Toby Harvard seems to travel a lot. He’s a London based photographer who breaks down his work by city, presenting them as “This Is ________.” It’s simple and straightforward enough and the photos are pretty, atmospheric, and very analog. He visited Los Angeles not too long ago and it got us wondering: is “this” really Los Angeles? Is his view of the city really all that there is to us? Let’s take a look.
There are only six photos in Harvard’s set. They cover architecture, nature, cityscape, and general “up in the hills” ideas. They aren’t bad photos by any stretch and they certainly do represent aspects of the LA lifestyle. But, is that Los Angeles? Sure. To an outsider, yes, that is Los Angeles. When looking through Harvard’s photoset, the initial reaction as a local is, “Why isn’t there more?? He didn’t do this or that or this or…” especially when you compare them to what he’s done for places like New York. This may because he has been there more or because these really are the only takeaways he found from Los Angeles. Like photographer Pablo Ravazzani’s visit to Los Angeles, these photos represent an artist outside of his home, left to pluck familiar or comfortable vignettes where he finds them.
What’s interesting looking at these photos as an Angeleno is the idea of taking a step back from your city, a place that you are so proud of and do your best to share its best qualities. When you remove yourself from it, you get to see how others view it, for better of worse. For all we know, Harvard could have been totally bored with LA and these are the only valuable visuals he found here. If anything, we’re glad he did take the time to share our city. For someone that’s as much of a Tumblr celebrity as he is, we’re happy LA looks good enough to share.