Here is a link to the great website American Suburb X and a group of street photos by newly discovered street photography master Helen Levitt. The difference between these pictures and the vast majority of her other previously shown work is that these images are in amazing color.
Seeing those images this morning inspired me to share some of my recent shots. You know, I’ve always thought of myself as a black and white street photographer. But I rarely shoot black and white street photography. I really have done very little in B&W over the last ten years. I think I have to come to terms with the fact that I’m a street photographer who works primarily in color.
Color is the only way to capture the parts of Los Angeles I continue to want to shoot most. Hope these images from my Leica M-E capture both the timeless grit and the gripping palate of colors of life in LA in 2013.
Two weeks ago today we started out down Pico Blvd., oblivious, enjoying our afternoon taking pictures. President Obama was in town and in the Santa Monica area so all the helicopters made perfect sense. So did the police barricades far down Pico near Santa Monica College. People milled about as if the President were likely to come right past them.
Well, that’s what we thought anyway. Had I known that there was a shooting rampage near the campus resulting in multiple fatalities, a sadly common occurrence in the United States at this particular time, I would have come away with an entirely different set of images, I think. But incredibly, even after seeing up close the disruption caused by the actions of a madman, we went about our day continuing to believe that, once again, the president had caused a major interruption to the already crowded Westside.
It was only much later in the afternoon that we found out what had really happened. So here are some random shots from that afternoon. Some capture the tense scenes around SMC, some reflect the degree to which we were completely unaware that this was unlike every other day in LA.
As so often is the case, in retrospect things look much different.
Learned today of the passing, not unexpected, of such a beautiful woman from my home town. She was way beyond my biggest grade school crush. She was a wife, mom, and young grandmother of an equally beautiful family. Gone way too soon. She was the consensus most beautiful girl in a town of beautiful women. I said that when I realized what was sitting behind me in the 6th grade it was like Columbus discovering America. Sad day for many people.