Friday, May 27, 2016

Expired Film Day Moments

A couple of photos that I actually shot on Expired Film Day back in March (I finished off this roll at Forest Lawn.) I managed to lose most of the photos I shot on Expired Film Day itself, but I still managed to have a small selection for the actual Expired Film Day Contest so I had a couple things to enter. I didn't win anything, but I'm glad I did it given all the problems I had along the way!

From Expired to Alive

Valley Verandas

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Descanso Mood

Just a quick post from our recent Descanso visit! I love this photo because it captures so much of the feeling which is I love about visiting there! When you wander out of the Rose & Japanese gardens, you can find yourself in a rare place where you can actually get a moment to yourself outside and feel like it's just you and nature in LA.  I feel like some hiking trails are even lacking these kind of moments much of the time.

Click to see a larger version!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Late April Huntington Fisheye

Late last month some coworkers and I made another visit to Huntington Gardens in San Marino. My fellow photobug friend and I hung out in the cactus garden during most of our visit this time, which was pretty easy. Their cactus garden is amazing and filled with so many different cactus/succulents/low water requirement plants that especially in the spring can come with amazing colors. Walking through that garden is so otherworldly when you actually pay attention to the different plants and the different ways they have evolved to deal with lack of water from weird shapes, thick skins, self-grown spine cages contrasted with perfectly smooth skin.

I shot all of these photos with my Lomography Fisheye 2 camera. I got a little *too* close to some of the plants at times, but I still like the results! I like how this camera lets you really see how many layer of plants are in this gardens and how a walk thought this garden is a vacation in itself!

The accordion fold-like ribs on these cactus allow them to expand in size when there's rain so the cactus can suck up and store as much water as possible. Those thorns are protecting a precious water supply.

for plants that have so many adaptations to keep animals away, some cacti certainly spare no resources when it comes to advertising for the reproduction part of it's life.... Bats, bees & birds are big fans of various low-water plants.

such a pretty purple color on a giant pink stem contrasted against the silvery-green of the main plant!! When you're so stabby and dense, you have to shoot out a long beautiful holder for your flowers so others will actually come visit and help you out..

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Grey Crowned Crane - actionsampled

this crane seemed equally interested in me and what I was doing as I was it and what it was doing....

Grey Crowned Crane as shot with Lomography Actionsampler 35mm film camera 12/2015

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SouthEast Cities CicLAvia #17, Watts Towers+

I like getting photos from CicLAvia up as soon as possible to share with people, but I also like letting the experience float around in my brain a bit. In the last few days I've told people about my experiences during this past event (SouthEast Cities, May 15, 2016), looked at my photos and really though about it some more.

My conclusions this time? CicLAvia seems to bring out one of the better versions of Los Angeles. Not necessarily a shiny version, but a more intimate, more genuine version of itself. LA isn't always the movies, but the real life. It's not necessarily just the movie stars, but everyone of all different backgrounds trying to get through and enjoy life in the same place. It's the LACMA and the neighborhood art. Yeah, we do like being outside and we do appreciate the uniqueness and history the city. I love that CicLAvia isn't necessarily about just one place, but about an idea. This whole series of CicLAvia events over the last 5.5 years has been an awesome tour of the city for residents, letting people that have lived here for one year or 20 years see new parts of their city and even the previously seen thing in a new way. Something about the day seems to bring so much happiness and pleasantness in people. I really find a great deal of joy in having random, kind interactions with people that add to the event. I don't know how often that happen to people in cars vs. on bikes. Because there isn't much "goal" of the event, it makes it more of a place to just experience it.

This set is a little less CicLAvia centric, although it was all shot during the event. I had always wanted to visit the Watts Towers, but it never seemed like the right time & circumstances, until CicLAvia swooped in with this route! My friend and I missed the original turn and got a little off course. My friend noticed a sign and we stopped at this corner. After getting directions to go up a nearby street where you pass by an "I (anatomical heart) WATTS" mural and a church before noticing an oddly shaped lot was fenced off with all sorts of weird structures jutting up from it.

