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California Impressions
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Golden Freeway

Hollywood Freeway near Barham Blvd., Los Angeles, California. The sun projected silhouettes of vehicles, and their tinted glass, onto the wall.

Fuji 220 Provia film; Fuji GSW690; 65mm Fujinon; drum scan. Minimal digital enhancement such as graffiti removal, etc.

Zabriskie Dawn

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California.

The rising moon and setting sun shared the sky. Colors and shadows changed continuously.

I heard about the claustrophobia that can accompany absolute silence even in wide open spaces like this, and wanted to experience it but couldn't escape my own noise. First it was my footsteps crunching and clacking on loose rocks and the zup-zip-zup-zip noise of my arm brushing against my jacket as I walked. Every sound was amplified a hundred times.

I stopped immediately. What a relief from all that noise! I stood perfectly still, listening for the silence to begin... but not yet. A new noise took over... my breathing! Even shallow breathing sounded like a steam engine. I tried breathing through my mouth. That didn't help so I held my breath. Okay... finally... quiet... ... Oh no, NOW what?!! Choosha-choosha-choosha-choosha!!

I'm standing absolutely still, holding my breath. What the heck is that noise? Maybe it's some gigantic machine in a factory miles away in the middle of the desert. I clamped my hands tightly over my ears, but that made it even louder! How could that be? Oh no!...

It was the sound of my blood pumping! Now that I knew what it was, thinking about it made it louder still, drowning-out every other thought. I couldn't escape it... that constant CHOOsha-CHOOsha-CHOOsha. Was that what caused the claustrophobia people told me about, and not the silence?

I realized that the only way to stay relatively sane was to drown out the internal noise with external noise. I began to walk back along the trail dragging my shoes heavily against the loose stones, swinging my arms hard against my jacket and talking loudly to no one, until the unstoppable became... unnoticeable.

What a sight and sound I must have been. If rocks could talk.

Kodachrome 25; Nikon F; 24mm Nikkor; drum scan. No digital modification of the original image.


Beach Runner

Near Big Sur, California. From the cliffs above the ocean, I was focused on the changing patterns of sea foam and beach tonalities. Suddenly, this jogger ran through and gave the composition scale.

Kodak Technopan 120 film; Hasselblad EL/M camera; 150mm Zeiss; drum scan. No digital modification of the original image.

Sunset Exit

Hollywood Freeway at the Cahuenga/Gower exit to Sunset Boulevard. L.A. is concrete,  stucco and cars. Nature is preserved in patches of history.

Fuji 220 Provia film; Fuji GSW690; 65mm Fujinon; drum scan. Minimal digital enhancement, such as graffiti removal.


Los Angeles County Fair, California. These kids were on their third ride on this thing!

Kodak Ektachrome 64 film; Nikon F1; 24mm Nikkor lens; drum scan. No digital modification of the original image.

Rapid Transit

Hollywood Freeway underpass bus stop. Like most things in Hollywood, paint covers reality.

Fuji Provia 220 film; Fuji GSW690; 65mm Fujinon; drum scan. No digital modification of the original image.

Redwood Sunrise

It's hard to believe, but this is exactly the way it looked... except for the colt who lived near this old-growth redwood grove. I wanted to remember the grove and the colt in one image.

Fujicolor 220 negative film; Fuji GSW690; 65mm Fujinon; drum scan. The colt was gently placed into position with Photoshop.

L. A.

Ventura Freeway over/under pass, Sherman Oaks, California. Remember those children's books with cut-out images that unfold in 3-D effect as you open the pages? That is "L.A."

Kodak Plus-X 220 black &white film; Fuji GSW690; 65mm Fujinon; drum scan. Dimensional effects and coloring created with Photoshop.

SPF 80

It was a blindingly bright day at Venice Beach in the late 1960s. These ladies were decades ahead of sun block.

Kodak Plus-X 35mm film; Nikon F; 105mm Nikkor.


All images on this site are © Copyright Schuster 2018 and may not be copied nor reproduced without written permission from Ken Schuster.

Images are available as museum grade prints for private exhibition and can be licensed for reproduction and commercial use. Please contact Ken Schuster.