I hadn’t been posting new pictures for quite some time which is a shame. I think it’s a function of too much work-related distraction and just not taking my small Leica with me all the time. As one wise man once said, the best camera is always the one you have with you, and that’s usually a smartphone, not a “real” camera. Hence, I will try and get better in just bringing my Leica wherever I go.
The photo above is an example of one of those random pictures you can take as long as you have your camera with you. It’s really nothing special. I was on my way home from lunch. I just walked over the other side of the road to take it. No travel required or any other extra effort.
Normally, I only cherry-pick the images I post on this blog, because this is not a travel blog, but rather about photography itself. However, when I went through the pictures I took last year in Los Angeles, in particular the ones I had taken with the Leica MP and a roll of Kodak Portra 160, I thought although they will never win a price, they are still a good reflection of what LA feels like. So here you have it.
All images are untouched (only one is leveled, because as usual I couldn’t hold my camera straight :)).
Farmers Market in Los Angeles has a plethora of photographic motives. So if you ever visit LA, I would highly recommend you stop by. Not only for photographs, but also to just sit down in one of the many kiosks and have a sip of ice tea and watch the sellers in their booths and the people strolling by.
It was my last day in LA. I had already checked out of my hotel, but thought that on my way to the airport I had to stop by some more “must-dos” in LA before I head back to Germany.
Among them: Farmers Market. It’s a bunch of small kiosks thrown together, mostly offering fresh food and snacks. I loved the smell and the colors there. I also had my M Monochrom with me, but quite frankly (and no surprise, really) none of those B&W pictures cut it for me. So I had to wait almost a year until I had finished the roll of Kodak Portra 160 that was still sitting in my Leica MP to discover the color versions of the photos I took back in April 2016 in LA – which I liked a lot more than the black and white images.
Reading Christmas short stories, drinking Glühwein (hot vine) and having good company – is there any better combination? All of this and more was to be had last night at an “Adventslesung” (loosely translated a “Christmas book reading”) in Dresden. Three young authors from Dresden – Frank Goldammer, Willi Hetze and Francis Mohr – were reading from their own short stories most of which had a Christmas theme or were at least set in Winter.
Most of the stories were really tongue in cheek albeit gave you something to chew on and think about as well. So it wasn’t necessarily light literature, and I thought that really fitted Christmas which is or at least should be a time of reflection and contemplation as well.
All three authors publish their books at “Dresdner Buchverlag“.
When I have to stay overnight in Berlin, I usually stay in a very nice hotel close to “Bahnhof Friedrichstraße” train station. I was always fascinated by the architecture and the maze of underpasses and small alleys in that station. It’s extremely confusing. But normally you rush through a train station, you don’t have time to take photographs – or better: you don’t take your time to make them. This time, I was so amazed by the light in the small overpass that crosses Friedrichstraße and connects to the U-Bahn station that I quickly checked into the hotel and went back with my camera and took a few photographs and then edited them right away on my iPad during dinner with Lightroom Mobile. I increasingly like the ability to work on the photographs right away – when they are still fresh in your memory.
Later on today I was then reading a bit about the history of “Bahnhof Friedrichstraße”. I knew a little bit about it, that it was one of the train stations that basically got cut in half and truncated East and West Berlin after the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961. I also faintly remembered that it was one of the biggest gateways for East German Stasi (East German State Police) spies to get into West Berlin. In September 1967 alone 1,700 of those spies crossed the border at Bahnhof Friedrichstraße. That’s a couple dozen per day. One of the reasons why the train station was so heavily frequented was because it was extremely hard to oversee and observe. So it was not only used by Eastern spies but also by Western RAF terrorists to get more or less undiscovered to their Stasi contacts in East Berlin.
When you wander through the train station today you can still see and appreciate why it was such a great place for the Cold War spy business – even I get still lost here sometimes.
The Dresdeners among us know the guy on the left by heart. He is standing in the middle of the busiest pedestrian street in Dresden every day and is promoting his “movement” or “party” or simply his views of life. He seems to be a very smart person, very kind and – I believe – just loves to talk to people. He is not bothering anyone, but whoever he catches he can talk to forever. So beware, you have been warned :).