LOS ANGELES LIGHT
George Kaplan, a friend writes from somewhere in the British Isles:
I was looking for somewhere to put this and well this piece seems not totally inappropriate because the extract at least begins with a quotation about L.A.’s winter light –
“Robert Towne, who wrote the L.A. classics Chinatown and Shampoo, once said the city’s winter light was as if “someone put the sun in the freezer overnight.”
There is an essay on L.A. light by Lawrence Wechsler that begins with him and his daughter watching the O. J. Simpson Bronco chase of 1994. The kid sees that Dad is moved. “Did you know that guy?” she asks, and Dad says, no, it’s the light that’s getting to him: “the late-afternoon light of Los Angeles – golden pink off the bay through the smog and onto the palm fronds.” Wechsler goes on to collect all kinds of light from different witnesses. David Hockney recalls the crisp shadows in Laurel and Hardy films that dad took him to see in overcast Yorkshire. Others say it’s the weather effect of the desert abutting the ocean. Astronomers find it’s perfect for their work. And the cinematographer John Bailey (he shot American Gigolo, a fine slice of L.A. light) testifies that a sophisticated light meter gives you readings you wouldn’t expect. Strangers to the city sometimes feel that everyone there looks beautiful.
Is the light in Los Angeles really unique and lovely, or uniquely lovely?…”
The Big Screen, David Thomson
The photographs of California that you’ve been sharing (and those you shot yourself) came to mind when I read this, I thought it might interest you. Also parts of it are lovely. Light in the movies is fascinating and so too sometimes in “real” life. I find myself wondering what the light looks like in your garden! Is it unique and lovely?
The twilight pink and the palm fronds are above, the garden below: