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Kirsten Alana | los angeles


Travel Photographer/Storyteller for hire obsessed w/ the people/places/perspectives others ignore #storyledtravel • ❤️ @dante.vincent

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I heard a rumor that there’s only a day or two left before the @secondhome_la Pavilion closes at La Brea Tar Pits here in Los Angeles. So if it’s something you’ve seen or heard about and you were waiting to go to, don’t wait anymore. I recently had the chance to see it when my dear friends @mumhad1ofthose & @descurran were visiting from London, and I was relieved to find it is free to enter. I’m always a fan of art that’s free for all to experience because it’s one of the most beautiful things in life. And while I understand it can’t always be free, when it is, it removes that barrier to entry and gives everyone the chance to be inspired in the way art can be inspiring and entertaining. . Anyway, the #secondhomela pop up “tent-like” structure designed by SelgasCano known as an art sculpture is part of Second Home which is a socially responsible British business with a belief that diversity makes creativity stronger. They create spaces that bring diverse groups of people together and that’s something I admire. While it has been here in LA, it has hosted live music, performance art, talks, dances and screenings. Their hashtag is #lovelettertola but they might as well say it’s a love letter to humanity and what can happen when we come together in a safe space where differences are celebrated and community is valued. . That being said, the co-working and private offices spaces that Second Home offers which are permanent are not exactly affordable. But this is a feed about travel and that’s another conversation for another day. If you’re traveling around Los Angeles this weekend, stop by the Pavilion before it closes and let me know what you think of it.... 😉💛 . . . #kaguidela #discoverla #publicartwork #publicartinstallation #selgascano
Didn’t sleep well last night after seeing my dear friend @neumarc’s Stories from a Venezia where there is a flooding event occurring, bringing high tides just shy of the devastating record-high “aqua alta” of 1966. St Mark’s Basilica is flooded. Which, before 2018, had happened only 4 times in more than 900 years. Or only 6 times total in 1,200 years depending on what and where you read online. 🙀 Because Marco is my friend, I worried for his safety and I still worry as the danger is not passed. . It’s stamped a much more personal note on a crisis that I’ve already been aware of and have been trying to do my part to combat. We can try to ignore it, we can choose to believe it’s not as bad as some say or even that we can’t do much to change things. But we can. And we must. . We all have hundreds of choices a day that, made the right way - can help make a difference. We can try to eliminate all single use plastic from our lives. We can fly less and take cleaner transportation when we do travel. ✈️ We can donate to organizations that plant trees which absorb co2 or even more importantly, give to organizations that protect old trees from being cut down since older trees absorb co2 more rapidly than younger trees. 🌳 We can vote in representatives and leaders that believe there is a climate crisis and that will fight to make laws and processes that will combat the problems. You can request that your energy supplier only use clean energy - something Danté & I have done here in California. 💡 We can unplug or power off our tech when we’re not using it. 🔌 We can choose not to waste food, grow our own food, eat less meat and buy local whenever possible. 🥬🥕 We can choose to walk, ride bikes or take public transportation instead of an Uber or Lyft. 🚲 We can choose to buy less and consume less. And so. much. more. . I know it’s not always easy to see how these actions might directly have a positive effect on lessening the
Like I said yesterday, I partnered with @Ford and @LonelyPlanet to discover greater Los Angeles. #ad A map, that was painted on a wall just off Melrose, acted as the springboard for my adventures into the history and culture of Los Angeles. 🌴 My first stop was the mural which then led to Olvera Street, created in 1930 “to preserve and present the customs and trades of early California." Today the area boasts many vendors who are second or third generation sellers as well as museums dedicated to Chinese, Italian & Mexican heritage. 🇲🇽 Next I visited downtown’s Central Library, home of LA’s written history, beautiful rotundas and (when I was there) an exhibition of Ansel Adams photographs. 📚 Then Highland Park Bowl, home of LA’s oldest bowling lanes and a dynamic spot to just hang out. It has a bar area with a steampunk-meets-vintage-sports vibe. The restored lanes are backed by a stunning mural that looks like it depicts California’s iconic Redwood and Sequoia trees. 🎳 I was happy to see the Original Farmer’s Market was part of this map-based exploration since it is one of my favorite places to go where the French store Monsieur Marcel is usually my first stop if I am planning a picnic or want a bottle of wine for a special occasion. It’s also a great choice if you’re craving multiple cuisines and want to share lots of small plates with friends. There are grocery vendors, a toy shop, a stall with the largest selection of hot sauces that I have ever seen and more. 🇫🇷 Ending closest to our home at El Capitan theatre, I watched a movie from a balcony seat which took me back to the days of going to plays and musicals with my mom when I was a kid. 🎭 After perusing all the classic black and white Hollywood photos in the hallways, I was pretty much the last one to leave before seating for the next showing started and what was happening outside? Of course, setup for a movie premiere! 📽 Check out my Stories for video from all these
