Work In Progress: Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 8-19-12

   I arrived from San Diego early to begin shooting before dawn, and paid $3.99 cent per gallon to fill up the tank. It was a Metro gas station and the attendant was behind 5 inches of polycarbonate bullet proof plastic with his head down, reading. He never moved until I asked for a receipt.

   There was a slight separation in the dawn sky against the building edge as I set up my first shot two blocks from the gas station near a corner of Cesar Chavez Avenue (old Sunset Boulevard). The corner building had a small ledge built into it that held unlit votive candles which stood in front of a large ceramic Byzantine icon of Jesus Christ.


Alma Avenue & Cesar Chavez Avenue, (Old Sunset) Los Angeles, California

   My next shot was to reshoot a part of a very early 101 freeway sign which still had small ceramic reflectors outlining the number of the freeway’s designated name. The ground around the base of the sign was uneven and covered with discarded clothing and debris. It was difficult to level the ladder to the vantage point needed to make the shot.

Route 101 Reflector Signage, Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles, California

   The day wasn’t an hour old and you could already feel the early-morning August heat starting to build by stepping from direct sun to shade. Early light along Sunset is distributed sporadically by surrounding buildings and the serpentine shape of the street. The earliest morning light on Sunset drops in on the Silver Lake area and then retreats south toward Echo Park. The last of the first light along Sunset falls on Hollywood, again a mix of large and small skyscrapers, temples, radio towers, and fast food signage that obscures most of the light.

   As expected, much of the graphic signage along Sunset had changed since my last shoot on July 24th. The changes were less interesting and the vanity boards (large scale building graphics to satisfy the egos of Hollywood stars) were more about television sitcoms than new large-production movies.

   I was bothered by the senseless abuse of a pit bull when his owner tried to distract the dog from barking at a chihuahua, by repeatedly twisting the dog’s ear, which elicited a painful whimper from the pit. The character of the owner with graying hair and a stumped posture, was brutish and he seemed annoyed by the dog’s refusal to obey. The chihuahua owner picked up his toy dog and held him in his left arm, shielding him from the pit and the annoyed owner.

See Sunset Boulevard Gallery

                                All Content ©Copyrighted 2012 Craig Carlson All Right Reserved

Work In Progress: Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 7-22-12

   It was still early morning. The light haze toward the eastern horizon made the rising sun a perfect yellow tennis ball with fresh fuzz still on it. I felt it was going to be a great morning for photography and for this photographer. Traffic on Sunset was light; so was my spirit.

   The man was wearing one of those flat, wide-brimmed cowboy hats with a Spanish Crown (made with stitched leather). The arch of his hat caused by his posture hid his face from my view. He was in the street pushing a baby stroller with swivel-wheels; the front left wheel was broken and swerved the buggy into the curb. Forward progress was made by using the street’s asphalt edge against the concrete curb edge to keep the broken swivel wheel straight. Crawling silently northward, he passed me without notice.

   Near the Metrolink building, mostly empty buses were making their morning runs with passengers seating themselves as factory workers parked their early model compact sedans into scarce, wedge-like parking spaces.

Diptych, Metrolink Area, Along Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California

   There are few birds in downtown L.A. and fewer trees for them. I wonder if trees have a purpose without birds. Even the raven has not been seen lately. He loves fast food, especially french fries which can be carried away with his strong beak.

   This would be one of those mornings where some decisions in the viewfinder would make me revisit a subject. It would also be the type of morning when I looked at something but decided not to use the camera to see it; indecision is a great excuse to work the camera again, and to see a better picture at another time.

Diptych, Two Trees Near The School For Visual And Performing Arts, Along Sunset Boulevard, Los Angles, California

See Sunset Boulevard Gallery

                                All Content ©Copyrighted 2012 Craig Carlson All Right Reserved