animation often, perhaps even usually, comes from humans. But I rarely feel comfortable shooting people in “the wild”.

I was interested in seeing how to apply this method to a subject in nature, in this case the play of light on water.

The Santa Monica pier straddles the break zone for the surf, and this offered a chance to animate a scene of dawn lit water using breaking waves.

I quickly learned something I should have noticed long ago. Waves breaking on the shore are not predictable.

When on a beach the waves break with a seemingly regular rhythm, sometimes larger, sometimes smaller.

But from above the break, the waves of different sizes are cresting at different locations and with a more broken rhythm than it seems from on shore.


Santa Monica Pier


Photographer Sam Abell teaches at the Los Angeles Center of Photography every year.

And every year he takes the class to the Santa Monica Pier for a few hours of putting into practice what he has been teaching.

This year we went a couple of days after a big storm and the surf was very much up.

I did take water pictures, and some will appear around here in the next week or two.


Resolving Chaos



On Monday I had a few hours to kill in the Los Angeles airport.

I was on my way home from an intense weekend workshop with acclaimed photographer Sam Abell

Sam’s photography seeks, in part, to resolve the chaos of every day life.

I took the time at the oh-so-chaotic LAX to put to work some of the lessons learned in his class.


Eccentric Roundhouse

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