It's so crazy to see these structures! They have so many layers that make them both interesting and strong!

I loves the Watts towers because I really enjoy this kind of collage, mosaic art. I'm guessing this was the front entrance at one point because of the mailslots and multiple instances of the address embedded into the art. It makes me think of Earthships (whoa, I never posted about those when we visited in 2012!) and Salvation Mountain....

I loved how so many houses (because there are houses all along the street immediately across the street from the towers.... the towers were built on a residential property & there's now a park/ towers visitor center nearby) had all sorts of art and mosaics. This bench was so awesome and the house was painted so vibrantly!

Another house on the street with some awesome mosaics with ducks, palm trees and some ducks with an underwater view as well!

tree near the Watts Tower Visitor/Arts Center.

In the garden behind the Watts arts Center

sign on the fence said "TURTLE POND" and sure enough, there were turtles!

another instance of "spot the Burning Man bikes"! It looks like the lighter yellow one still is playa-fied. I really like how all the people on the street are reacting to the decorated bikes!

heading off towards the LA River bike path off of Atlantic

Along the LA River bike path

As soon as we got to this area, this bike path really felt like being in a different world. Even in the LA river bike path sections I've been in before, there's usually a fence between the path and the river... this was so open feeling..

I love these bird paintings!!!

Art at the Firestone Blue Line Station!

Monday, May 16, 2016

SouthEast Cities CicLAvia #17, May 15 2016

Yesterday on 5/15/16, CicLAvia made it's first appearance in the "SouthEast Cities", including South Gate, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Walnut Park, Florence-Firestone and Watts. For me, this meant many new experiences including riding the Blue Line for the first time and wandering in all of these cities/streets for the first time! Although the turnout to the event seemed decent, there seemed to be fewer people that attended from the areas along the Red Line (it sounded like the Gold line as well) than prior CicLAvias.  I never had to fight for bike space on the Red Line this event although the Blue Line was pretty packed, which is also kinda due to design/lack of space for non-people (and oh my gosh, some of the Blue Line stations are extremely narrow!!)

I got off the Blue Line at Florence where I biked with some other random riders to the event about 1 mile away. I expored & visited a few of the hubs before meeting up with a friend who I biked at the event with for the rest of the day. Overall, the weather was pretty awesome with cloud cover the most of the day and relatively cool, comfortable temperatures. Having such a long route (10 miles!) with sometimes pretty wide streets made the event feel sparse, but at the same time it seemed decently attended. We wandered off route a couple times to visit the Watts Towers, which are something I had always wanted to see, but it never seemed like the right time & to explore the LA River bike path a little.

I personally saw a couple bike crashes, but nothing too big and besides that I never heard sirens or saw anything else weird happen (some people were concerned about this, but I know CicLAvia has a pretty good safety record and they take keeping the event safe seriously.) There were a few times when we hit areas where kids, especially, were riding really crazy on the route and would speed head-on into a pack of people biking the opposite direction. I know CicLAvia can be super liberating, but it was concerning at times.

I really enjoyed visiting a new area, seeing lots of new art (this photo set ends right before visiting the Watts towers) and how the Watts towers seemed to have inspired so much area in the area, but also even small things on the storefronts were nice to stop and see. I feel like all my interactions with people were pretty pleasant everyplace I went (making friends on the bike ride there, good times with a friend, random kindness and interactions with strangers), although the car traffic was a little intense when we wandered off-route. I ended up hitting all the hubs and more, for a total of biking 33 miles during this CicLAvia, which is a CicLAvia record for me! Yay! Another wonderful day of exploring, biking and good times! Thanks CicLAvia!

Watts Tower hats!!

I really like how the car is inside and the people using non-car methods to get around are on the streets....

Another guy shooting film and Medium Format no less!!!!!

More Photos from this CicLAvia including Watts Towers!!!

More Photos from past CicLAvias!!!