Osceola Refetoff, a Los Angeles-based location scout, talks about his “High and Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain” series currently on display at Gallery 825.
Osceola: Vast expanses of California desert remain largely defiant to human trespass. While awed by the natural splendor of this rugged, inhospitable terrain, I am particularly drawn to forsaken remnants of human habitation that lie strewn about like so many forgotten dreams. I do not composite or substantially alter the images, showing only the visual elements that were present at the moment of capture.
I used a flash to balance the bright exterior light. Depending on the circumstances I usually bounce off a back wall if practical, off camera if I’m carrying the necessary equipment, and sometimes just bang some fill in from camera quick and dirty. I have never been able to make a fine art photo while scouting. The two disciplines require opposite energies. When scouting, I’m always rushing too much to set up a decent landscape and wait for the light to be right. I do take note of new areas I discover scouting and return to them on my own time.
While most focus on the beauty/decay of the structures themselves, my work seeks to capture the hope, faith, love and despair of the former inhabitants, now gone and forgotten.
“High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain” is a collaboration between Location Manager Osceola Refetoff and writer/historian and Inyo County Film Commissioner, Chris Langley.
The Exhibit runs through April 18th.