18 Aug Pic(k) of the week 32: LOVE FOOTBALL – Venice Beach, CA

Source: Bjorn Moerman

Venice beach is one my favorite places to shoot Street photography in and around Los Angeles. Originally called “Venice of America”, Venice was founded in 1905 by wealthy developer Abbot Kinney as an independent beach resort town, 14 miles west of Los Angeles. 

In 1926, Venice merged with Los Angeles but is still known for its canals, beach and Ocean Front walk. The latter is a 2,5 mile (4km) long promenade that features performers, fortune tellers and vendors. There is also not shortage of interesting characters which make Venice of interest to any Street Photographer!

Unfortunately over the last few years the number of homeless people in the area have skyrocketed. It has been reported that at least 66.000 people are homeless in LA County. 

Venice Beach is also known for its free sport facilities consisting of Paddle, Basketball and Handball courts as well as a large skate-park. Just behind Muscle beach, a body-builder workout area, I bumped into somebody playing football against a wall in a beautiful late afternoon light. 

Using the XF50 f2 lens, I initially hadn’t noticed the graffiti on the wall saying LOVE. Moving just few steps back, I managed to get a better, more telling frame which can be seen below. I also quickly changed lenses to the XF23 f2 lens, but because of a distracting background, I do like the original images with the 50mm lens more. After finishing the sequence of images, I asked the person in the shot if he wanted to have a free copy of the images, but he surprisingly said no. There might have been a bit of language barrier or some fear of being charged afterwards. 

Image details:

I’m often surprised how many Fujifilm users do not use the Film simulations to their maximum potential. Remember that one can tweak things like shadows, highlights, noise reduction, sharpness, dynamic range, color toning, etc…, all in camera! Most of my Street photography images are therefore SOOC, giving me more time to shoot! 
So why fiddle around with all these settings? First of all, it saves a lot of post-processing work. Secondly, it gives the photographer the option to emulate analog film stocks, which is so much fun! A great resource with lots of different Film recipes is FujiWeekly
Inspired by photographers like Harry Gruyaert, Ernst Haas and Stephen Shore, I shot the entire day using the Kodachrome II film recipe.
Obviously all of this only affects the jpegs files. For those that swear by shooting RAW, this is not for you. I personally always shoot RAW+jpeg. The RAW file however is only used in some very specific cases. 
It felt great to do some actual Street photography again. 
Remember: “When live gets blurry, adjust your focus” – anon

Pic(k) of the week 32: LOVE FOOTBALL - Venice Beach, CA posted on Bjorn Moerman on .

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