LA was actually the city that - in my whirlwind four day jaunt - inspired my new style of editing photos. There was so much about its sun-bleached, slightly ageing, retro vibe that made it impossible for anything too high contrast or polished to quite capture the feeling of a city perhaps best summed up by its car culture: how people tend to leave the house with a specific purpose and destination in mind, because it’s not quite the sort of city where you feel like you can wander around easily in; it felt like we were passing through distinct communities and landscapes as we drove past one section and onto the next, surprisingly suburban and not at all like the big ‘city’ I pictured.
I was warned not to expect too much from the Hollywood Boulevard but even then, walking the length of the long road, I was still quite shocked by how ageing and worn down it seemed — tourist stores, costume shops, signs and buildings that looked like it hadn’t been updated in decades, aggressive people in Marvel costumes I had to duck around, the Chinese Theatre was surprisingly small; the teal and red had worn down and it was hard to believe the Oscars took place in the Dolby (biggest takeaway: very few celebrities have nice handwriting!) In fact, the longest line - stretching almost an entire block - was outside the LINE store and was because BTS merchandise was on sale. Go figure.
I experienced LA as fragments, so it’s fitting I ended up capturing LA in its fragments, enhanced by colours that weren’t quite true to life, and it feels appropriate for this particular city. It’s always interesting to me how photography can hide as much as it reveals.
The most memorable places I visited in LA was definitely The Last Bookstore, The Getty (absolutely worth an entire day to wander its beautiful grounds, especially its iconic photography collection) and the peak of Griffith Observatory at sundown, when the haze made layers of the mountains in the distance. Oh, and the Asian food and bubble tea, which is definitely the best in America and Europe combined. It’s definitely got brownie points there.