I’m excited to bring you two posts telling the story of how I partnered with @Ford and @LonelyPlanet to discover greater Los Angeles. #ad A map, that was painted as a mural on a wall just off Melrose, acted as the springboard for my exploration of the history and culture of my city. I traveled around from Highland Park to Hollywood to Downtown Los Angeles to discover and document five total spots represented on the map. Have you ever wanted to know more about the Mexican culture of Los Angeles or the historic theaters that often host the premieres for the movies crafted in and outside of Hollywood? Then you will enjoy what I have to share! I’m looking forward to sharing more tomorrow and here is a teaser from my journey, an image captured in an area that’s dedicated to celebrating, preserving and protecting the city’s past. Check out my Stories today and tomorrow for a deeper look into the whole journey with videos from the spots I found on the mural. #everydayexplorations
Thrilled to announce I’m partnering with @passionpassport for their latest Instagram Challenge with @hoteltonight. The big question is - what role does spontaneity play in your travels? . Are you a “fly by the seat of your pants” traveler or do you like to plan ahead? ✈️ Do you prefer your days to be all scheduled out? 📝 Or do you like to have the freedom of unplanned discovery that can lead to pleasant surprises? 🤔 . I believe not every journey should have a planned itinerary and I’ve come to think that way because most of my best travel memories were made in the space that a lack of planning provided. That’s why I was so happy to find out the theme for this particular challenge. 😍 . Head on over to the #passionpassport feed to see the instructions for how to enter and possibly win up to $2,500 in #hoteltonight booking coupons. I’m looking forward to seeing all your entries and picking a winner with my fellow judges. 🎉 You have until November 19th at 11:59 EST to show us your #ppspontaneity 😉🤩 Good luck! 🤞🏼
Living in California has given me a new perspective on nature. Both its majesty and inherent wonder but also its capacity for destruction as I’ve watched communities and lives all around our own home, affected by fire. When I took this photo many people assumed that’s what this was. In fact, it’s the effect of a 20 second exposure that captured the lights of cars as they drove through marine layer fog in Malibu Canyon. . Yet just after I posted this, the same hills were engulfed in flames and a year later, it’s happening again not far from where I stood to take this and in many other places around California. . I’ve watched my friends displaced from their homes and can’t help but feel grateful to our public servants like firefighters and first responders who walk right into danger to ensure the rest of us go to sleep safely at night and wake up safe the next morning. I know that by choosing to live here it’s probably not a matter of if but just when, I will have need of the same protection. And that’s ok. Living here has taught me the value of gratefulness and the importance of cherishing each and every day when it’s happening. . If you’re a firefighter or first responder or anyone who helps keep others safe, thank you. If you know one, be extra kind to them, don’t take them for granted. And thank you too for supporting them because being their support isn’t always easy either. ❤️
Happy Halloween! 🎃🔮 My treat, not trick, for the holiday is this last photo from picturesque Franconia in Germany. As delectable as the wines were, the half timbered-homes, towns and villages were almost enough to steal the show during my press trip with @germanytourism. . From Bürgstadt to Miltenberg to Volkach to Iphofen and Königsberg, there was no shortage of picturesque vistas and charming facades to capture so even if [gasp! 🙀] wine isn’t your thing, Franconia still has much to inspire and thrill with its towns, food, people and history. I’ll be publishing a full photo essay on my site before the weekend showing more. But for now, Stories will continue to go live and there’s already an article on every winery we visited live on kirstenalanaphotography dot com. Link in profile of course! #visitfranconia . . . . #prettycities #halftimbered #halftimberedhouse #königsberg #königsberginbayern #germanytourism #germanytravel #visitgermany #culturetrip #living_destinations #prettylittletrips #europestyle_ #europestyle_germany
Unless memory fails me, I don’t think I‘ve been in a wine region during harvest. What a special time it was to be in Franconia! The region is large enough, the soil diverse enough and the physical landscape changes in such a way that harvest was just completed in some of the towns we visited with @germanytourism while in other locales it was still occurring. I noticed that harvesting by hand was more common than I’ve heard of in the industry at a larger scale, as were more traditional ways of processing grapes such as stomping them physically instead of using machines. The first image was taken in @hassbergetourismus where we went for a long walk in the rolling hills covered with vineyards, overlooking a valley punctuated by picturesque villages, and were able to see harvest taking place by hand before sitting down for a picnic lunch amongst the vines. What a magical experience, which I truly hope anyone who loves wine can have at minimum once in their life. To see the vines that grew the grapes that were in the wine we were drinking while talking with the people who harvested and made the wine, had an effect on the taste [for me] that is challenging to quantify. Though I’m realizing that as a photographer and storyteller, I value the connection to local people most of all while traveling. Now wine harvest is something I want to experience elsewhere to see how it might differ from place to place. After all, the same grapes can be used to make wines with such variety, the landscapes of wine areas can differ so much and yet the culture of the people who make wine can also have so many similarities.  I think it’s like humanity as a whole, in that we have more in common than we like to think and I wish we concentrated more often on what unites us rather than what divides us. Speaking of that, the group I did this press trip with was made up of people from Sweden, the Netherlands, China, Slovakia and the USA. Many have already begun to publish their articles
