A MOMENT’S REFLECTION: CODY SMITH’S UNIQUE TAKE ON NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Shadows and sunsets become one – sand and sky unite and a man-made object becomes part of nature in Cody Smith’s continuous series, A Moment’s Reflection. The Los Angeles based photographer gets out of the city and into the outdoors, bringing a unique perspective to the beauty of nature photography. Smith uses reflections as the focal point–not photoshopped ones, but ones that display strategic placements of large circular mirrors creating beautiful juxtapositions of nature’s textures and landscapes. Some photos play with light, others simply make the mirror look like transparent glass, and a select few bring in people. In his words, “My intention is to draw new connections between familiar forms by introducing specular reflections to environments where none would typically exist.”

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PICTURE PERFECT: LEICA GALLERY LA

Since its introduction in 1925, Leica’s reputation has preceded itself, its commitment to excellence never faltering among the millennial generation’s lust for instant gratification. So when Leica decided to open a new gallery space in the heart of Los Angeles, they, predictably, took their time and did it right. Upon entering the 8,000 square foot space, I am greeted with a flood of natural light, a well-clad staff on deck, and a gargantuan, metallic Leica sculpture built by Chinese artist Liao Yibai. It is one hell of an introduction, as “after all,” says Roland Wolff, VP of Marketing and Corporate Retail, “everyone knows that you only have one chance to make a first impression.” Tiffany’s window-shopping be damned, this is a gadget-hoppers dream, a camera-lover’s heaven, a photojournalist’s paradise. You are entering an elite club, and you’d be a fool not to take note.

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But geeking out among the pristine cases of vintage and contemporary lenses will have to wait. Upstairs, the gallery beckons. I am given a tour of the space by curator, Annie Seaton, who describes in detail the incredible history of the brand and what’s in store for the gallery’s upcoming exhibitions. Breathtaking prints by iconic photographer, Mary Ellen Mark line the walls of a space that has been retrofitted to host Leica Akademie workshops, with projections built into the ceiling and hidden walls appearing as if out of thin air. There is a small library curated by celebrated Magnum photographer, Martin Parr, where guests are invited to peruse his selections of some of the best photo books the publishing world has seen. Double glass doors lead to a gorgeous outdoor (why yes, there’s an outside!) patio. I grab one of the books from the gallery and find my way to a shadowed corner on the patio and read away, mesmerized by images and totally relaxed in this hidden oasis just off Beverly Boulevard.

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Below the gallery, lies the equally well-curated store, home to the entire range of new Leica products, along with a number of their rare and vintage pieces. From a gold-plated, special edition Leica created for the Sultan of Brunei, to their entire line of the brand new and highly coveted Summilux motion picture lenses, the store is an optical sanctuary, housing some of the most cherished and influential cameras in photographic history. I am enthralled with the staff’s knowledge, and they are quick to school me on all things photography. Many of their cameras are made by hand in batches of 15, taking up to four to six weeks to produce. Apprenticeship in their factory can take up to a full year before handling the precious cargo is even allowed. And with their technologically advanced rangefinder system, it’s no wonder that photojournalists across the world are keen to call this camera their own.

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READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN OUR ISSUE HERE

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text + photo RACHEL MANY

VENUS VS. MARS: PUBLISH BRAND

It’s been said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. The idiom has inspired and provoked the human condition for centuries. Holy Carter aka Jay-Z even wrote a song about it. We at LA CANVAS chose to entertain this dichotomy by pairing two emerging LA-based stylists and icons growing in fashion scene against each other.  The street-chic sensibility and fireball energy of Ann Marie Hoang paired with the artistic, grunge-prep, lady-killer vibes of Justin Barco makes for a perfect match-up. In honor of PUBLISH BRAND‘s 2013 release, we pulled in the Jogger Pants and some of our favorites.

LAC: First question is where did you get your start?

Ann Marie: My Uncle, Hau Nguyen, owner of Duc Duc Salon in Torrance taught me good work ethic. My hustle was recognized by Aban Sonia, Boss lady at Art.

Justin Barco : I started off modeling, and my style caught on to people so I just made the best of what I could and the things I knew and started developing my own brand/career from there.

 

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LAC: Both of you guys like to flirt with androgyny in your personal style. Explain why. 

JB: In my case as a male I feel that  one should be a balance between both masculinity and femininity and I mean that with out a sexual connotation but to understand our type of being and taste of culture. I look for art in all elements so to me it’s show casing pieces I’ve collected through time.

AM: I flirt with everything fashion related. I don’t discriminate, but I like the dichotomy of mixing feminine and masculine pieces together. That’s the luxury of being a lady, we can pull off anything.

LAC: So, Ann Marie, why wardrobe styling?

AM: Style can change your entire mood. It can make you feel like a badass, or sexy, or whimsical, etc. I like to translate these feelings to my audience. Aside from editorial work, I chose to style individuals because I believe that everyone has style. I like to maximize the potential inner-badass in each individual that I work with. I love to see my clients discover who they really are stylistically. It is the most rewarding part of what I do.

 

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LAC: Justin, I’m interested as to know how optimistic are you about your future in fashion?

JB: I’ve been blessed with amazing opportunities, and have been in settings that I never imagined to be, so I’m looking forward to what is in store for me in the arts. I’m very optimistic.

LAC: Educate us on the LA “indie” fashion scene?

AM: Well LA is a melting pot of a lot of different sub cultures within the city. We have WEHO where folks tend to be more avant-garde, Beverly Hills where folks are more classic casual, Downtown’s where folks tend to be more fashion-forward, then we have Venice where folks are more boho. That’s what I love about LA’s  indie fashion scene–you can be transported to a whole different world by driving 10 mins.

JB: Personally, don’t like it, I feel its too saturated and corporations made it a bit cheesy.

LAC: I have this amour with cliche questions. Ok. Where do you think you’ll be in 3 years?

AM: In 3 years I see myself traveling more to expand my own personal taste in style.

JB: Lol- Ah man ha,  it’s a hard to say but I’m working on it, definitely somewhere beautiful. I’ll make sure to get back to this question in 3 years.

 

“I’m on that red wine, shorty likes white. Same shit different toilet, we both getting nice”
– Jay-Z “Venus vs. Mars” 

Photographer: Mark Wales