His method now is a combination of planning and serendipity. Most of all, it’s about a state of mind. “Taking photographs is like seeing in a dark room,” he says. “When you walk in, you don’t see anything, but when you’re there for a period of time, you can see clearly.” In 2010 he went with his son to take pictures in Utah. After working in sub-zero temperatures for two weeks, he still hadn’t taken the photo he’d been hoping for. On the way back to Los Angeles, he needed to pee, so he pulled over and got out. Then he heard his son calling him. “I hiked over the hill and there it was. And I was, like, ‘holy shit!’”
He shot a winter storm in the Black Rock Hills, an arresting image of both violence and stillness. There may not be a city there, but among his photographs of LA, it looks as if there might have been or yet could be. It’s a picture of both before and after, and of what endures.
Pictured: Dobrowner came across this winter storm in the Black Rock Hills in Utah in 2010. “I like to let nature do its thing,” he says. “I just try to position myself”