Monday, 7 December 2009

Book - Empty LA - the Scary Urban


One of the main characteristics of the urban environment is the buzz. It is always busy and full of activity rendering any of your own actions anonymous. This is at the same time part of the attraction as a well as the disguise people feel towards the city. There i no escape from the urbanMachine. And right because this atmosphere is so familiar alterations to it usually create quite an impression. We have seen in it movies such as ‘28 days later’ or ‘I am legend’ where the urban area is emptied and single individuals stumble around in search for contact and survival. This works so beautifully because such a situation seems impossible without a major change as our experience tells us that because of the density of activity and the complexity of interrelated cycles it is impossible to hit a moment of silence and calmness in the buzzing city.
These moments are exactly what the photographer Matt Logue managed to capture. Los Angeles as it sleeps, Los Angeles as it is evacuated, Los Angeles at rest, Los Angeles at peace. The astonishing thing is that he managed to capture empty scenes not in close ups and parts, but in long distant shots and overviews. The scary bit are not the missing people, but the indication that activity could happen that doesn’t, like the traffic light that is still on, waiting for a car to come, or the empty swing on the playground, waiting for children to use it.
Matt has worked on this project he calls ‘empty L.A.’ for four years and has no published the result in a book with the same name. A tip for those who are interested, keep clicking on the main image on the book website and it will reveal loads of shots, even though some of them repeat. You can buy it and also get a good preview of the book on Blurb HERE.

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Image by Matt Longue

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Image by Matt Longue

1 comment:

Matt D said...

Geoffery James, a Canadian photographer from Wales has a book 'Paris" where he did a similar thing to the LA photos. Photographing in the early morning, he was able to capture Paris without people. The B&W photos are beautiful and haunting in the emptiness. The book can be found at:
http://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZC002&i=&i2=&CFID=6221071&CFTOKEN=82727595