We had the good fortune of connecting with Peter D. Adams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Peter, what are you inspired by?
The sky has always been one my biggest inspirations. We spend so much time walking around staring at our shoes and not taking note of the sky. The sky provides us subtle changes in light and color which can transform a scene from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, and season to season. Taking note of these changes can mean revisiting the same place for photography can reap new rewards. In much of my work, I have allowed a greater emphasis to the sky to reflect my inspiration. I also find the sky offers some kind of hopefulness, something we need in these trying times.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My photographic art, I would say, is a direct result of my academic and professional career in geographical sciences and GIS (Geographic Information Systems). For as long as I remember as a child, I was a geography nerd, and someone with a fascination for maps. This visual representation of the geographical world we live in is a direct link to where I am now as a landscape photographer. I studied Geography academically as well as simultaneously practicing photography and my first career position after graduation, indeed involved making maps based around interpreting aerial imagery of the land (like the satellite view in Google Maps). I am not sure if it is a center-brained thing where I am trying to balance the scientist and artist inside of me, or if it is just as simple as seeing things in a visual way, but an understanding of the physical geographical world and my visual leaning are clearly and intrinsically linked. Getting to where I am today with my landscape photography has not been an easy journey. Landscape photography is notoriously difficult to make a full career from, particularly in economically testing times. Most of all, being a bit of a perfectionist makes it easy to be over-critical of one’s own work. I think it important to always grow and improve your art, however it pays to sometimes to take some time to find elements of your work you really like. This taking time, for me, most often manifests after a recent shoot where I will look at the images and find myself not really in love with them. Giving a little time and coming back to them, something can change and I find work I suddenly really like. It may even be as simple as I did not see the right crop at the time. The best word of advice from this is to not abandon artwork, but give it time to see if it suddenly opens up itself to you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough call! Given a week, I would try to show a friend as much of LA and California I can, however keeping it to the LA area I would definitely take a friend hiking in the Santa Monica mountains. Somewhere like Temescal Canyon Waterfall trail in March when it is so green, or Sandstone Peak (the tallest mountain in the Santa Monica Mountains) where the views are amazing. Of course, no LA trip is complete without a beach visit, so we would go to Leo Carrillo State park or Paradise Cove. Another must see is the views from Griffith Park Observatory at sunset/dusk. As a big music fan, attending a show at The Bowl or The Greek should be on most people’s bucket list. For drinks it would be checking out some of the many amazing microbreweries in the LA area, perhaps in the Art’s District where they are located close together. Sharing a long table with strangers and getting talking to them is always good fun at the microbreweries. Picking somewhere to dine in LA is almost impossible. From street food to fine dining, there’s just so much to offer, What I think LA does best are the more “low-brow” options, like street tacos, food trucks, pop-ups, breakfast diners, etc. I live on the westside and tacos from the stand outside Venice Whole Foods never disappoints, breakfast at Rae’s Diner on Pico Blvd, a burger at Hinano’s Cafe in Venice; all solid options.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have so many individuals I would love to give a shoutout to, but given the trying year we have had, I would like to give recognition to a collective of photographers I am part of that have kept our creative juices flowing: This is a Photo Blog (https://www.instagram.com/thisisaphotoblog) which is overseen by a fellow photographer and friend Tamar Levine.