Dana Point | Parker & Scully

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: dougKIM photography, Film, Los Angeles

Park & Scully, Dana Point; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Park & Scully, Dana Point; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


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Malibu | El Matador

Posted: February 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: dougKIM photography, Film, Leica, Los Angeles

El Matador, Mailbu; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

El Matador, Mailbu; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

El Matador, Mailbu; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

El Matador, Mailbu; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


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Arnold Newman | Portraits

Posted: November 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Architecture, Cinema, Film, Los Angeles, New York City, Painting, Photography, Quotes

Roy Lichtenstein, 1976 © Arnold Newman

Roy Lichtenstein, 1976 © Arnold Newman

If it’s a good photograph and says something about the person, than I think it’s a good portrait.

- Arnold Newman

Piet Mondrian, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Piet Mondrian, 1942 © Arnold Newman

I wasn’t mimicking it (Mondrian’s style), I was echoing it. I did it deliberately and when he saw the results, he loved it. He gave me the original drawings of Broadway Boogie-Woogie. It was the only thing he could give me. I was stunned at the time.

The thing is I was trying to say with my photographs what Mondrian meant to me. That I would copy his work or anybody else’s in order to do it to me would be horrifying because I would be copying and not creating. A lot of people do that. The man by the way is stiff, linear and very formal, just like his own work.

- Arnold Newman

Truman Capote, 1977 © Arnold Newman

Truman Capote, 1977 © Arnold Newman

Ayn Rand, 1964 © Arnold Newman

Ayn Rand, 1964 © Arnold Newman

Ava Gardner, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Ava Gardner, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Movie stars, actors…all they have is themselves. They have no other ability but to go on and portray somebody else. They don’t know how to be themselves. And it becomes a very difficult thing. Very rarely a great artist, not rarely, but only a few of them can say I don’t really care, I have warts, photograph me with the warts.

- Arnold Newman

Carl Sandburg and Marilyn Monroe, 1962 © Arnold Newman

Carl Sandburg and Marilyn Monroe, 1962 © Arnold Newman

I was acquainted with Carl at that time. He was working on the west coast, working on the words of Jesus in the Greatest Story Ever Told. He said come on out, let’s start work. I stayed with a friend of mine, a producer on a film, Something’s Got To Give. And that was of course the film that Marilyn didn’t finish.

I never saw the glamorous creature. Oh, I saw flashes of her in public and all that. But in the privacy of the home and wherever we were at, and later at my home, I saw nothing but a sad, sick girl.

- Arnold Newman

Leonard Bernstein, 1968 © Arnold Newman

Leonard Bernstein, 1968 © Arnold Newman

Max Ernst, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Max Ernst, 1942 © Arnold Newman

You wait for things to happen. Let’s say, I think I would like to photograph you over here, how about you standing behind the desk for a moment for me, and they’ll do that. Now, let’s face it, if you’ve got a very irritable subject or a man who is pretty rough and tough, President Johnson specifically, why don’t you just stand there for a few minutes, you just can’t do that. As a matter of fact, he gave me fifteen minutes, of course I took forty five. The idea was was that I was loosening him up, to get him used to the idea of photographing. I had to take a risk, my first risk shots, my insurance pictures at the beginning. They were not bad, but they were stiff and he was uptight, looking at his watch mentally.

Later, I got him to relax, we were kidding, he leaned sort of like this as he was waiting for me to get my camera ready again, which before he was very upset that I wasn’t ready. I was doing this on purpose. Finally, when he was like this, I said, don’t move.

- Arnold Newman

Alfred Krupp, 1963 © Arnold Newman

Alfred Krupp, 1963 © Arnold Newman

The worst people in the world, the real villains of today very often as Hitchcock said, hide in broad daylight, you just don’t recognize them. That’s the way Krupp was. He looked like a nice distinguished gentlemanly human being and he looked at my pictures and said, “Mr. Newman, I love your photographs so I think maybe we should take photographs.”

I worked this out where I got the lights to come under him, the usual thing. The result was that when I got him there, it was working but not really working. I had built a little platform of about two meters high, long enough to accommodate the both of us, him straddling a chair. I didn’t want to over do it. The lights were working beautifully but it just didn’t give me what I wanted. I went to Herr Bolen, that was his family name, “would you lean forward” and he leaned this way and my hair stood on end. There was the devil.

And they declared me persona non grata in Germany.

- Arnold Newman

Arthur Miller, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Arthur Miller, 1947 © Arnold Newman

John F. Kennedy © Arnold Newman

John F. Kennedy © Arnold Newman

Portraiture is a term that has taken on all these barnacles, all these terrible things that have happened to portraiture, on canvas, on stone, on metal, and then in photography. It’s something that is done to please the subject. A photographer is nothing more than a whore who does nothing but sit there thinking, will it please the subject, will i be able to sell him this picture, or will I be able to please him so he will buy it.

And the result is that little by little, people have begun to look down at portraiture, forgetting that the greatest artists in the world from Rembrandt, to Holbein, on up to Stieglitz and Strand, what have you, have all done portraiture and loved it. I happen to particularly love photographing people.

