...and this seems to be one of those times when the spirits chose me ... A last visit to the Arboretum in LA before returning to Israel. Soaking in ideas, getting ready to renovate my own garden. Imprinting images in memory and on film. Gardens are always the places that's hardest for me to leave behind. To all the peacocks, trees and turtles, ponds and ducks, squirrels and spirits - farewell, I will miss you.
Los Angeles photography
Eclectic, surprising, filled with Art, food and life - for the last two years I'm getting to know Los Angeles, discovering one of the most fascinating cities I've seen. Mostly, I'm blown away by the vibrating art that can not be contained by the pristine museum walls and like a colorful and noisy river flows right through the city streets, filling its alleys with living works of art.
Ten days ago, my husband and I went on a spray painting workshop and graffiti tour in the LA Art District. (Yes, he painted as well :)). After finishing our masterpieces, we went for a short guided walk in the neighborhood. A world of color, letters and social meaning take over walls, alleys, the side walk, even garbage bins. A Mercedes commercial is being shot just outside the small cafe where we had a tasty little dinner. Cheers LA!! May you continue to be your eclectic, liberal self for many years to come!!!
January 21st, 2017. At 52 years old, this is my first demonstration. Being a very private and quiet person, crowded, noisy places are definitely not my cup of tea. Neither are street photography or iPhone photography....yet there comes a time, where personal preferences aside, I will go march with hundred of thousands of people, in downtown LA at the Women's March.
Armed with my film camera (who remained unused ...) and the iPhone, I stood in the fully packed Metro, with hundreds of people who despite the lack of space, joked, smiled, talked. The kindest and most considerate crowd that ever traveled on public transportation. We all exited the Metro station, passing under the most appropriate overhead sign "exit to Hope street" and could barely believe the amount of people overflowing the streets. For the next couple of hours, mainly stood in the crowd, as it was impossible to really march - people filled the streets from the starting point to the end point of the march route. The pussyhats (why didn't I order one??), the signs, the singing - the air was filled with good energy, fun and hope. Hope, that despite the new president, we shall overcome. Or as one of my favorite signs said - we shall overcomb ;).
I love to capture the dream behind reality. Usually, I would do this in a natural setting, this time I went to Beverly Hills. Getting from our 2 bedroom apartment to Rodeo Drive takes about 25 minutes by bus. Less than half an hour, and I am in a different world. A world with its own set of rules, etiquette, priorities. Beautiful - no doubt about that. Each store creates a world of illusions, a bubble of glamour. Surreal temptations waiting for the right people to pass by, lure them in. It is so fitting to have an exhibit of Dali's amazing work in the gallery on this street.
A taste of the surreal, dreams for sale. No Photoshop used in these images ....
"A sense of place" was my first photographic assignment. It was not so much about learning the technicalities of the camera, but about learning to see and analyze, distill the essence of a place. I remember the teacher telling us to chose a place and go spend there time without the camera first. Feel it, journal about it, only then return with the camera at different times of the day. I still follow this advice whenever I can, but sometimes, this is not practical.
In many of my trips, I have 10 - 15 minutes to see a place, feel it and try to get to its essence. yes, it can be frustrating, and yes I miss all the guide explanations but lately I started to just flow with my gut feeling and take snapshots. Bits and pieces of the place. Later, at my computer at home, the pieces are sequenced into flowing shapes and colors that tell the story of this place.
This is Angelino Heights to me. An old, Victorian neighborhood, where time is etched in the architecture of the houses as well as the peeling wood. Reminder of gentler, slower time, childhood movies and happy endings.
I usually take photography very seriously. A full frame camera, handpicked lens. Studying all I can about photographers, art and any other subject relevant to the project I am doing. This is true .....most of the time :)
About a week ago, while in Germany, I thought I would take advantage of the recent fall in the value of the Euro and buy a lens. After testing a multi purpose (24-300mm) one, and deciding it is not good enough I started thinking about alternatives. The times when I need a telephoto or a wide are lens are few and far between. Mostly when we go on trips and we want to document the moment. If so, why to spend so much on (2) state of the art lens for the D750 when a super tele bridge camera might do the job for a fraction of the price? This is how I became the owner of a Fujifilm finepix S1, hence named 'Fufu' :)
While the images are not at the quality of the D750, Fufu comes with some unexpected benefits. It is so light, silent and its automatic mode works so well, that it made me regress to the age of 5, experimenting and having fun rather than being serious about the images I take.
Yesterday, in a very uncharacteristic rainy weather (rain in LA in July???), we drove to LACMA museum to listen to some Jazz and see a photography exhibit. My husband drives, while I sit next to him, and amuse myself with photographing on the go, through the rainy windows. Than, as Fufu is weather proof, I do not hesitate to step outside in the rain, and photograph a lone table and its reflection. A tiny bird aspiring for stardom landed under the chair - just in time.
At the photography exhibit, I saw for the first time an authentic photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. The one who coined the term 'the decisive moment'. The one who said the camera is an instrument of spontaneity. I never agreed with him more.