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California Impressions

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Golden Freeway - Photograph by Ken Schuster.
Golden Hollywood Freeway

Hollywood Freeway near Barham Blvd., Los Angeles, California. The setting sun projected silhouettes of vehicles, and their tinted glass, onto the wall.


Fuji GSW690 camera, 65mm Fujinon, Fuji 220 Provia film, drum scan.

Dawn at Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California.
Zabriskie Dawn

Daybreak, alone at Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California.

Rising sun and waning moon shared the sky. The beginning of dawn tinted tan sandstone a kaleidoscope of orange, yellow and red.

​I had heard that claustrophobia can be triggered by absolute silence, but in a wide open space like this? I was here to find out for myself. In the dim light, I carefully climbed down the escarpment. Trying to tread lightly, my footsteps sounded like a wrecking ball smashing brick and concrete. A few little stones tumbled and shattered the exquisite silence like dropping into an empty bucket. As my arms moved in my nylon jacket, “zup-zip-zup-zip” was amplified a hundred times. The racket ​I was making was so irritating that I decided to just freeze absolutely still, and wait for the silence.


Fifteen seconds passed, and then —  "Yes! Quiet.”


Seconds later a different noise hijacked my brain. My breathing sounded like a steam engine!


​I held my breath. A minute later, my breath burst from my mouth, and I gulped-in another, and held it. “CHOOsha, CHOOsha, CHOOsha, CHOOsha.” ​I released my breath and yelled, ”What the heck is THAT?" Again, I held my breath, not moving an eyelash. Was it an enormous factory over the horizon in the middle of the desert? I clamped my hands over my ears, and the sound got louder! How could that BE?” Finally, I realized that it was the blood vessels next to my eardrums pump-ing, pump-ing, pump-ing. CHOOsha, CHOOsha, CHOOsha became EV—ree—thing. ​​I could not escape it, and began to feel — claustrophobic.


​"​Enough!” I yelled at the sky, as I whipped around and began climbing back up the escarpment, slamming my boots hard against the ground, kicking rocks like footballs in every direction. I shouted, “C’mon noise!” Stones ricocheted, my jacket zupped and zipped like a washboard, and I exhaled through my teeth louder than a steam-engine. I cursed. I yelled. I sang out loud.


​Breathing hard, I ran to the safety of my car, and finally my own unstoppable noises returned to — unnoticeable.


If rocks could talk.

Nikon F camera, 24mm Nikkor lens, Kodachrome 25, drum scan.

Photograph by Ken Schuster of beach and ocean at Big Sur, CA.
Beach Runner

Near Big Sur, California. From the cliffs above the ocean, I was focused on the changing patterns of sea foam and beach tonalities. Suddenly this jogger ran through and gave the scene scale.

Hasselblad EL/M camera, 150mm Zeiss lens, Kodak TechnoPan 120 film, drum scan.

Hollywood freeway at the Cahuenga-Gower exit to Sunset Boulevard.
Hollywood Sunset

Hollywood Freeway at the Cahuenga/Gower exit to Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.


Concrete,  stucco, cars,

patches of Nature preserved.

Hollywood and Vine.

Fuji GSW690, 65mm Fujinon lens, Fuji 220 Provia film, drum scan.

Tilt-a-Whirl - Photograph by Ken Schuster.

Los Angeles County Fair, Pomona, California. These kids were on their third ride on this thing!

Nikon F camera, 24mm Nikkor lens, Kodak Ektachrome 64 film, drum scan.

Rapid Transit - Photograph by Ken Schuster.
Rapid Transit

Hollywood Freeway underpass bus stop. Like most things in Hollywood, paint covers reality.

Fuji GSW690 camera, 65mm Fujinon lens, Fuji 220 Provia film, drum scan.

Sunrise in the Redwoods, northern California, by photographer Ken Schuster.
Redwood Sunrise

It's hard to believe, but this is exactly the way it looked... except for the colt who lived near the entrance to this old-growth redwood grove. I wanted to remember the grove and the colt in one image.

In this part of coastal northern California, foggy mornings are almost guaranteed. 

Fuji GSW690 III camera, 65mm Fujinon lens, Fuji 220 Provia film, drum scan. I photographed the colt and gently placed him into position with Photoshop.

L.A. - Photograph by Ken Schuster.

Ventura Freeway over/under pass, Sherman Oaks, California.


Remember those children's books with cut-out images that unfolded in a 3-D effect as you opened the pages? That is "L.A."

Fuji GSW690 camera, 65mm Fujinon lens, Kodak Plus-X 220 black &white film, drum scan. Dimensional effects and coloring created with Photoshop.

SPF 80 - Photograph by Ken Schuster.
SPF 80

It was a blindingly bright day at Venice Beach in the late 1960s. These ladies were decades ahead of sun block.

Nikon F camera, 105mm Nikkor lens, Kodak Plus-X 35mm film.

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