John Smith’s excellent silver gelatin prints show a gritty City of Angels at its best, shot during what he calls that “civil twilight,” the half-hour before the sun peeks over the horizon.
Lonely shots of Randy’s doughnut shop near Los Angeles International Airport or staples covering a telephone poll, like monarch butterflies clustered on a eucalyptus tree, show a texture not seen in daylight hours. A white dress in sharp focus in a well-lit shop window gives life to an otherwise empty street. The Toronto subway is not just an underground tunnel, but a solitary and epic journey.
Smith cites Ansel Adams as a big influence, and his black-and-white images of otherwise seedy liquor joints or highway overpasses converging in graceful solitude are made magical by slow exposure film that creates starbursts around street lamps.
Melonie Magruder - Glendale News Press