Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hollywood and Highland - Holga

Hollywood and Highland, within .1 miles of the subway station. This was a somewhat spontaneous set shot with my Holga, but I'm considering doing similar sets for other stops along the Red Line with a goal of not taking photos of the station itself, but staying within .1 miles or so.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pasadena City Hall

A few more from my first roll shot with my Holga. So far it's a bit "easier" to use than the Diana+ in a few ways, but I've also been spoiled by the Diana+ with the the pinhole functionality & the built in plastic piece that helps hold the shutter open for bulb exposures.




Sunday, May 19, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals, Diana Version

Just a few miles away from the Hearst Castle along the Central California coast you can visit a beach where the ground squirrels are trained to beg for food from visitors coming to see a group of elephant seals spending time on land. In mid-April, when we visited, the beaches were mostly covered with adult females and younger males and females in their molting season. Watching them is somewhat surreal since it's so unusual to see large groups of wild non-human mammals doing their thing. (Un)Fortunately my Diana+ was being a Diana on this day and these photos got a touch of leaked light...

looking North with the Piedras Blancas lighthouse in the background


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hearst Castle Diana+, part 1

Our recent trip took us along the Central California coast to Morro Bay for camping and some wandering, San Simeon to see the Hearst Castle and Elephant Seals, San Luis Obispo, Solvang, Refugio State Beach in Goleta and then home...

This is the first part of photos from the Hearst Castle shot with my Diana+ Camera.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Acqusitions

Saturday April 27, 2013

March wasn't a good month for pets for me. Both my frog that I had for the past 16 years and my rat passed away in the same week. I had been looking around online for a while for new rats (I prefer to not get pet rats from the petstores) and decided on a couple of rescue boys from Misty Blue Rattery. I picked 2 brothers - a curious dumbo velveeten agouti hooded and a shy agouti velveteen . They were born a couple days before my last rat died and so they're just about 2 months old now. I sometimes feel like I'm a glutton for punishment by going back to pet rats because of their short lives, but rats are such great pets, especially in an apartment and each one has their own personality and preferences that's fun to experience. It's amazing to me what they've already learned in only being with me for 2 weeks. I look forward to spending time with my new little pets.

I love his little mohawk!

Saturday May 4, 2013

Last weekend I had to pick up some Shanghai film from the Post office. Afterward, we headed over to Hollywood to wander around the Wattles Mansion Property. Although it was pretty and nice to wander outside for a while, unfortunately all of the garden areas were locked up so there wasn't too much to explore.

Since we were nearby on the correct side of the hills, we headed over to Freestyle Photo so I could pick up some supplies. I'm super lucky to have a photo store like Freestyle locally - I did the math, and I saved about $25 by picking up the items in store opposed to ordering online! I had been thinking about getting a Holga camera for a little while and with the Gretchen Bleiler model on sale in store for $20, I decided  to go ahead and pick it up. The trees aren't too offensive and are on stickers, but I already pulled off a "GB" sticker from the lens cap (it made the camera look like you stole it from someone with those initials.) I loaded it with film today and I'm looking forward to seeing how the pictures turn out. My first impression is that it seems a little more durable in some ways (the Diana shutter and aperture controls feel more delicate), but also a little more simple than the Diana. If nothing else, I'm glad to have it on hand for others to use. I also picked up 20 more rolls of medium format film (30 total for the day!) as well as some developer.

While we were in the store, a woman was picking up a Holga camera with some accessories and a single roll of film. I keep thinking back to it and laughing - I wondered why so many people selling their cameras online claimed to have used it for only a single roll. I suppose this sort of situation explains it.

Saturday May 11, 2013

 A couple months ago, when I was biking around & doing some errands, I ended up at a garage sale where I picked up a vintage camera tripod. I chatted with the women selling the items for a bit and as is common, they made comments about me being on a bike, which made them think of the past. They mentioned that at one point Lankershim had a ton of thrift stores. It sounded idyllic compared to the car dealership lined street there today. When I noticed one of the old dealerships was converted to a thrift store recently, I was super excited. This morning I decided to stop by and see what sorts of things they had.

Because it's approximately 92 degrees outside, that means it's time to think of the cold and jackets. (Actually it was 66 this past Monday and is supposed to be 100 by this next Monday!!) I ended up finding this awesome orange flower brooch for $5.50 that I thought would compliment a blue cordoroy peacoat style jacket that I wear in the winter. It doesn't have any info on it and is in super nice shape, but based on some googling, it looks like it might actually be vintage. I might need to find a reason/outfit to wear this with before winter!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pink Glow Sunset Show

Yesterday evening I was sitting at my computer when I noticed a pink glow coming from my apartment window. I ran over to look up at the sky and noticed it was pink. It made sense - after the random weird rain in the afternoon, the sky had remained moody looking and filled with clouds. I grabbed my camera and hurried outside, knowing how the intense color shows of the Los Angeles sky at sunset are so beautiful and momentary.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

CicLAvia #6, 4/21/13!


