Lunch Rush by I Nancy, on Flickr
Philippe’s is a Los Angeles institution nestled at the cross section of LA’s Union Station, Olvera Street, and China Town. The specialty at Philippe’s is their pork, beef, ham, lamb or turkey french dipped sandwiches and homemade pies and deserts. Thursday, Jerry, Chick and I headed downtown to do a bit of street wandering and shooting. Whenever Chick is along (a non-photographer), we need to bribe him with a first stop of food to keep him patient as we start and stop clicking away to get our next award winning shot. For this trip Philippe’s was the bribe.
I’ve, impatiently, attempted many shots at Philippe’s. It is so colorful, both literally and figuratively. This trip I slowed down, thought about what I wanted to express and did my best to work the situation. I really wanted to get something that showed the energy at Philippe’s. I started out with wide angle shots looking down on the dining room. I believe these shots were successful to a point, but not poignant enough to stand on their own. My next set of shots were isolating people and their interactions with the servers behind the counters or with their food. I was looking for light, color, and gesture. A couple of nice images resulted.
Lastly, I worked on some mid-range ideas, capturing the layers of people waiting, servers, and signs. I knew I had to include the hallmark sandwich sign and the array of neon beer signs are a plus. The way this one worked out I have several layers alternating history like an archeological dig. At the bottom is the layer of 21st century America waiting in line to be served. Next is the layer of the servers – doing something interesting, but not awkward with an added plus of the one server heading back into the kitchen. Third are the signs, which must be replicas of the originals. And finally the row of neon beer signs supplying both light and color.