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Firstly, tell us about who you are and what you do. Explain your practice in a nutshell.

I am a photographer and filmmaker from Los Angeles California. My photography explores human intervention in nature within landscapes that have undergone political, social, or environmental change. I also direct music videos and make live action content for an architecturally integrated LED company called Standard Vision.

What is your favourite place to photograph?

Currently – Vernon, CA. It is an industrial city bordering Los Angeles made up predominately of meatpacking and metalworking warehouses. Its a quiet destination for me to explore on the weekends and it has an entirely different palette than the rest of Los Angeles. The buildings have a pastel tone to them and look as if they are fake.

Your Los Angeles series are quite lonely, focusing on the effects of humans on the urban landscape, rather than the people themselves. Why did you choose to photograph your city in this way?

I would like to believe that I am constructing my own abstracted interpretation of Los Angeles through my photographs. There is a lot to dislike about the city I grew up in – the traffic, the clutter, the advertisements, and any other changes brought about by an ever-expanding population. By “cropping” out those realities, I can come to terms with living in and appreciating Los Angeles.

I’m also trying to replicate the feeling of emptiness present while driving through a city that is most often experienced from a car. Our obsession with driving in LA has alienated us from each other. For me personally, the architecture that constantly surrounds me while driving begins to take on human characteristics and my photos attempt to capture its personality.

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Which photographers influence you visually?

I would say that Lewis Baltz, William Eggleston, andJoel Sternfeld influence me on a more conceptual level. I love photographers that tell stories with a purpose. I draw most of my visual influence from modern abstract art and graphic design. I also love Edward Hopper paintings.

When and how did you become interested in photography?

I picked up my mother’s 35mm camera when I was 18 and began photographing the overlooked aspects of my favorite Los Angeles neighborhoods that I found beautiful. Looking back on my old photographs, I realize that I have been photographing the same exact things since the very beginning (i.e. walls, cars, desolate landscapes, geometric details).

Has studying film affected the way that you approach photography, and vice versa?

I used to watch movies and take screen grabs, marveling at the ability of each frame to stand alone as a singular work of art. What is most fascinating is that there is an ongoing dialogue between film and photography – the two are inseparable. While I find many compositional similarities between my favorite films and the photographs I take, I realize that all of my favorite films are visually driven and most likely inspired by photography to begin with.

What draws you most to the places you photograph?

I love places that tell stories but also keep secrets. Also places that give me room to breathe.

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Your work focuses on both manmade and natural architecture. Where is your favourite urban landscape? Where is your favourite natural landscape?

My favorite landscape at the moment has to be Los Angeles because I am so immersed in it and it is full of mystery and surprises.

My favorite natural landscape would easily be Death Valley. There is nothing like it.

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Do you feel it is important to be within a creative environment?

Yes, I surround myself with creative people constantly most often they do not work in the same field as myself. I love musicians.. music is something I always wished I could make but never understood entirely.

What tips would you give to a young creative?

I see so many young people give up on their dreams after they’ve been put down too many times. Don’t ever give up and don’t let people tell you that you weren’t made to do a certain thing. Just because you’re not a prodigy, doesn’t mean you can’t contribute something beautiful to the world. Criticism comes in different forms and its not always warranted but sometimes can help push you further in exploring your craft and maturing your work. Even when you think you’ve made it, you still haven’t made it – you will always be in a position to do better and learn more. Be humble… and make art that is relevant !

Lastly, where (location-wise) do you see your photography taking you in the future?

I want to travel across America or revisit my family’s home country Romania. I have no urge to visit “exotic” places. I honestly probably won’t leave Los Angeles or California until I’ve seen as much as there is to be seen. Sometimes you want to escape so badly but you are blinded by all the beauty that’s sitting in front of you.

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Photographs from the Los Angeles, On the Periphery, and Death Valley series.
See more of her work at www.sinzianavelicescu.com