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Finding the Hidden Beauty in Liquor Stores and Cheap Motels

Finding the Hidden Beauty in Liquor Stores and Cheap Motels
Vicki Moon

Photographer Vicky Moon moved from city to city as a kid, never getting too attached ... until she moved to Los Angeles. She fell in love with the place, shooting at all hours of day and night.

"I wanted to shoot at night because I feel that L.A. changes drastically from night to day. There's this quietness that L.A. has when it's dark that is really nice," she says. "It's like you can finally have a conversation with the city without having to shout."

From those night excursions comes "Expired L.A.," Moon's latest photography project. Using strictly expired film for her 4x5 camera (and no photoshop), Moon collected images of old storefronts and neon signs that show a less glamorous side of the city.

"A lot of these are kind of hidden and I am usually lucky to find one or two in a night," says Moon. "I travel all around the city looking for these buildings. But I think that’s the fun part of this project, it’s about exploring and getting closer to Los Angeles, and discovering a part of it that most people usually ignore."

Moon sees these subjects as a window into the city's history, a perspective that reminds its viewers how all things age with time.

"I feel like the buildings tell their own story," she says. "How they were once the center of attention and now their time is over, but they're still beautiful." It's a perspective she hopes more people will take notice of, "I feel like these buildings really just hold the history of Los Angeles," says Moon, "all we have to do is take a moment to look at it."

All images courtesy of Vicky Moon.

Author's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the artist's project at "Exposed L.A."

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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