As someone used to living in walkable European cities with functioning public transport, LA is a city I’ve found hard to like. I’ve been back a few times now, though, and enjoy it more each time I do. I’m usually there around Christmas and the bright skies are definitely a welcome break from the drab British winter.

These shots were taken on an afternoon exploring the Fairfax and La Brea neighbourhoods, walking from one LA institution, Canter’s Deli, to another, the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA).

The Leica/Tri-X is obviously a classic combination and one I use regularly. The camera is small and unobtrusive, which makes it the perfect travel camera. The only problem is there are really no excuses left for a bad shot!

Having an abundance of light is something I love about Southern California; even Summer in the UK is rarely that bright. I like playing with the strong shadows that get cast, and Tri-X will handle pretty much everything you throw at it, as long as you give it enough light in the first place.

I often lose inspiration to take photos when winter approaches in the UK, but the drastic change of environment brings it all back immediately. I’m looking forward to getting into the darkroom soon and printing a few off.

Thanks for reading – I hope you enjoy the shots

~ James King



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  1. Thanks, David. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the tree shadow so well lined up. I agree, LA isn’t an easy place to like, but it definitely has a genuine, very likable side to it. I’m lucky to have family there who know it inside out.

  2. OMG, that last frame with the matching tree and shadow is brilliant!

    Interesting, I’ve been to LA once and absolutely HATED it, but shot some Eastman XX with some good results. Going back this week for a wedding and was planning to shoot B/W film again.

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