18th Street Gang

18th Street_004

LA Taco posted a 18th Street Tagging Tour of Pico Union that reminded me of the 8 months I spent shooting the 18th Street Gang in Southern California in the late 1990's. More photos in one of my galleries.

Rudy at the Salton Sea


In 1983 or 1984 I was sent to the Salton Sea to photograph a California State Park Ranger who had what the newspaper called "the worst State Ranger job". The day I went it was 117 degrees and it had been that hot for a week.

As I was leaving early in the morning Rudy saw me and asked if he could go. Since he had just gotten home from prison a few weeks earlier I said yes. We stopped for coffee in Covina and he stole a suger despenser. Later in the trip he took off his pants and decided to make the rest of the trip in his state issued boxers. At the Cabazon mini market with the dinasaurs outside he stole a cap that read, "I have something money can't buy, POVERTY. He said he would have taken more but he was not wearing pants. At our last stop before getting to the Salton Sea he stole a case of warm beer out of a delivery truck at a Circle K.

When we got to the station the Ranger was in an airconditioned office in a nicely pressed uniform waiting for me. Rudy introduced himself as an undercover LAPD cop and handed the Ranger a crumpled business card to prove it. After I shot the Ranger at work, Rudy wanted to take a photo with the Ranger even though he would not let Rudy shoot his gun.

On the way back we stopped in Palm Springs to make a phone call. At the end of the call I looked for Rudy but did not see him until I saw a motel manager behind him screaming "Get out of here". Rudy had decided to go for a swim in his state issed boxers.

I have not seen Rudy in a long time but I heard he was in the hospital not doing well.

Toy Cameras

Photographer Genaro Molina wrote an item for Framework on latimes.com about using toy cameras.
The image above by Lorena Villegas was taken with a Diana in Los Angeles.

1983 - 2009

I have had the pleasure of working with the most talented group of photojournalists in the US for over 25 years.

Now it is time for me to move forward.

East Los Angeles Library Mosaic Mural

This photo of artist Jose Antonio's monumental mosaic mural "OUR LEGACY: Forever Presente..." is one of my favorita photos taken by former Los Angeles Times photographer Carlos Chavez. The mural is inside the foyer of the East Los Angeles Library.

Los Angeles Times Street Scenes

At 4:30 am the bakers at El Gallo Bakery in East Los Angeles start baking fresh bread. It has been nearly a year since the Los Angeles Times Street Scenes were shot.  Five Latino shooters, 4 photographers and one editor, shot 5 of the 14 neighborhoods.
I shot Avenida
Cesar Chavez in East Los Angeles
Carlos Chavez shot 
Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood 
Genaro Molina shot the
Boardwalk in Venice
Michael Robinson-Chavez shot
Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles

Karen Tapia shot the
Orange Plaza in Orange