Groovy 70’s vibe

70's style living room


Here are a few images from a project I recently shot that was the most complete 70’s decor I’ve ever seen – even in the 70’s! So put on your bell bottoms and ultra wide color multi-colored shirt and enjoy!

check out the accessories!

check out the accessories!

The blue astroturf- orange accent color - plastic furniture!

The blue astroturf- orange accent color – plastic furniture!


Great geometry in this front courtyard

Architect George Deutsch was a master craftsman and cabinet maker who worked with John Lautner.

Architect George Deutsch was a master craftsman and cabinet maker who worked with John Lautner.

There are so many architectural gems in Los Angeles and I’m grateful I get to show them off!

Carothers Photo Featured in Wall Street Journal


view into living room from patio

view into living room from patio

I’m excited to report my images of  one of the great mid-century architectural masterpieces, John Lautner’s Silvertop, have been featured in the Wall Street Journal.  Photographing the project was a wonderful experience, even if it involved this

style carpet: sometimes necessary for the shot

style carpet: sometimes necessary for the shot

Yep, that vintage pile carpet shows footprints and vacuum cleaner tracks like nobody’s business.  So they must go or else the shot looks ugly.  So, in addition to being a photographer, I’m a stylist, furniture mover, housekeeper, gardener, pool man, retoucher…doing whatever it takes to get the image looking its best.

I was very fortunate to have Crosby Doe as a client for this project.  He has a great eye and is very supportive of the craft of architectural photography.  Also, the current home owners were terrific, giving me all the access and time I needed to do my best work. Here’s a link to the WSJ article which has a gallery of images from the project:

Wall Street Journal  

New furniture client – DAR

DAR furniture ad

DAR furniture ad

Delighted to be working with DAR, a new furniture company specializing in high style yet affordable furniture.  We shot on location in a home, working to create aspirational images that demonstrated how the products look in an environment.  The owner of the company came to me after first trying computer generated renderings for the products and then trying photography at a studio in China where the products are produced.  But he has a specific vision for the products he designs and wasn’t satisfied with the results from those paths.  We worked closely to style and light the photos (he actually spent all day with us on site) and the photo above is one of the creations from that collaboration.  We are looking forward to continuing to work together as DAR establishes and expands its presence in the bargain furniture segment.

Roses and Brussels sprouts and…

If it’s around New Year’s in these parts it means there are thousands of volunteers attaching all manner of growing things to Rose Parade floats. On December 29, I was privileged to get a behind the scenes tour of some of them being decorated.  Of course roses and other flowers were being used, but I never knew floats were decorated with blueberries, cranberries, coffee, limes and even Brussels sprouts.

Students decorate the award winning Cal Poly float

Students work on the self-built Cal Poly float


Here is a view of the award winning Cal Poly float. The amazing thing is that Cal Poly has two campuses: Pomona and San Louis Obispo. Students from both campuses dsign the float and each campus builds half. The parts are combined only when they are shipped to Pasadena. As has often been the case, this float won the Crown City award for best use of imagination and innovation. But, in a case of too much innovation, the parade organizers asked that the students no longer equip the float with water pistols or marshmallow launchers to surprise fellow students along the route the day of the parade.

Here are a couple of close up shots of students working on parts of the float. The painted parts will eventually be covered with flowers, flower parts or other natural materials

detail of child's face from Cal Poly Rose Parade float

detail of cat from Cal Poly Rose Parade float

More than 16000 people volunteered to decorate the 48 floats that processed down Colorado Blvd. at a leisurely, but precise, 2.5 miles per hour. Starting just after Christmas they work feverishly to put over 18million flowers on the floats. Many are in individual vials seen here:

vials used to keep individual flowers fresh on Rose Parade floats


And here’s how all those vials were filled with water before flowers were inserted (btw,for my Twitter peeps, this is the photo I was taking when @prophets took my picture):

vial filling station

And if you are going to have lots of flowers around, you’ll need a bunch of these before you stick them in the vials:

buckets used to hold fresh flowers for Rose Parade floats

Here are some more photos that show how amazingly detailed the floats actually are. You just can’t get a good sense of this on TV:


volunteers glue individual seeds

volunteers cut individual leaves for float decoration

a man applies ground coffee to the Trader Joe's Rose Parade float


Here’s a close up of the teacup on the left above (yes, those are blueberries!):

detail of decoration on Trader Joe's float


A couple more details showing the variety of materials used:

carnations and kumquats waiting to decorate a Rose Parade float


limes and flowers are used to decorate a Rose Parade float


If you ever get the opportunity, watching the parade live is a great experience and going to see the floats on display later in the day or the next day is definitely worth the $10 entry fee (I suggest going the following day to try to avoid some of the crowds and hopefully there hasn’t been heat to wilt everything).

