Artistry in Focus: Mark Woods and the Arroyo Series

Artistry in Focus: Mark Woods and the Arroyo Series

The Arroyo Series, a photography exhibition by Mark Woods will be on display at the Jones Coffee Roasters in South Pasadena from Saturday, June 29th through Sunday, July 28th, 2024. An artist reception will be hosted on Saturday, July 13th from 3pm to 5pm during the South Pasadena Arts Crawl.

In the Photography Studio with Mark Woods

It’s been an intriguing couple of studio visits with Mark Woods, a fine art photographer and retired cinematographer who has been involved in a wide variety of feature films, commercial projects, and artistic endeavors. Studio visits with artists like Woods have become more frequent for me, and I consider them an integral part of the art exhibition process. It’s humbling to be invited into these spaces, and these meetings offer a unique and exclusive opportunity to experience an artist’s collection firsthand.



Mark’s collection is vast. It encompasses scenes such as protests and street photography from Berkeley in the early '70s, exclusive photos of the Huntington Library documenting scenes no longer in existence, and a series of cinematic photos capturing notable landmarks along the Arroyo Seco hiking trail—some of which are no longer there or are now in ruins. Additionally, it offers unique perspectives of cities and landscapes from his travels both nationally and internationally, including locations like The Netherlands, Italy, and Germany.



Over freshly brewed coffee and jazz music playing in the background, we delve into decades of photography. Woods pauses occasionally to explain the backstory of a photo, or we stand silently together, peering into a photo, and occasionally, questions are asked, and notes are jotted down while he takes the time to answer. As shelves full of prints are opened, a narrative begins to unfold, and several series of art exhibitions begin to emerge.



The photos above were captured just outside the darkroom in Woods’ photography studio as they reviewed recently created photos from his trip to Lompoc, California.

A Brief History

Mark Woods is an award-winning Director of Photography and has contributed many technical articles to the International Camera Guild Magazine. He has also made many presentations with The Camera Guild, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). Woods has been a lecturer for many years at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN), teaching Advanced Cinematography classes and he still mentors students during their thesis films. For five years, he was faculty and mentor at the American Film Institute Conservatory. He also taught Simplify3D and advanced Cinematography at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.



Mark Woods has exhibited his fine art photography with organizations such as the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP), South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC)Pasadena Society of Artists (PSA), and the San Marino League. His artwork has been exhibited at a variety of venues including the Brand Library & Art Center, Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena Central Library, Pasadena Playhouse, and the Keystone Art Space, just to name a few.

Upcoming Artist Reception for Mark Woods

In the upcoming photography exhibition titled Arroyo Series, Mark Woods shares a collection of images that were shot in the City of Pasadena’s Arroyo over 6 years. They are made with View Cameras, black and white film, printed on archival fiber-based paper. There are no digital steps anywhere in the image-making process throughout this series.



In his artist statement, Woods states, “These images could’ve been shot a hundred years ago—some of the physical elements existed 100 years ago. I was interested in how people have changed the environment, yet the environment continues to thrive in unexpected ways. I also wanted to show how people have changed the landscape without showing individuals. The effect of people is here, but we don’t see them. This is contrary to what we actually experience.”

The photography exhibition titled Arroyo Series will be available for view at the Jones Coffee Roasters in South Pasadena located at 1006 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030. The series of images will be on display from Saturday, June 29th through Sunday, July 28th and guests are invited to view the collection Monday through Sunday from 7am to 5pm. An artist reception to meet and greet with Mark Woods will be hosted on Saturday, July 13th from 3pm to 5pm during the South Pasadena Arts Crawl.

Curatorial consultations are available upon request. Please contact Esteban ( for any inquires.