Sometimes a change of scenery can be the perfect push to increase creativity. So, instead of heading to the beach, I got on a long sleek train and headed up to Los Angeles. I’ve only ridden a train a few times in my life, but I wanted to explore whether or not the train would be a better option than driving myself through typical weekday LA traffic.
The Surfliner takes a coastal route as it leaves my place, offering spectacular views of the ocean. A young woman sitting across from me on her way to Disneyland informed me that the views end when you can no longer see the ocean. But I kept my eyes peeled for interesting images–and was rewarded by a rich palette of visual textures.
It’s interesting to see what occupies the places near the train tracks. Where the tracks are near the ocean, there are restaurants and homes…and lots of apartments. As we moved more inland, the spaces near the tracks were filled with building goods stacked high. The rough rusted back of this sign made me wonder what it said from the other side and the stacks of yellow-tipped smooth black pipes caught my eye.
After some very slow going because of a freight train with a lopsided load, as we came around a corner, the LA skyline came into view. Short and tall, old and new, metal and painted, my eye was drawn to the arrangements that make up downtown.
As we pulled into Union Station, I caught a glimpse of the sun peeking out from behind the nearby building. The milky clouds, the bright sun, and the dirty train window all create an interesting textural composition.
As we changed course and headed toward Burbank, I noticed all the lines of the electrical towers. Vertical, horizontal, and crisscrossing lines create floating tic-tac-toe boards against the blue and white sky.
And the LA aquaduct came into view. These mostly empty cement riverbeds run through the city bisected with bridges of different types and purposes. In some places you might notice the tags of graffiti artists along the cement sides and ducks floating in the shallow pools.
These iconic palms lined up in rows against the pinks and tangerines of the buildings signaled our approach to the suburbs. And the blue skies became more mottled white as the weather shifted from summer in February to impending rain.
As I waited for the train to take me back home later that evening, shiny wetness reflected the lights of the station. And in the distance you can see my train making its approach.
So take a look around for some visual texture this week. Will you find it in your ordinary outings or will you need to venture out into parts unknown?
You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #texture for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Keep your eyes peeled for texture this week…it may be created with color, with line, because of the clouds or even a dirty window. I look forward to seeing how texture fills your life…and your lens!