The LA Gallery

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 :)).

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Farmers Market #2

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.

Leica MP | Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. | Kodak Portra 160

Leica MP | Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. | Kodak Portra 160

Adventslesung

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“.

Rays of Life

Leica SL (TYP 601) | Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH. | f/2 | 1/1000s | ISO 50 | Edited in Lightroom and Color Efex Pro

Leica SL (TYP 601) | Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH. | f/2 | 1/1000s | ISO 50 | Edited in Lightroom and Color Efex Pro

Taking photographs can be very rewarding. Taking photographs of people can be even more rewarding. But usually you know nothing about the people who you photograph on the street. They are just passers-by. In a best case scenario they are a collection of well exposed and hopefully equally well composed pixels on your camera sensor or film.

The icing on the cake, however, is when you get to know your photographic subject at least a teeny bit and scratch the surface of his or her thoughts and ideas. In a crowded pedestrian street in the middle of the city where everybody is rushing from shop to shop or appointment to appointment that seems highly unlikely to ever happen. And yet, sometimes, fortune is with you. As it was with me today. I was just strolling through the streets trying to kill some time until my next appointment, the weather was extremely nice, although very cold, but the sun had this very winterly glow with harsh shadows and crisp air. So I thought I take my camera out and just try my luck.

And then I saw this guy in my picture leaning against this city-light ad thingie. I was only pointing the camera at him and not even taking a picture yet, and he began speaking to me. So I approached him, and of course the very first question was what I was taking the photographs for. So we engaged in a very nice conversation about my blog, what he does for a living etc. etc. etc. And this, really, is what makes photography such a pleasure. Without my camera I would have never spoken to him, never heard his story, would have never been able to grasp what was on his mind.

After five minutes of conversing he agreed that I may take some photos of him. And he was a natural. No stupid posing, no looking into the camera. Just a very relaxed pose, as if I would not even be there. Perfection.

At the end of the day, a nice photograph can be something beautiful to look at. But sometimes the story behind these photographs can be much more interesting than the surface of what you are looking at – more than a collection of pixels and electric current.

Canter’s Deli

Another one of those tips I got from a friend who lives in LA: Canter’s Deli. Supposedly the best Deli in town, and although I can’t attest to that since I did not try any other Deli while in LA, what I can say is that the look and feel is very authentic 50s/60s Deli-style, but more importantly the burgers were just outstandingly good. Oh, and I do not recall ever having had a stronger Margarita than in that place. I believe it only consisted of Tequila. I doubt there was anything else in it to be honest. Fortunately, Uber took care of my ride home :).

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) | Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. | f/1.4 | 1/60s | ISO 320

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) | Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. | f/1.4 | 1/60s | ISO 320

Walk of Fame

Being a tourist you also have to do the touristy stuff at some point right? Naturally, on my first night in LA I had to do the Walk of Fame. After dinner at “The Hungry Cat” (consequently they served primarily fish and seafood) I strolled down Hollywood Blvd. from Vine St. to La Brea Ave. Was a quick walk. It’s one of those “Seen it, done it” checkmark items. It was really difficult to see the interesting things among a gazillion tourists. One of which was this sculptor.

Leica M Monochrom | Leica Summicron-M f/2 ASPH. | 1/30s | f/2 | ISO 320

Leica M Monochrom | Leica Summicron-M f/2 ASPH. | 1/30s | f/2 | ISO 320