…My electric fan shattered with a power surge
Into fragmented plastic shards.
I so miss it now.
It’s oppressively tropical,
With volcanic heat
And pressure bearing down on us.
The clammy mugginess of a sauna.
Not the clean dry air you find abroad,
Yet still that remorseless torrid scorching,
Roasting and toasting.
Just too much…

Paul Butters – Hellopoetry.com

It was really HOT in LA this past weekend! I’m talking about that melt the soles of your favorite sneakers kinda heat. Oh…and I can’t forget the Florida Everglades, sweat dripping from your upper lip type of humidity that came along just for the helluvit. Yeah…we don’t see that kind of extreme combination too much in my neck of SoCal. “Sunny and 70 degrees everyday!” Well…that’s what I used to say. Whether it’s simply your garden variety (extreme) heat wave or global warning…who’s to say? I just know a thermometer I passed read 106 degrees…it was hella-hot!

DTLA, CA ©Reginald Foster

But, here’s the thing…that same oppressive heat & humidity that makes us worship ice cream and air conditioning also tends to create a bit of atmospheric diffusion that can soften harsh shadows and intensify colors. So, being the obsessive image maker that I am, I figured what better to do on an apocalyptically hot day than roam the streets of LA looking for images. So, I grabbed a camera, some film, a backpack full of water and went on walkabout in downtown LA and West Hollywood.

muehprO, DTLA, CA ©Reginald Foster

Heat-loving though I am, I’ve gotta admit, it was excessively hot. DTLA was just smoldering. I’m pretty sure I saw Satan standing in line for ice cream at the Grand Central Market. Yup, toasty for sure, but my world was all good, ’cause the light was simply wonderful – vibrant, warm, and beautiful. Just what I was hoping for! Surprisingly, there were plenty of people out and about in spite of the heat. Eh…This is LA; ya live here for the sunshine. Right? Although a few of those sun worshipping souls braved direct exposure, most people seemed to be flitting between patches of shade or simply camping out in the shadows. Understandably so…it was only 97 degrees in those shadows – cool, crisp, and inviting …relatively speaking, of course.

A Quiet Space, DTLA, CA ©Reginald Foster

So, I roamed, shot, sweated, drank, shot, and sweated some more for a few hours. I was primarily trying to capture subjects within or at the edge of shadows. Like a fisherman, ya’ throw your hook where the fish will be. And, on this horrendously hot & humid day…shade was the place.

Hidden in the Shadows, DTLA, CA ©Reginald Foster

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Bound for Yoga, DTLA, CA ©Reginald Foster

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Out for a smoke, DTLA, CA ©Reginald Foster

Equipment Used

  • Leica MP
  • Leica 50 f/1.4 Summilux
  • Leica 50 f/1.0 Noctilux
  • Fuji C200 color film @ 400 ISO

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