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 renegade feeling of the space where no one goes. The fish, the birds, and often my son all keep me company but anyway, I'm always alone there.
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. He did a lot more than that, but 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.