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How One Photographer Finds Solace in the Dead of Night

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Lodgepole Campground, Sequoia National Forest

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Elysian Park #3

“When its dark, you can’t see whats ten feet in front of you,” Los Angeles photographer Amanda Friedman says, “things can feel a bit creepy.”

She knows the night as well as she does the day; she’s been wandering in the shadows since college in 1998, when she first set out on a misty evening in Rochester, New York with her cumbersome Rollei Twin Lens Reflex and some rolls of film.

Friedman never planned for Night Landscapes to become a series; it evolved over the years, and wherever she went, twilight seemed to follow. She finds her secret spots by a process she describes as “driving, and driving, and driving.” If she spots a flicker of preternatural light peering out from the fog, she stops her car.

As time went on, Friedman moved on to other cameras—a Mamiya RZ PRO II, a bulky 4×5, and even a Canon Mark III—but the heart of the nighttime series will always be the film photographs. It does get lonesome sometimes shooting after everyone else has retired to sleep, but Friedman finds solace in the silence.

When it comes to shooting at night, the fates are unpredictable. Friedman has made images that in the moment didn’t seem so special to her, but then she’s come back home and developed her film to find something magical in what she might otherwise have overlooked.

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Palms, Dockweiler State Beach

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Tree, Marina Del Rey, CA

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Bus, Westchester, CA

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Lifeguard Station, Santa Monica

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Collision, Marina Del Rey, CA

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Rochester #4

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Eagle Rock #1

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Westwood, CA

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Christmas Lights

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Santa Monica #6

All images © Amanda Friedman

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