Downtown Los Angeles. I shouted bye to Jon and Will as they crossed the street and headed to their meeting. I walked down the street with camera in hand, no smart phone, no maps, just a mental picture in my head that told me how not to get too lost. This used to be one of my favorite activities. Going into a city by myself, no objective but to photograph my exploration.
It’s been a while since I’ve truly just wandered and photographed things creatively for myself. It’s sometimes easy to feel a little buried in wedding photography, seeing all the amazing imagery of other photographers and running through endless mental checklists of shots I must get.
But how refreshing it is to really just walk a street with open eyes, actively looking, seeking, thinking; relying on my instincts of composition, visual interest, textures, color. No pressures, just creating whatever comes to mind. I am glad for the reminder that it’s wonderful to step out and shift perspectives every so often. Borrowing Kev’s full frame 5D and Jon’s wide angle 16-35mm certainly helped too, in the literal perspective-shifting way.
I started by wandering through Los Angeles’ Old Broadway district, which borders the Jewelry District. The dilapidated buildings, faded signs, and dirty streets sit like cruel scars all over the beautiful architectural details that allude to a heyday which no longer exists.
Winding back down to Spring Street the buildings are a mix of historical and modern. I spotted a little white pigeon on the street sign below.
I headed in to Syrup Desserts on Jon and Christina’s recommendation. They’re known for amazing Belgian waffles, but I just got an orange mango iced tea (in the bottom right corner of the photo). It was amazing, complete with a huge orange slice inside.
Across the street, I saw the most wonderful and amazing door ever. It makes me want to take a brayer and ink the door to see what kind of a poster you’d get from it. Or maybe I’ll raid a print shop and make a door of my own.
About an hour into my wandering, Jon picked me up again and we raced back across town with his awesome Syndrome (from the Incredibles) hairdo.
Later that night, Korean BBQ with friends. All in all, a wonderful, refreshing, Los Angeles trip.
I have to say, I’m really proud of my downtown LA images, because they feel different most of the photos I’ve been taking recently. If you feel like you need inspiration, maybe you can try wandering around somewhere with your camera. You might just get the kick you never even knew you needed.
If you’ve been following my blog or twitter (@annawuphoto), you’ll know this marks the start of my two months of jam packed travels. You can track me on my updated calendar and read about my JetBlue All You Can Jet pass, which makes up half of the 60 days. Or just follow along and see if I can keep up with myself via new blog posts in each city I visit.