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PBS-TV lurks around dark corners with me

A PBS-TV crew went out with me recently as I prowled around dark dirty corners in search of some ugly beauty! Before the prowling, they interviewed me at the Instituto Cervantes — where my solo show continues until July 8 — about my inspirations and motivations.

The program, In the Loop, is a weekly public affairs show hosted by veteran journalists Barbara Pinto and Chris Bury. The segment was produced by Mario Tharpe.

The new image (Alley 142, above) was shot in the crumbling back end of a vacant industrial building. I was shooting in the usual sketchy areas, and at one point we heard 5 rapid gunshots from a couple blocks away. The police arrived to see what we were up to, asked us some questions, then thankfully let us continue with the shoot.

As in all my work in the Alleys & Ruins series, I try to hide the harsh grittiness under a layer of fantasy with the use of my lighting, and since this was a 20-minute exposure, I had lots of time to work. As always, the photograph was taken with my trusted 50 year old Hasselblad film camera.

I never get to do a “before” shot, since I always show up at night. But we showed up just before sunset and I took this photo in the daylight.

Jaime Pitillas took some great photos during the shoot:

Getting my gear ready. We showed up before nightfall so the TV crew could get their footage

Showing Mario Tharpe, the producer, my 50 year old Hasselblad film camera! Its been my faithful friend on these night shoots for 20 years!

Night is setting in… getting excited!!

Trying to stay organized amidst the rubble. And it was nice to have a big crowd with me — I usually have just one or two friends watch my back.

Looking at my polaroid test shot… next up, shoot film!

The Polaroid test photo


In other news...

My exhibit at Galerie Lichtblick in Cologne, Germany opens June 15. The exhibit, The Night, features four photographers’ perceptions of the night. The show runs until July 21.

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