- Arnold Newman

Bill Clinton © Arnold Newman

Bill Clinton © Arnold Newman

Ansel Adams, 1975 © Arnold Newman

Ansel Adams, 1975 © Arnold Newman

Man Ray, 1948 © Arnold Newman

Man Ray, 1948 © Arnold Newman

Well, I didn’t mean to make a series of photographs on artists. My intent was explicitly to experiment with portraiture. And I hate the word portraiture. I prefer to call it photographs of people.

When I came to New York, you have to understand, in 1938, things were still bad from the depression and there wasn’t much money. I was unknown. I had this desire to make photographs of people but I didn’t know anyone. The ones that I wanted to meet, the ones that seemed to me, gave me the greatest opportunity…the artists were absolutely perfect.

- Arnold Newman

Salvador Dali, 1951 © Arnold Newman

Salvador Dali, 1951 © Arnold Newman

Henri Cartier-Bresson, NYC, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Henri Cartier-Bresson, NYC, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Cartier-Bresson is not a photojournalist. He takes individual images if you really look at them.

- Arnold Newman

Marc Chagall, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Marc Chagall, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Course Stieglitz was a man who I greatly admired and I had no idea that I was going to meet him. I do remember the fact that kept using words like inventive but the word that he kept using was honesty. He kept urging me then and later to be honest.

- Arnold Newman

Jean Dubuffet, 1956 © Arnold Newman

Jean Dubuffet, 1956 © Arnold Newman

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Great photographs are not made with a camera. They are made by a human being with a mind. And he uses a tool. If that tool cannot make a great work of art, then he discards the tool. As long as the tools are available to us to make something that satisfies us, we’ll use it, no matter how imperfect it is.

- Arnold Newman

I.M. Pei, 1967 © Arnold Newman

I.M. Pei, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Claes Oldenburg, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Claes Oldenburg, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Igor Stravinsky, 1946 © Arnold Newman

Igor Stravinsky, 1946 © Arnold Newman

It all came to head in just a moment. I had been going to concerts and looking at various instruments. I had already photographed musical instruments in part and in whole and that sort of thing. Suddenly I realized that I had been admiring the shape of the piano and suddenly it hit me The piano shape – strong, hard, sharp, linear, beautiful in this strong harsh way was really the echo of Stravinsky’s work, his own music. When I thought about that, reflected on that, I thought where can I get a piano?

We found an editor who had a piano with a very simple wall, very simple background. I was able to manipulate the light on the background by simply taking one 1,000 watt light and moving it around until I got the exact light I wanted.

- Arnold Newman

Marcel Duchamp, 1966 © Arnold Newman

Marcel Duchamp, 1966 © Arnold Newman

Jean Arp, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Jean Arp, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Isamu Noguchi, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Isamu Noguchi, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Pablo Picasso, 1954 © Arnold Newman

Pablo Picasso, 1954 © Arnold Newman

[For the Picasso image] I used a small portion of a 4×5 negative which was part of a series that I did. I love the whole photograph, I still think that that is a successful photograph. What I realized in examining the photograph, the most exciting thing was face and his eyes so I decided to blow up that little section and make that the full image. And I blew it up and it was so successful, the old story, less is more. The impact of that closely cropped head with those fantastic eyes increased the value of the picture instead of decreasing it and it probably became one of my best known photographs.

- Arnold Newman

Louise Nevelson, 1972 © Arnold Newman

Louise Nevelson, 1972 © Arnold Newman


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Venice | Muscle Beach

Posted: September 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: dougKIM photography, Film, Los Angeles, Nikon

Going through the archives. Shot sometime in 2004. I think.

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Muscle Beach, Venice, California; Nikon F5, 35-70mm Nikkor, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim


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Portrait | Linds

Posted: September 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: dougKIM photography, Film, Los Angeles

Linds is one of my best friends and I love her look and her style, full of so many contrasts, so strikingly different. She is not comfortable in front of the camera but I still shot her whenever I could over the years. None of the photos captured what I wanted, none of them conveyed the emotion or mood I wanted. I shot candids of her when we were hanging out, driving, getting coffee, watching TV. I did more formal shoots with her, set the place, directed her. None of it was working.

I kept shooting. The proof sheets were accumulating and she was getting more and more used to me shooting but the shot that I desired, that I knew was possible was not appearing. There were images that were well composed, maybe cool looking, maybe capturing important moments in her life, but it wasn’t what I was looking for.

Years passed.

On one set shoot, I had her like in her tub in her apartment off of Pico Blvd. I shot her with a Leica M6 with Agfa APX and Fuji NPZ 800. I also shot her with a Holga and those two films. When I got the proof sheets back, I saw it, that little square on the contact, leaping out of me, a vignetted window into a moment of mood, a peek maybe even into someone’s soul. That was the shot. I had gotten it.

Five years. That is how long I shot Linds. It reminds me of the anecdote Diane Arbus tells of shooting Eddie Carmel, the subject of the photo “Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in the Bronx, NY, 1970″. She had been photographing him for years, looking for that iconic image she knew she could create of him, when one night in the darkroom, she saw the image appear in the tray and knew it was it. She called her friend from the darkroom and told her that she finally had her image.

