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Category: Photography

Watercolor paintings based on Julius Shulman photos

Eames House Amy ParkIf the famed architectural photographs of Julius Shulman sketched a story about California, then New York artist Amy Park has added her own chapter, painting color into images that many of us have seen over and over again.

Park creates large-scale watercolors from architectural photographs, and Shulman's images of California homes and other buildings were inspiration for a show that opens Saturday at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles.

“His photographs capture such an idyllic time in California,” Park said by phone from her studio. “The landscape, the light. It is magical for someone like me who grew up in the Midwest and now lives in New York.”

The painter, originally inspired by the documentary “Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman,” did not work on site or even visit the buildings. She worked exclusively from Shulman's black-and-white photographs, on loan from the Getty Research Institute. Though Shulman’s archive does include color photography, Park chose black-and-white images as a challenge. The colors in her paintings of the Eames House in Pacific Palisades, for instance, are based on her recollection. 

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Critter cams: Natural History Museum's videos of wild visitors

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has installed cameras to capture urban wildlife roaming its new North Campus garden
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County's new garden employs, as one would expect, a cadre of groundskeepers to groom 3.5 acres. But it also has a senior media producer, a full-time staffer who with the help of motion-activated cameras, or critter cams, documents animals living or traveling through the space.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has installed cameras to capture urban wildlife roaming its new North Campus garden"They really allow us to get an idea day and night of what animals are hanging out here," said Sam Easterson, the producer for the museum's North Campus garden and nature lab, scheduled to open next year.

Easterson said seven cameras are in continuous operation and have captured thousands of images of animals such as the California ground squirrel, a specific species that Easterson said hasn't been spotted on the museum grounds for 20 years, and a baby opossum born this spring in the garden's opossum den.

Today the museum is launching a dedicated Fickr link to these photos and videos, which highlight the mission of enticing wildlife to the North Campus.

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Sit! Stay! Make love to the camera! Dog photographers, unleashed


The world of dog portraiture is hitting new highs — four-figure highs, actually, as the notion of specialized canine photography spreads. Looking to capture your dog underwater? Or glamming it up? Or expressing its inner design aesthete? Then it's time to meet members of L.A.'s rare breed, the niche dog photographer: Seth Casteel, Catherine Ledner and Dale Berman.

Catherine-Ledner-dog-photography Bow-Wow-Projects-dog-photoWe've got profiles of all three photographers, who shared their strategies for getting the best shots. Keep reading ...



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Pedro E. Guerrero: Frank Lloyd Wright's photographer, in focus

Pedro E. Guerrero left Arizona in the 1930s to escape bigotry and to become an artist in Los Angeles. But years later, upon seeing photography of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture, he headed back to Arizona. His destination: Taliesin West, Wright's school near Scottsdale, where he sought to meet the master. He did more than meet Wright. He began a relationship that would last until Wright's death in 1959.

Pedro-GuerreroWith no formal training, Guerrero went on to serve as Wright's primary photographer, documenting not only the architecture but also the architect. That body of work forms the backbone of “Pedro E. Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life,” billed as the first in-depth retrospective for a man who also captured the designs of Alexander Calder, Marcel Breuer and Philip Johnson.

Emily Bills, director of the Julius Shulman Institute at Woodbury University and co-curator of the exhibit, said the goal was to show how Guerrero, right, built a career in parallel to photographers such as Shulman but with less fame.

“He was similarly prolific, influencing how midcentury architecture was represented and understood,” Bills said.

We asked the curator to elaborate on Guerrero's significance and talk about some of her favorite photos in the show.

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Palm Springs museum dives into pool culture in 'Backyard Oasis'

Bill Owens "We Don't Have to Conform"
The backyard swimming pool can be an object of desire or a sign of suburban sterility, an icon of the good life or a symbol of its demise. The Palm Springs Art Museum’s new show, “Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography,” looks at these contradictions and provides a revealing peek at this fixture of Southern California life, one that dots the landscape but nonetheless often remains hidden from view.

The photographs, taken from 1945 to 1982, are just plain fun to look at — the exquisite skill of the photographers, pretty bodies in pretty settings, recognizable pieces of recent cultural history. But a closer look uncovers a much more thought-provoking exhibition.

PHOTO GALLERY: ""Backyard Oasis" at the Palm Springs Art Museum

“I had been wanting for a really long time to do a show that looked at cultural geography,” the idea that place is not just its physical coordinates but also “the ideology that makes up people’s imagination of a place,” said Daniell Cornell, senior curator.

Life seems perfect in the 1970 photograph “Poolside Gossip” taken by Slim Aarons — from the pose of a lounging woman and her flip hairdo, to the glassy blue of the generous-sized pool, to the purples and blues of the mountain view.

The group of partygoers in “We Don’t Have to Conform,” a 1971 photograph shown at top by Bill Owens, practically screams Southern California stereotypes. Seven people, drinks in hand, sit in a hot tub with their feet raised at the center, touching, forming a leg tepee.

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Home Tour: Photographer Jill Greenberg's hillside escape

Jill Greenberg bathroomThe house that Beth Holden designed for photographer Jill Greenberg and producer Robert Green takes cues from some of Greenberg's best-known photos: a cool (at times frosty) palette, a layer of glam and flash, a touch of playful surrealism -- all of which seems fitting once you've seen the hillside house's unbelievable view.