Sunday, April 21st, was our 5th, but the city of Los Angeles' 6th CicLAvia event, and the first to take people from downtown LA to the beach. Inspired by a similar event in Columbia called Ciclovia, CicLAvia has been an event that happens every few months or so (so far! hopefully more frequently in the future!), where streets of Los Angeles are closed down for a few hours for people to enjoy outside of their cars. Most people bike, but the others walk, skateboard, Rollerblade or scooter along. The routes change, but the heart of the event stays the same in that CicLAvia is: free, open-ended as long as you aren't driving a car and awesome (ok, well that's not a requirement, but you could have fooled me!) And since as usual, I carried my camera on our 18 mile ride, here's some reasons why I love this event:

I've got company! 
As someone who bikes and walks around LA a lot, it's really a great experience to have so many others out there with me. It's even more awesome to feel like you can freely explore the streets without the constant fear of death-by-car since the interactions with cars are fairly limited on the route. It's also awesome to see all the different types of people out there biking together. Yay!

Exploring new Neighborhoods!
It's fun to explore new neighborhoods and see how they are actually connected to the ones you already know. This time we made it from downtown to essentially The Museum of Jurassic Technology - both places I had been before, but never slow enough and directly connected to see the old Victorian houses between. Things move by slower when you're biking, so there's more time to take things in and it's easier to stop and take a look around. Some neighborhoods I've just never really spent time in, others I usually explore alone or at times when it's not really ok to just stand in the middle of the street to take the perfect picture. CicLAvia mixes it up a bit and let's people experience the city in a new way.

It feels like the Playa!
So far, CicLAvia and the playa at Burning Man have been the best biking experiences of my life. Although they don't allow complete abandonment of biking responsibility, they both provide the chance to just enjoy biking in one of those ways where you can sit back and relax.  As a result, in some ways, these events will always be interconnected in my mind. CicLAvia feels like a local version of Burning Man in some ways. Both provide some of the safest biking experiences I've had since I decided to start biking regularly. Both provide a community feel and allow even people like me to feel somewhat friendly about chatting randomly with people around me. Both bring out youthful playfulness and present an opportunity to share creativity. There's even some bikes that show up at CicLAvia that I'm 99.99% sure have graced the playa in the past.

People (and pets) are happy!

CicLAvia's also an awesome way to spend time with people and meet up with friends and it's not uncommon to encounter people randomly sharing, chatting, waving and smiling and generally enjoying both being part of and observing everything going on around them. This is one of the few events that I honestly look forward to and that makes me feel like "LA is doing SOMETHING right! Look at all the happy people!"

The number of people that show up (April 21st is currently estimated at 180,000) and variety of people really shows that there IS demand for this sort of thing. People in LA really do want to be outside, biking and hanging out in the streets where they can feel safe. People will exercise if you give them a good space to do it. People do spend money even if they aren't in a car (it's much easier to find bike parking, stop randomly or look at things when on a bike. We stopped and ate at Native foods,  a vegan restaurant that was pretty packed with a line to the door the entire time we were waiting for our food and eating!)  People really will talk to one another and are generally more pleasant face to face. I often joke with people, making the sound of a car horn and mentioning how weird it would be if people just walked up and honked at one another in the line at the store or when trying to get someone's attention at work. Cars create a weird way of interacting and living.

With all it's awesomeness, there's still some growing pains with the event. The congestion we experienced this time meant we didn't make it out to the beach in Venice nor were we able to meet up with a friend, but it was fun none the less. I also imagined how much WORSE the traffic would have been if the people were in cars with an average of 1.25 people and how much space that would have taken up instead of bikes. It also always feels like there isn't enough time! Five hours never feels long enough. It'd also be nice to have the hours outside of peak sunlight (10am-3pm) on streets without shade and 80+ degree weather - I accidentally missed putting sunscreen on my arms and paid for it.

I look forward to the time when I don't know what number CicLAvia event we're on and I can't say I'm able to go nearly every time because they happen so often. I really recommend, whoever you are, if you're ever in LA, even on a vacation, see if CicLAvia is going on and if so, make time for it. It's one of the best ways to experience LA I've found so far.