It's lonely and scary at 4 AM on a Thursday morning when I can't sleep and head out to roam the streets. My fellow travelers are hard scrabble street people. Apparently the homeless do not sleep in. Concrete must not be as comfortable as it sounds. They seem to be heading somewhere, mostly out of skid row and towards civilization. My guess, they are looking for food or just something to do. Me, I'm looking for something interesting to photograph.
I'm looking for magic in the moonlight.
I quickly find a spooky scene a block from my apartment. On the corner of 9th and Main, there is a two story building with no signage. Looking out from the second story windows are mannequins peering down upon anyone who happens to be walking by. Lifeless forms who appear human, but do little to make me think they really are.
As I self consciously take out my new titanium tripod. Yes, even on an empty street It's a little uncomfortable setting up for a shot. Single male forms walk by, heads down, hands in pockets, dirty clothes. A young guy in a crazy looking baseball cap stops, feet away, either waiting for the light to change, or something else. It puts me a little on edge until he rides away.
For some reason, early mornings are a little more scary than evening shoots. Not sure why. As I'm taking the shots, from various angles, even getting bold enough to setup in the middle island on Main, where it splits off into Spring, I know I have something special.
The mannequins almost seem to want to have their picture taken. "Hey, just cause I'm not real does not mean I want to be ignored" I don't answer... because that would be weird.
A day later I head back to get some more. After processing what I had, which yielded an unusually high number of good usable images, I wanted to see if I can get a few more angles. Every shot I took intrigued me and produced something I found interesting.
Too late. Once again, if you find something interesting in LA, do not leave it.. Photograph the hell out of it, for tomorrow it will be gone. Whoever or whatever owns that space changed it up. The mannequins had been joined by stickers on the window of Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop. Ruined the whole vibe. I looked all the way around the building, there is no door or sign or any clear way into that building. Hey you don't think.... nah.