Nex Up: Discovering the (He)Art of Los Angeles

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David Wyman
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Nex Up: Discovering the (He)Art of Los Angeles
7 months ago

I took a walk today in and around downtown Los Angeles, photographing some of my favorite subjects with my NEX. Those subjects included the Arts District, Union Station, historic Olvera Street, Echo Park, and the Los Angeles River channel. I decided try to use the extreme end of two lenses, my 10-18mm and 55-210mm, as much as I could, to connect with the world around me and some of the people in it.

There's a wild mural on the side of The American apartment building, in the middle of the Arts District.

Here's another view of The American, from the front, with the help of my wide angle lens. I'm a big fan of reflections.

Most of the amazing murals in the Arts District aren't locked behind fencing. This one is, and while that may seem regrettable, there's something bizarrely interesting in the juxtaposition of razor wire and a work of art.

Wandering down narrow Olvera Street, with it's plethora of shops, I came upon a fine collection of Mexican wrestling masks. I got close to them with my tele-zoom.

"Queen of Mexico and Empress of America" - that's the Virgin of Guadalupe, at La Placita Church, across the from Olvera Street.

There's a secret passage into the concrete-lined channel of the Los Angeles River. And with the help of my NEX and a wide angle lens, I've discovered there are secret ways to see the river and the 6th Street Bridge.

My telephoto zoom pancaked the view of Union Station, Elysian Park (at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in the middle distance), and the San Gabriel Mountains in the far distance.

Walkway at Union Station.

I met and photographed some people, too, like this Korean War veteran, with a nice collection of rings. He told me he was a Indian from Arizona, and pulled a photo out of his wallet for me that showed him in his Army uniform in the 1950s.

It's not easy to make photographs of strangers. Still, it can be worth the effort, allowing connections with people we ordinarily never have.

Echo Park about 8:45 a.m. It's crowded on a weekend, far less so on a Thursday morning.

I usually expect to see an egret on the shores of the sea, at Malibu Lagoon, or standing in the rocks at Point Dume, which are miles to the west of my home. This time I found one of the beautiful birds at Echo Park, in the middle of Los Angeles, miles east of where I live.

While my photographic explorations may have ended by noon, my desire to take my camera into the heart of the city again has not stopped. I had a lot of fun with my NEX and I know I will again.

(My other NEX outings on dpreview are here, here, and here.)

 David Wyman's gear list:David Wyman's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Nikon D300 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Nikon D600 +1 more
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