I have returned to Echo Park to again photograph the Lotus this summer. I'm using film along with digital capture, both in color and in B&W. Click here to view images from 2002, both in color and in B&W. I will also be using medium format. Look for the images that show the blossoms fully open in a few weeks.
Along with the Lotus images, I'm photographing the declining water quality so apparent in the lake. Calling it Environment At Risk, which it is.
There's so much life at the lake. I'm including images of the Lady of the Lake, the people, the waterfowl and whatever else I find that makes Echo Park what it is. This is an ongoing project, a body of work that is my tribute to the Lake, which I love and hope to honor in this way.
I first photographed the lake in 1968, while in graduate school at The Otis Art Institute. This photo is the only image I still have from that year. Otis used to be nearby, on Wilshire Boulevard and Carondolet. I was a Painting major, and photography was not taught at that time, only the so-called 'fine arts'.
That summer, I used a Mamiya-Sekor 528TL single lens reflex, my 'first ever' camera. I fell in love with the incredible sound and the feel of the leaf shutter. I just bought two on Ebay, and I can hear the shutter! My hearing is very bad today. How wonderful to hear that sound again. Along with all my other camera gear, I plan to use this camera again, mostly nostalgia, certainly.
Also, that summer, I discovered portraiture. I lived in the guest house behind sculptor, Stephan Von Heune's home on Sutherland Street, in Echo Park. It was on the porch of the guest house, that I first photographed friends strongly backlit with sunlight.
I lived in the Bay Area for many years, South Africa for one year, and New Mexico for ten years. Now, back in L.A. for several years, I'm getting to know it again. There are places I remember...Echo Park is one. There's a there there, always. It's European, people are drawn to it, something rare in L.A. or anywhere, today.
Today, I am at home at the lake. I have a connection to it. The neighborhoods that surround it remind me of my childhood nearby.