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Leaving Los Angeles
Leaving Los Angeles

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Collection: Workshop
Date: Aug 7, 2017
Date Uploaded: Nov 1, 2017

Viewed: 89
Comments: 12
Favorites: 0

The photos for this essay were all taken with an iPhone on one four-hour train ride from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. It has one introductory page of text that sets up the intent of the photos that follow. This is a personal passion project that I suspect will have little interest or value for anyone but me, but it was fun to put together and I'm really curious what reaction it will bring here.

I believe it's best viewed online via a web layout version I created using Adobe Spark.
Click this link to view the scrolling Spark version in a browser window.

There is also downloadable PDF version at this link, but it shows only one page at a time and I think the 2-page spreads in the print and web version are important to the presentation.

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11/12/2017 02:17:16 PM
An amazing essay. The Spark scrolling worked perfectly (on my laptop, not on the iPad) and the overlapping images often complemented each other. The processing seems perfect. The grainy monotone adds to the "darker tableau" of many of the images. I have seen all of this area many times yet I have never seen it like this. I find the essay mesmerizing. I don't know if I am charmed or repelled. I know I love looking at it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/09/2017 05:54:12 PM
Comment moved to private message...

Message edited by author 2017-11-09 17:55:58.
11/09/2017 04:26:46 PM
I've just had a wonderful time going through your essay William. I scold through the Spark presentation and it was great. The landscapes are very foreign to me but, of course, I know them so well. That horizontal thread is wonderful - I wonder if I lost some of the impact of that by scrolling vertically. You made such a great job of lining that horizon up perhaps viewing it horizontally would have made made it more of a continual line of a landscape. Nit-picking there. I loved the grainy, sepia, result. Thanks for making it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2017 03:40:27 AM
I love the feeling of this essay. I did the scrolling version and loved the way you put it together. The subject matter is everything I have come to know about America although I have never been there. I particularly like how you had the 'intermission' section where it was more landscapes than industrial scenes. Then being drawn back to the car/industrial themes. It strikes me as an abstract and impersonal interpretation but with a glaringly obvious social comment about this is how they live. An aspect of the way I think about America is the conundrum between the perception of what really is and 'the dream'. I don't know if that is a good way of expressing it but I feel that your essay points towards that conundrum. I really like this essay because it is an expression of the sum of its' parts. I can see you have put a lot of effort into this essay and it was well worth it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2017 12:07:34 AM
I am impressed with the layered presentation and its impact. I was happily confused with how the pictures reveal themselves as I was continuously scrolling down. A very entertaining essay. I found it striking to note how empty and apparently deserted are even the urban parts of the journey, even considering the subsiding impact of the b/w choice. Maybe the time (2pm) and place (southern california) resulting in unfavoring hot weather is to be blamed, or maybe America is indeed empty and deserted. A fulfilling experience. Thank you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2017 02:44:59 AM
Yes the Spark presentation, which is very 20th century cinematic, is perfect for this work.

The photographs are most interesting to me, as a foreigner, for this reason: they disclose almost no effort to make things look anything other than rudely utilitarian, no thought beyond now. The architecture is numbingly awful, the urban planning is motivated by nothing beyond convenience and cheapness, and the car (even when broken) is king.

Your photographs individually, and your essay as a coherent work, are just the opposite: thoroughly considered, and sympathetic without being mawkish. It's a sensitive and improbably beautiful documentary work. Thank you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2017 03:11:49 PM
As a not American citizen this is exactly was I'd expect when somebody told me abould pictures from a train ride across an ordinary American swath of land. Not too lovely and not very impressive. But honest. Thank you.
I also looked at the spark version
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2017 12:09:40 PM
In the words of Joni Mitchell:

"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot"

A great set of images Bill, I hated enjoying some of them. As others have said, your presentation is spot on.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/02/2017 11:25:03 PM
For me, itís a waste not to look out the window while riding a train. The experience is similar to watching a movie except the scene remains still as you, the seated passenger, effortlessly travel to your destination.

Like Mariuca and Don, Iím a fan of your essay. Itís Southern CA on August 7th, 2017 washed in afternoon sun. Your presentation (scrolling Spark version) of superimposed images mimics the experience of travel. What has past lingers while the new appears. I also appreciate your consistent image dimensions, toning, and texture. An engaging stream of photographs that nicely present your experience riding the Pacific Surfliner.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/02/2017 01:25:39 PM
I looked at the scrolling version, several times, and I'll certainly look again and send it to pretty much all my friends or people interested in Americana.

To say it's enjoyable is a misnomer. I simply loved it.
You created the expectation by citing the "onboard experience" promised, "the time to reconnect" _ (yes, it seems that to reconnect we have to depend on things provided by others)- or the "fun destinations".
The juxtaposition of images upon the larger background is the best way to express the vastness of this country based on cars and wires of all kinds.
Yet, it's not a mean look. On the contrary, you kept a good disposition even when the outside gave you the dismal certitude of decline, neglect and total indifference for anything even remotely aesthetic.
There are moments of "respiro", there are decorous palm trees, people walking outside their cars, a distraction park, crushing waves, a certain order that tells the viewer that things are not lost. No squalor. After all, that is sunny California.

An excelent essay.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/02/2017 02:20:12 AM
Oh WOW! What a fantastic piece of work.
Some individually epic pictures among them. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/01/2017 12:38:29 PM
I used the scrolling version. I loved it. This is so American, the American road (which can also be a train, apparently), the vast bleakness of endless imagination. I also found the background photos added a lot. There's something true about images-upon-images to the vision of a traveler.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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