Nothing so dramatic or important for me, but I also had this moment and a sense of closure. I have only photographed Linds a few times in the years since.

Linds, Los Angeles; Holga, Agfa APX 400 @ Doug Kim

Linds, Los Angeles; Holga, Agfa APX 400 @ Doug Kim


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Los Angeles | Genie & Judith

Posted: September 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: dougKIM photography, Film, Leica, Los Angeles

Genie & Judith, Los Angeles; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Genie & Judith, Los Angeles; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim


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Los Angeles | Walt Disney Concert Hall

Posted: September 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Architecture, dougKIM photography, Los Angeles, Nikon

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; Nikon D300, 35-70mm Nikkor © Doug Kim

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; Nikon D300, 35-70mm Nikkor © Doug Kim


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Clubracer | Fontana Raceway

Posted: August 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Clubracer, dougKIM photography, Film, Leica, Los Angeles

I always say that I see in black & white. Then non-photographers think that I mean that I am color blind. Or other photographers think that I am being a pretentious, arty B&W snob. I should instead say that I see in Black & White film.

It doesn’t always happen or the results are not always an exact match for what I thought I saw in the moment, but there are many moments where I can see exactly how the darkroom print will look.

This shot is a great example. I had been shooting this series of Clubracers in California and I entered the Pirelli truck and saw this moment. I metered quickly off the floor at the feet of this man to get the proper exposure of the floor, which I knew would make him a silhouette and would blow out the background. One frame.

When I got the proof sheet back, this tiny image popped. It was exactly as I envisioned it.

Doesn’t always happen, but it is a nice moment when it does.

Fontana, California; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Fontana, California; Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim


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Memoirs of a Geisha | Background Actors

Posted: August 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema, dougKIM photography, Film, Leica, Los Angeles

In 2005, me and a friend started checking out general casting calls. She was a freelance programmer and, as a photographer, we were both a little slow at the time. I am not an actor and never wanted to be one, but if you live in Los Angeles, these opportunities are always out there and my friend, who is Japanese, thought it would be fun.

We attended an open call for Memoirs of a Geisha and were both immediately cast as background actors. We were both in different eras and scenes of the movie, she as a Fifties modern dressed prostitute and myself as a 1930′s Japanese general. Which was too bad because our intention had been to do this together but it meant that we would have different shooting days.

The life of an extra is bizarre and worthy of the articles and TV shows that have been created about it. I won’t go too long here but suffice to say that we were treated as just above set decorations yet occasionally were called upon to act. A lot of aspiring actors were in the mix, many having done numerous shows and films. There were hundreds of extras in my scenes of the army invading a village and sumo wrestling scene.

These were long eighteen hour days, getting paid very little, sitting around in costume and make up for hours, the boredom broken up only with the meal calls and the herding of us to set. The costuming was incredible for this film and I must say it was cool to sit around with a bunch of attractive geishas all day. And for the smokers in the crowd, some of the period set props were Camel unfiltered cigarettes. I smoked way too much over those days.

Since I was a shooter, I carried my Leica with me everywhere, including that set. I was, however, extremely conscious of the sensitivity of shooting unapproved on set since I had done production work before. But one day, I broke it out to shoot this girl because the light in the soundstage was just perfect. Soon, we all broke out our cameras and were taking group shots.

The next day, they issued a memo, instructing us to not take photos.

And yes, my shots were cut and my friend’s elbow was the only thing that made it into a scene.

But I did get the chance to be near Gong Li and that alone was worth the price of admission.

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


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Space X | Elon Musk

Posted: May 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: dougKIM photography, Film, Los Angeles, Mamiya

It is one of those rare things when you land a gig that gets you incredibly excited just to be a part of something. Such is the case when I was shooting for Space X a few years ago, when they only had a dozen or so rocket engineers and a test engine. Rocket engineers. I mean, c’mon.

It was a true start up: lean and mean with everyone pitching in, the constant buzz of knowing that they were changing the game. Elon did not have many publicity shots of himself so I found myself in my most uncomfortable shooting scenario: camera stuck on a tripod, lights and cables, sandbags and assistants.

Who cares? It was damn cool to shoot for Space X until their Falcon rocket reached the launch pad for the first time and then seasoned space exploration photographers who had shot for NASA for decades stepped in. Can’t blame them as some of these photographers were legends and had seen it all.

It is the end of May 2012 and the first private space vehicle from Space X has been docked to the International Space Station for two days. Congrats, Elon and Marybeth!

Shot sometime in 2005 for Space X in Hawthorne, CA at the Space X Hangar. Mamiya Pro II 67 and FUJI Pro 800Z, rated at 400. Two Dynalites and a big ass hunk of metal.

Elon Musk, Space X facility at Hawthorne; Mamiya Pro II 67, Fuji Pro 800Z, sometime in 2005 © Doug Kim

Elon Musk, Space X facility at Hawthorne; Mamiya Pro II 67, Fuji Pro 800Z, sometime in 2005 © Doug Kim


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