Takes a trip to California

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We talk to Danny about his recent trip to California…

Your new series of personal work was taken in Palm Springs. What’s the story behind the shots?

I shot most of the photos in LA, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree & Yucca Valley. We were going to the desert and then on my birthday we drove to the Chateau Marmont for my party. I liked the difference between scenarios of waking up and going to bed. One extreme to the other. 

We tend to travel with the same people. Friends from LA, New York, San Francisco, London and Australia all joined. Really I was just documenting friends in amazing places.

What equipment do you use to capture light in such interesting ways?

I use a Canon 5dMkiii and then my smaller Canon G15 for quicker shots. I will then use lamps or torches to makes pools of light for certain shots. I don’t like travelling heavy when it’s not work, so I use what’s around.

Do you have a favourite time of day to shoot?

Personally I like shooting at night. I prefer less light and more atmosphere. That said, the California light is pretty amazing.

If you could choose anywhere in the world to photograph, where would it be?

I’m lucky that I’ve shot in my favourite places – Tokyo at night, California at sunset, New York in the morning. I like cities. Buildings that look like they should be in a film. Cinematic landscapes.

Huge landscapes can be tricky as much as I love them. I need a human element or something other than just nature. Sometimes I just can’t believe a view with my own eyes, so feel there’s no reason to take a photo. We were driving at sunrise through the desert and everything looked perfect and golden. Like a John Ford Western but better. I didn’t want to take a photo of it because it would have been pointless. I kept it for myself.

Where do you find the inspiration for your personal work? Is it normal life or is it in the middle of a million other projects?

I don’t think I shoot normal life, I shoot the bits in-between. 

Everything I shoot is nothing like how I grew up. Maybe the inspiration is that I’m simply seeing new things all the time these days.

Is there a person or location that you enjoy shooting most?

My wife. My friends. People who are interesting, not just interesting-looking but actually interesting to speak to. People who don’t usually like having their photo taken.

Locations, I think I already mentioned. However my favourite building is the Lippo Centre in Hong Kong at night.

What can we expect from you in the remaining months of 2015, and in the New Year?

I have a film I just made for Diesel that should be out soon. My feature film Goldbricks In Bloom may even come out before Christmas but I’m not 100% just yet.

Other than that I have a few short films I’m also working on. It’s been a busy year so far.