Get Featured: Clifford Cooper


by Bellamy /

2 min read
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Get featured: Clifford Cooper
Clifford shares with us work shot in LA, The City of Angels. He tries to capture the reality behind the veneer of success in the city that inspires so many dreams. Check it out.

The name Los Angeles is Spanish for “The Angels”. While people come to Los Angeles with hopes and dreams of becoming famous and loved, many leave or become lost in the city’s depths of solitude and exclusion. This City of Lost Angels is unlike New York City or any other major city in many different ways. People generally seem happy and perfect on the outside but a peek further into the city there seems to be a sense of loneliness and exhaustion amongst the regular people of this star filled city.

LA has always intrigued me as a guest when I have visited, which was why I moved here. The sunshine, blue skies and lack of rain one would think there isn’t anything that anyone here would loath, or be exhausted. But my peak into Los Angeles shows a story not just of dreams, blue skies and sunshine but also hopelessness, confusion, exhaustion and loneliness. A city where people with dreams come to and where many become lost angels in a city that “invites” dreams and aspirations.

Cameras involved where many different ones. From a ricoh GR to a nikon d750 to a canonet QL17 and leica m4-2, I really don’t care what I bring with me but I will say I do miss the enjoyment of shooting on a manual rangefinder.

I’ve always been a fan of the product you put out on JCH and I hope this series can possibly make it. If not i’d love a critique if possible as This is a super edited version(20 of 60 images) of what this will be as I plan on printing this as a zine in the next coming weeks.

Thank you and have a splendid week!

Clifford Cooper


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2 comments on “Get Featured: Clifford Cooper”

    Dan Castelli March 18, 2017 at 11:23 am / Reply

    Dear Clifford,
    The opening photo of the wall mural is stunning. Here in the northeast, art like this would simply disappear in the harsh New England winter. You’ve got a good eye.

    You asked for feedback on your work, so I would like to comment on the series of photos. I agree, editing the images is difficult, if not downright scary. It’s like asking to pick your favorite child.

    You’ve also picked a difficult theme to capture. How do you photograph emotion, how do you show the viewer a person who has lost hope or is confused? It’s easy to fall back upon clichés, and in a way, you need to shoot those…just to get them out of your system. I remember reading about a photojournalist who was tasked to show the isolation of a deaf child around their peers. He solved the problem by simply having the student staring through a glass door at her school. She could see her classmates, but the door isolated her from the classroom activities. Simple but effective, and she wasn’t portrayed as a cliché.

    A big city is hard to stuff into a roll of film or a SD card. I’d suggest working on a small scale: a neighborhood, or a destination. Get to know the area…let the locals recognize you…
    Right now in the US, there are daily stories about people being rounded up & deported because of their illegal status. This might be an area to explore…you could work with local agencies or churches working to provide assistance for people: children born in the US of parents who are here without legal status. This group would cover all the points you’ve stated in your article. You don’t need to take a pro/con approach. Just show people what happens when these policies are enforced; the human toll; a face to the policy.

    Have you considered working into your project a writing component? you could create a simple questionnaire touching upon the elements you’ve stated, and allow your subject to reply or script a brief narrative about themselves. Combine the two.
    Just a couple of ideas…talk to other people, look at other photographer’s work.

    BTW, I’m a retired photography/graphic design teacher with over 35 years of experience, so this will come off as me slipping back into educator role…

    Best of luck, continue shooting and I hope to see a future post on your project.

    Dan Castelli March 18, 2017 at 11:27 am / Reply

    I was also going to say you’ll find your own voice, you’ve got good photos, and you know what you want to portray. You’ve got the important stuff in place.

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