Blog | Architecture of Seeing

A blog about architecture photography, art,  and conceptual issues that I hope will help photographers reach beyond their technical skill set to become better artists, writers, and thinkers.

Sunlight on the Side of a House

©Lane Barden 2017

©Lane Barden 2017

Edward Hopper once said that the only thing he ever aspired to do as an artist was to paint sunlight on the side of a house.  I don't think he was talking about his career when he said that. Being alone in the sunlight with a camera, you know what he means. The light seems to speak, inviting you into it. The surfaces are all energized, passing the energy on to all around it, into the shadows, the breeze, the water, the air. No one is there to own it, to take it, to buy it, change it or sell it. You can paint it or photograph it without disturbing it, so you do.

The Los Angeles River has been getting a lot of press lately but most people still don't know it exists, or care if it does. They threaten to restore it almost monthly, but for now it remains pretty much as it is and as it has been since it was sheathed in concrete in the 40's, except now life is creeping back in. The water in it is not perfect, but cleaner than most urban rivers – clean enough to wade in, which is what I'm doing here with my camera and carbon fiber tripod.

The thought of wading in the L.A. River under the Fletcher Street Bridge in Silver Lake on a Saturday morning would never enter the minds of millions of people in the L.A. Basin, but it works for me – the silence, the cool breeze, the wild, renegade feeling of occupying a space where no one else goes. The fish, the birds, and often my son Gus, all keep me company but anyway, I'm always alone there.

© Lane Barden 2017

© Lane Barden 2017