A couple of posts ago, thanks to Otto’s blog, I learned about the concept of charting Your Daily Record, a collection of “photographic sketches and daily impressions”, championed by photographer David Ulrich in Zen Camera (a book I promptly bought and will review on the blog soon).
Today, after photographing at The Row DTLA–a reinvigorated part of industrial downtown Los Angeles that’s home to new restaurants, shops, and Smorgasburg, the Sunday market that originated in New York–I noticed within my photos a number of recurring themes and perspectives. So, in addition to sharing information about The Row (which you should all visit when in Los Angeles), I thought I’d share some images organised according to those observations.
This practice has fast shown me that there’s plenty of room to venture outside of my comfort zone. Do you notice any patterns in your photographic work?
CONTRAST and TEXTURES
Part of The Row is located in the former warehouses of fashion brand American Apparel. Being a centre for industry, Downtown LA is a combination of asphalt, hard edges, harsh sun, shade, and shadows. This is likely why I included the fine texture of the grass in the top image, to soften the scene, and those overhanging vines in the image below.
How to photograph a huge building without having it looking wonky? I’ve noticed that I align an edge or two to neaten the scene, though I could have found a better way to showcase more of this building had I photographed it from different angles or with a different lens.
At The Row, you’ll find The Manufactory, a production bakery, market, coffee roasting facility, café, and two restaurants. A collaboration between James Beard Award-winning chefs Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine (San Francisco) and Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco (in Phoenix), it is the place to buy your sourdough loaf and other baked goods. For a more dynamic picture, I photographed the kitchen on the diagonal from the outside looking in.
I noticed I did the same with the bookshop’s storefront around the corner. Thinking back, I recall the store had some empty space, so this was my way of filling the frame.
FILLING THE FRAME
The Manufactory’s market sells many lovely things like the rolling pins below. I wanted to spotlight their designs in this photo.
I filled the frame with merchandise in hopes of portraying the market’s feeling of abundance.
Tartine is popular for its Morning Bun and to place it centre stage, I opted for a balanced shot. I think it makes the sugar-coated pastry look enticing and delicious!
And with that sourdough bread — I went for an less balanced image to show the weightiness of the loaf. I think it worked?
Below, I photographed this street art to the right of the frame, maybe to contrast it with the reflected glass. Again, I wanted to give the art some weight.
I repeat the idea in the image below again, though this time the subject stands to the left.
…As do the roses in this ceramic shop. Does that work?
I like the neatness of horizontal lines in a horizontal frame. The compact look of this photo is appealing. Like Lego!
I’m drawn to filling the frame with nature. Such as here:
And in this autumnal capture:
THE OVERHEAD COFFEE PIC
The aerial coffee photo is a signature. I have no explanation for this, other than taking it has simply become a bit of an obsession. What I like about this particular photo is how the light gives it a still-life look. Now I want an almond cappuccino!