Los Angeles / San Francisco (UNION Publishing , 2018)


Los Angeles / San Francisco
Yoshiyuki Okuyama

When shooting in an unfamiliar location, finding a place, person, or thing, and the right light can take time.

I wake early, take a shower and set off down an unknown road in just-risen morning sun. I walk constantly until sunset. I walk and walk, for 12 hours; almost never looking at a map. I like the feeling of the town soaking into me, almost etching itself into my brain as I walk through it.

Even just walking for one day, I occasionally walk the same road twice. At these times, my eyes gradually start to sharpen. This provides a chance; I become completely focussed. Trying to find the shot, I release the shutter. Again, then again.

In such unfamiliar locations, this is how I photograph. I don’t shoot within my everyday life. It requires an awareness and concentration levels that are hard to sustain.

It can be good to shoot anywhere, but not everywhere is good when shooting like this. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, the light is very clear. Even in the best of sunsets, the light sparkles and reflects of all manner of things. The sharpness never returns to my eyes.

When did I start searching?
Am I right? I sometimes wonder.

Shooting has become scary.

This is what makes it interesting.

This is the perfect state.