Leica's humble X1 visits the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles
About 8 weeks ago my wife and I were tempted by some bargain trans-Pacific airfares to take a two week trip to California. We spent the first few days in Santa Monica and I took the opportunity to visit the Petersen Automotive Museum in downtown LA.
Petersen Publishing started out by launching the very successful Hot Rod magazin—one of my boyhood favourites. The company went onto publish many other very successful motor and hobby magazines including a few photography titles.
The success of the business allowed Robert Petersen and his wife to establish a motor museum in 1995 and this has gone on to become today's superb venue which is now administered by the Petersen Museum Foundation. In the last two years the museum has been completely rebuilt and is now a very striking purpose-built structure on Wilshire Boulevard in LA.
When I visited in May the Museum had two stunning exhibitions—one featured only silver cars and some of these are shown in my photos. The pictures may look as if they are monochrome but in fact they are colour. The second exhibition featured cars from the 1930's with dramatic coachwork and was titled "Rolling Sculpture”.
Camera of choice
Although I have been taking photographs seriously for well over 55 years I have had most success in the last six years and I put this down to the fact that I have unencumbered myself from carrying complex and heavy gear around and now just predominantly use my Leica X1 as my camera of choice.
So now I spend my time composing photos rather than fiddling with cameras. I have previously espoused my enthusiasm for the Leica X1 on Macfilos so I won't repeat myself explaining why I choose to use the X1 despite its slow-as-a-wet-weekend autofocus and poor battery life.
So only the X1 went with me to California. I had not intended to take photos in the Petersen Museum as I really just wanted to look at the cars. I find it very strange and rather sad that many people visit museums and galleries nowadays and spend their whole visit taking photos of the exhibits-usually using their smartphones.Why did they bother to visit the museum as they could have stayed at home and looked at most of the exhibits on the museum's website?
To this end, I spent the first hour looking at the cars but after seeing that there were very few visitors and the cars presented some excellent photo opportunities I ducked out to my car in the museum car park and picked up my X1 and spent 40 minutes taking the photos below.
I invariably leave the X1 on A(auto) for both shutter speed and aperture selection and the ISO and white balance on Auto. I am a trusting soul nowadays. The photos were all jpegs and they are exactly as they came out of the camera. No processing needed.
Life could not be more simple.