This is just a small glimpse of the huge undertaking involved in producing the floats you see on TV New Year’s day. For next year’s parade I’m going to go volunteer to decorate. And I’ll be sure to show photos!









Endeavor Again


As you know, I drove over to JPL to see the shuttle fly over a couple of weeks ago and posted about it here .  Then a friend called and asked if I wanted to go down to Crenshaw to see the shuttle as it moved from LAX to its new home at Exposition Park.  I thought it would be a neat piece of history for my girls to see and it was a chance to ride in my friend’s new Prius so why not?

Well, there was a lot of traffic and not a small amount of complaining from my 10 year old as we made our way to South Central, all the while keeping track of the Shuttle’s progress (or lack thereof) on the radio.  We thought we’d catch it when it stopped at the Baldwin Hills mall, but it was so far behind schedule we kept going south on little side streets, in lots of traffic (to the recurring refrain of “How much longer?!”).  Finally we were a couple of blocks west of Crenshaw when we saw someone standing in the middle of a cross street with a camera. We looked left and there it was!  After hurriedly parking the car we headed towards Crenshaw, ducking up a little street to move north of the convoy in order to find a spot to see it.  Here was our first glimpse on the ground:

Surreal, no?  So we hurried up the block and over 1 short block to Crenshaw, making our way around the cars parked right in the middle of the road. We got to the corner as the shuttle was coming into view:



Whoa!  That thing is ENORMOUS!  Hearing about its size and all the trees they had to remove just doesn’t capture how big it is up close.


As you can see, lots of folks turned out for the show.  Everyone was having fun watching and taking pictures.  Someone was pushing a cart with sausages and grilled onions so it smelled great too.  Felt like a party.  There was even an astronaut in training:

We had a great time.  Even my 10 year old was glad we came.  Now we’ll have to get down to the museum to see the actual exhibit.  Although I can’t imagine it any more impressive than this.















Changing Sky

Driving through Westwood on my way to Century City for a shoot this past week I was bummed about the clouds.  It looked like there wasn’t going to be the great sunset dusk views my client wanted out the windows of the 21st floor condo. Then I saw this in the sky and had to stick my camera out the window to capture it-


Quick, somebody call Mulder and Scully or Dr. Who! This has the look of impending alien invasion!  Really, the sky looked like that.  This is not me getting artsy with Photoshop.

So, it looked wild, but it was still a very gray sky and I’m thinking about how much work dropping a new sky into the view out the window will be.  Then, the clouds lift enough and break enough so I get this-



Now That’s what I’m looking for!  I love it when God does the work and all I have to do is be there with the (in this case) foreground scene set to frame it.

Needless to say, my client was as pleased as I was.  I’m still amazed at the difference 3 hours made.

Moon light

Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time… with your camera on a tripod and a long lens (at least if you’re a photographer).

I was shooting some property up in Ojai yesterday and wanted a view of the “pink moment” (an Ojai phenomenon at sunset when the last bit of sun turns the face of Topa Topa pink).  So I found a good vantage point, set up my camera, and waited for the moment to arrive.  It did and I shot it. As I was finishing, I noticed a glow behind the peaks just east of Topa Topa.  “Is it?…YES!!”  The full moon was just rising.

Pivot the tripod head, re-compose and wait for the moon to move to just the right spot.  Bracket your exposures to make sure you’ve got plenty of data (quickly because that moon moves fast as it rises). Be grateful you get to witness such beauty as part of your job.

When I downloaded the files I found I had just the exposure I wanted, so no compositing was necessary to get the detail of the moon and the last dregs of color on the peaks below.  My client probably won’t use it, but I loved capturing the light and color of the moment. This was my favorite shot of the day.


Space Shuttle Endeavor

No thoughts about the value of the space program, NASA’s budget or the meaning of man’s quest for knowledge and adventure.  Just a few photos I got as the shuttle flew over the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near my home.  It. was. cool.








Kitchen light 2

lemon banana


Again, I love the light in my kitchen.  Early morning hard light cuts across the counter, turning the fruit bowl into yellow geometry.

Kitchen Light

breakfast remains 8:15am

I love the light in my house.  I’m fortunate to live above the street a bit so no neighbors block the early morning and late afternoon light.  Often I’ll look up, or down, and think “ooh, I’ve got to get a shot of that light”.  I love how this light transforms something as ordinary as my daughter’s breakfast remnants into a study in texture and color.