In my brief trip to Los Angeles, I did manage to find time to visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I’d visited with my old friends long ago back in the stock photo days of slide film.
Do those photos look dated or what?! That’s what plain old slide film taken in the middle of the day looked like back in the 1990’s.
Well this time I brought my digital camera. First thing I noticed that there was some sort of filming going on in front of the mosoleum. They would take and retake a scene with an old Rolls Royce hearse pulling up along side a beautiful actress and handsome man. There was some sort of signage marking the 74th anniversary of Valentino- some actor I’d never heard of ….
My main goal at the cemetery was to try and do some slightly different shots- of an aerial sort.
Where possible I tried to get something interesting in the foreground.
But I had limited time. Like so many of these excursions, I hope to return and finish what I started sometime soon.
Visiting a friend down in the Los Angeles area, Culver City to be exact I had another opportunity to visit the Wende Museum. The Wende Museum is focused on the Cold War, a particular interest to me.
Back in 1986/87 I was an exchange student in Southwestern Germany (technically the Federal Republic of Germany or as most English speakers referred to it “West Germany”.) It seems like ancient history now, but in the wake of WWII, Germany was occupied by the major victors divided into zones amongst them.
Where I lived in Immenstaad, and went to school, (now Bad) Saulgau was in the French occupied zone. I have no idea if the French really “occupied” this area though they did have a Garrison in nearby Friedrichshafen where you’d occasionally see French soldiers and military equipment.
In any case the “democratic” powers of France, United Kingdom, and United States got on pretty well. However the USSR…. not so much. The Soviet occupied Eastern portion of Germany became its own country in 1948. Except the western portion of Berlin and some other quirks, like a few spots in West Berlin that were run by the USSR (like the Soviet Memorials at Treptow and at Tiergarten.)
So, my first visit to the GDR was with a friend and classmate from the Gewerbliche Berufsschule Saulgau who had a sister who lived and worked in West Berlin.
Whew, this is getting longer than I planned. Short story, I visited Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR in the summer of 1987 and was fascinated.
So just a couple blocks from my friends house lies the new location for a museum dedicated to my interest.
There were a bunch of busts of Lenin. I had a good time framing them with my new camera setup, I thought it worked well using the new Sigma Art 18-35mm f1.8 (hey, that’s sounding rather capitalistic- a product placement?) I liked the ability to get a shallow DOF with one little Lenin in front of a big Lenin.
I’m kinda bummed my friend is moving. I’d love to go back and spend some more time exploring Ostalgie.
I don’t know how I get away with such dumb jokes. But alas, here’s a few photos of the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland. It really exudes that WPA feeling – a public space with a late 1930’s feel to it. Not forgetting the all too common Mission Style architecture of the cluster of buildings on the site.
After a rare spell of puffy clouds here in the bay area I was trying to figure out where to shoot some long daylight exposures. This has turned out to be a longer series of visits.
The tulip events have begun recently, and there are a number of beautiful flower displays around the cemetery.
I’ve been experimenting with many different techniques and lots of my equipment.
I have several really fancy long lenses I seldom have the opportunity to utilize. So I’ve been having fun with the 120-300mm f2.8 Sigma and the 150-600mm f5-6.3 Contemporary pulling in distant results and blurring backgrounds.
This project has also given me the chance to test my newish Sigma Art 24-70mm f2.8. Frankly it hasn’t been too great for the event work as I had hoped. It’s a bit slow with the MC-11 converter on Sony. But nothing is moving here!
Stay tuned for the next entry, I just don’t have time but hope to continue soon.