California Dreaming: Hana Knizova's Photo Diary

Earlier this year, photographer Hana Knizova left London for Los Angeles, documenting her travels through the lens of her iPhone. Now back in London, Knizova has provided Sleek-Art a photo diary of her time on the West Coast; read our interview with the accomplished shutterbug below, and see more of her work available now for immediate purchase on Sleek-Art.

What were you doing in California? 

I had a residency in Oakland–I went to a place called the Ridge Hotel. It's a old building that was converted into social housing; it used to be a female-only Evangeline lodge run by Salvation Army, but now this 7-story building with single occupancy units has been turned into housing for socially disadvantaged people.

There's a downstairs space which was converted into an exhibition and gallery space by its resident Mr. Lance Stone. I was staying with him while making a project with the people living in the building–there's an incredible mixture of people from different backgrounds.

I also spent a week in LA and happened to be involved in "Save Villa Carlotta" project–it was all about buildings and their residents this time!

In your previous project "Young Hollywood", you photographed Hollywood hopefuls as they tried to break into the entertainment industry. How was revisiting Los Angeles, and how do you feel your work has changed since then?

I didn't have time to continue with the Hollywood project this trip, unfortunately, though I still intend to. I wouldn't say that my work has changed dramatically; I hope to maintain a certain consistency throughout.

These photos were all shot with you iPhone. How does working with a mobile phone camera affect your projects and work?

I love the iPhone camera because of its immediacy and availability. There's little control in comparison to other cameras, but it allows you to react immediately and without attracting attention. I think it's actually perfect for street photographers.

In your diary, there's a compelling mix of urban, suburban and rural locations. When you left London for the West Coast, how did the complete change of atmosphere and environment affect your work?

I must admit I become a bit indifferent to my surroundings after certain time–which is a real shame–but it happens to most people. Leaving your environment always allows you to see any place with new, fresh eyes, and to be more alert. I am drawn to colours and patterns, so California is a dreamland in this sense!

See more work by Hana Knizova on Sleek-Art.Net.