© Fred Skupenski



Photography Spotlight

Along the Tracks

Artist Statement


Over the years along a stretch of vacant railroad track, (now a metro bus route) in North Hollywood, California, I began photographing discards. My attention was given to selecting scraps that would project human qualities and traits in an abstract form. Playing with light, and sculptured shapes, adding throwaways here and there, I have tried to give some personality to relatively mundane objects.

These concepts were framed through my 4-inch by 5-inch view camera. All images created on 4×5 sheet film.

It started as a self-assignment — a visual push-up exercise. I picked up a few objects off a set of vacant railroad track and began doing basic black and white discard photography. However, when I stumbled on the fact that my imagination could take the objects into the human world in abstract form, I realized I could create an image that stated something about the human condition, best love, religion, sports, family and kids. So, that’s the direction I went.

I’m a minimalist, so, whether it be a commercial or a fine art image — my goal is the simplest image with the fewest elements to create the maximum effect.

I choose to work in black and white because the resulting sensori-emotional values produced in a B&W image are more in my control. By being well-grounded in the “rules” for lighting, processing (film) and printing — I can break the rules.

— Fred Skupenski

All images use with permission ©Fred Skupenski

Photographer Fred Skupenski lives in Los Angeles, California, and studied at the Brooks Institute of Photography.