The homes we profile often fall into familiar categories: modern innovators, restoration wonders, budget remodels, small-but-smart spaces. This one? File it under L.A. fantasy, a live-work escape complete with artificial turf on the rooftop playground. 

Story and 360 panoramas

Traditional photo gallery

We have been tracking progress of this house for about two years, most recently so photographer Jill Greenberg panoramaBryan Chan could complement our article and traditional photography with 360-degree interactive panoramas that allow you to pan and zoom inside various rooms. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.


Time-lapse video: Eames living room moved to LACMA

Eames House restoration

Landmark Houses: The series

Homes of the Times: California design in photos

-- Craig Nakano

Photo, top: The second-floor master bathroom's corner window has a frosted lower half, providing privacy while still transmitting light. The skylight reappears on the rooftop, where it's situated as a glass table surrounded by built-in seating. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Photo, bottom: A screen capture from one of seven 360-degree panorama images accompanying the story. Credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

A photographer with an eye for L.A.'s wild side


There is something fantastic about a photographer noted for her images of the L.A. punk rock scene turning her eye to the wild beauty of the garden. Ann Summa is spending a year in Southern California's community gardens for The Times, working with her husband, writer Jeff Spurrier, to document the people and the plantings of these public plots.

The couple have more dispatches to come, but now that the series has hit the six-month mark, we decided to compile a photographic look back, selecting some of Summa's images that capture the landscapes' beauty and the spirit of the people who nurtured it.

Look for future installments on this blog every Wednesday, and in the meantime enjoy this 35-image photo gallery.

Photos: Ann Summa


Cactus photos deliver 'snowflakes' from the desert


The joy of cactus: They only need shoveling when you plant them. As the rain in Southern California gives way to sunshine, we thought we'd share our version of snowflakes with readers in colder climes.

Photographer and writer Debra Lee Baldwin, who specializes in cactuses and succulents, photographed the tops of columnar cactuses that collectively are known as ceroids. (That's Pachycereus weberi, pictured above.) The location: Desert Theater Nursery, Escondido, Calif.

Keep reading to see Baldwin's flurry of photos ...

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A celebration of Julius Shulman


Noted architectural photographer Julius Shulman, someone whose images helped to build the reputations of so many modernist architects, showed little interest in slowing down. Pictured at age 91 in the 2002 photograph above, the photographer may have been gripping a cane, but he was consumed with the picture at hand at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

First visitors at National Stadium Beijing by Herzog  de Meuron architects 2008 The Julius Shulman Institute at Woodbury University will honor his legacy this weekend with events celebrating what would have been Shulman's 100th birthday had he not passed away at 98. On Saturday, Frances Anderton will moderate a panel of architects, photographers and critics led by architect Neil Denari and historian Kazys Varnelis. They will discuss the relationship between architecture and photography from 3 to 6 p.m.  Admission is $15, and seating is limited.

James Welling_9818_2009_reducedAn opening reception for the exhibition “Image. Architecture. Now” will follow from 6 to 9 p.m. The show features architectural  photographs by Shulman, Catherine Opie and James Welling, among Lovell Health House others. Admission is free. Woodbury University is at 7500 Glenoaks Blvd. in Burbank.

As part of the anniversary celebration, the symposium and exhibition will be followed by 10-10-10, a Celebration of Julius Shulman on Sunday, when the first Julius Shulman Photography Award will be given to Iwan Baan. Actress Diane Keaton, a longtime preservationist, will be honored with the 10th Julius Shulman Communication Award.  The party starts at 6 p.m. at Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles. A dinner and live auction hosted by Benedikt Taschen will follow.  Tickets begin at $250. Information: (818) 767-0888.

An auction of prints by Luisa Lambri, Baan, Chris Mottalini and others will be held on EBay from Saturday to Oct. 19. All proceeds will go to support the Julius Shulman Institute's programming and educational outreach.

Finally, and fittingly, on Sunday the MAK Architecture Tour of modern residences photographed by Shulman has sold out. In an effort to accommodate more fans, however, the MAK Center for Architecture is offering an abbreviated version of the tour -- including Shulman's house and the Lovell Health House pictured at right -- for $40. Call (323) 651-1510 to reserve a spot.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits, from top: Los Angeles Times; Iwan Baan; James Welling; Julius Shulman Photography Archive; Research Library at the Getty Research Institute, used with permission

The common honey bee as landscape

BEE_cover In Rose-Lynn Fisher's new book "Bee," the artist offers a close look at the common honey bee. A very, very close look.

Using a friend's electron microscope, Fisher explores the bee in a variety of magnifications. At 10x or 30x resolution the images mostly look insect-like, but when she magnifies a pollen press 85x or an antenna 1700x crazy things start happening:The images take on an otherworldly feel that has nothing to do with the buzzing pollinator we alternately greet with joy and fear. Instead we might be looking at an underwater landscape, or some kind of alien worm. 

Many of us have encountered electron microscope images before whether in high school science textbooks, or on the Discovery Channel, but very rarely is it an artist who is sitting behind the lens. It's the beauty of the images in Fisher's book, and not just the amazing reality that they show us, that makes Bee special.

"Bee" will be available in stores April 28th. On April 27th the artist will have a book signing at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028) as part of MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles).

In the meantime, we've got more images from Bee after the jump.

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