An image of a lifeguard tower on Venice Beach, shot on Ilford XP1 film, is shown. The film is so far past its expiration date that the "ink from the markings on the backing paper transferred to the film emulsion," according to the photographer, resulting in the ghostly numbers in the middle of the frame.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kevin BalluffLink
A glass of beer is lit by a light-emitting diode in a long-exposure image, causing bubbles to appear as streaks of light in the glass.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: David SandenLink
In San Pedro, a girl's tricycle is decked out with holiday decorations.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris ValleLink
A spontaneous laugh is caught on film at a Metro station in downtown Los Angeles.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anthony SamaniegoLink
The downtown L.A. skyline, as photographed through a tilt-shift lens, is shown.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gary J. WinterboerLink
Shown are patrons and beverages at the Edison in downtown L.A., part of a six-month series about working at the bar.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert LarsonLink
Dancers rehearse for a piece called "Priceless Soul" at the Djanbazian Dance Company in La Crescenta.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Armineh HovanesianLink
Pigeons are silhouetted against the moon in Venice.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve GaskinLink
Brightly-colored Bougainvillea flowers stand out against the bokeh in the background.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris JacksonLink
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Reader photos: Best of Southern California moments for December 2013
It’s hard to believe that this latest set wraps up the third year of Southern California Moments. One of my favorite parts about working on the series is seeing all the different approaches and methods used to make photographs. Today, this process is simplified as apps and filters can be used to mimic effects from film that has been aged 20 years, or with a tilt-shift lens, the price of which can range into the thousands of dollars.
In December, we saw several images that put “something extra” into the process of making the images — such as Kevin Balluff’s surreal image of a lifeguard tower in Venice Beach. Most people think of the beach as a sunny, bright scene filled with lots of color, but by cross-processing a cloudy day photo, Balluff turned it into a monochrome scene. The image was also shot on Ilford XP1 film, which ended production in the early 1990s. The film was so old, according to Balluff, that the “ink from the markings on the backing paper transferred to the film emulsion,” making the image even more unusual.
There’s also David Sanden’s glass of beer. To make the image, he placed the glass in a darkened studio lit from below by a light-emitting diode. He then made a long exposure of the image, causing the naturally occurring bubbles in the beer to appear as streaks of light in the glass.
Images don’t always have to be crisp and perfect, however. Another of my favorites from December is Robert Larson’s image of patrons sitting and dancing at the Edison. The high contrast, the blur of the image, the slightly askew angle, all give the impression of a whiskey-soaked night out in downtown Los Angeles.
Feel like there’s a photo I left out, or one that doesn’t belong in the set? Sound off in the comments. See you next month.
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