Leica M Monochrom M246 | Leica Summicron-M 35/f2 ASPH.
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.
Leica SL (Typ 601) | Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH. | f/2 | 1/30s | ISO 800
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.
Leica SL (Typ 601) | Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH. | f/5.6 | 1/2000s | ISO 50 | Edited in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro
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 :).
When it comes to photography and museums I typically find myself more interested in the visitors than the actual exhibition. It’s a bit exaggerated I admit, however, from a photographic standpoint there is nothing less interesting than photographing other people’s artwork. So even at the Getty I found myself taking more pictures of people than art.
Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 | Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. | ISO 320 | 1/2000s | f/2
As I mentioned in my previous post the architecture of The Getty is at least as interesting as the exhibitions themselves. Just strolling through the vast gardens and terraces was a pleasure on its own.
Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 | Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. | ISO 320 | 1/2000s | f/2.8
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
I’m a big Sushi fan. So on my quest for a good restaurant during my stay in Los Angeles a friend recommended the Nobu in Malibu which is a few miles up North on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). It sounded really promising because it would neatly combine a good dinner and a scenic drive along the ocean. And not too much he promised. The restaurant itself is nestled on top of the rocky shore and has a splendid view over the ocean. But that gets topped by probably the best Sushi I have ever had. And if that wasn’t enough I also got a taste of for sure the best Sake in my life.
But the food and drinks wouldn’t be as good without proper presentation and company. So I got a seat at the Sushi bar, and coincidentally a really nice couple was sitting right next to me. So not only I got a great view on the Sushi chef preparing my and other’s sushi plates but also enjoyed a great conversation. What more can you ask for?
The only thing that was missing, really, was that I didn’t bump into Robert de Niro or who ever else the celebrities are who allegedly own the restaurant :).
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) | Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. | f/2 | 1/45s | ISO 320