Do you like traveling to wine regions? Tasting wine when you travel, at wineries and in vineyards? I certainly do and yet, as I said before, I was surprised when I was invited by @germanytourism to #visitfranconia that not only did I not even know about this wine region but also that it's not exactly "new." Instead, just like in other wine areas around the world, there is a tradition of wine making in Franconia that goes back to at least the 1800s (even though some newer wineries were only formed in the 1970s, there's variety for sure, still it) means there are beautiful cellars and dramatic underground spaces all around the region. I showed a few, like the one pictured here at Zur Schwane in Volkach, in Stories already and those are saved as a permanent highlight in my profile. Another thing I was happy to learn while on this press trip is that Franconia has its own wine bottle in a shape that's quite unexpected. See the second photo to understand what I mean. There are many stories from many different residents that might explain its history but I think the most likely is that it's meant to symbolize the shape that was created when parts of animals were once used as the vessels to carry around liquid. When hung from a belt or trousers, the vessel bulged at the bottom and had a longer neck. It makes sense! Though doesn't exactly make me thirsty. Still, it's another fun piece of history and trivia for a region that has much to surprise and delight already. And I always love a good story. . Both images were taken with my #pixel3 which has been impressing me with it's low light capability. I've always loved experimenting with smartphones of all kinds for photography and now that I have the 3, I can understand why so many of my photo colleagues are firmly #teampixel
Franconia Wine Region in Germany is a bit of an underdog in the landscape of European wines [in my experience]. Even working in travel now where wine is a significant part of so many stories, having grown up in a family where wine was always important in celebration, and having worked in a wine store in Brooklyn with my dear friend @joeybear85 where we often sold German white wines… I departed for this trip thinking, “Franconia? Have I even had any wine from Franconia?” 🍷 Did you know there was a German wine region called Franconia? Or Franken? 🍷 Obviously, there is - I’ve been there now and wow is it ever a great example of how we should never bet against the underdog. Like other regions in the country, Franconia boasts some incredible white wines with the Silvaner heavily featuring in many winery lineups. It was sometimes referred to, during my visit, as THE grape of Franconia. But the region also boasts other award-winning White wines and a slew of notable Red wines. The changing climate has enabled the region to diversify production which has also been helped by the generational shifts that naturally occur in so many industries where children take over from parents. Some Franconia wineries are only on their 2nd generation of ownership but are already producing wines that should get far more recognition worldwide than they do. Some families, like Fürst [VDP] who own the land pictured in this image, have been making wine since the 1600s.. But more recent generations have been the ones to truly innovate & facilitate change. For instance, it was Paul Fürst & his son who actually undid some of the modernization that had occurred in the family’s system of making wine and returned many processes back to an older way of doing things. When we visited, grapes were being stomped by foot ala ‘I Love Lucy.’ And a photo from that moment is one of my favorites that I took during the trip. As were, the Fürst wines. I brought a bottle home with me that
Just home from drinking all the wine and wandering all the most absurdly picturesque streets I’ve ever wandered in @germanytourism and now that I’ve finally gone through the thousands of photos I took during my press trip, I’m looking forward to sharing the stories of the adventure, starting tomorrow. . But it would mean the world to me if you’d head to @bryanminear’s profile or @wethecreatorspod and listen to Bryan’s latest podcast episode where he and I discuss the ups and downs of a life on social media, what drives me as a travel photographer, why Ansel Adams is the bomb and what countries I always end up saying are my favorite even though I really have a dozen favorites.... . Podcasts are having a moment again and I’m grateful Bryan took the time to feature me on his. I’d so appreciate if you all show him some love and also let me know what you think of the episode. 🙏🏼💛
A year ago, I was strolling the streets of Tallinn and enjoying autumn in Europe with my dear friends @mumhad1ofthose, @neumarc & @monicasuma. . We’d opted to skip the included shore excursion on our @vikingcruises itinerary in favor of simply walking around, taking photos and getting to know one another better. It was a wonderful day of fellowship and creativity. Though we each have different styles when it comes to the pictures we take and the things we notice, we all found things to love about Tallinn. With a darling historic centre as well as modern areas home to shipping container restaurants and futuristic architecture, there’s something for almost every type of traveler. Monica’s suggestion of lunch at Rataskaevu 16 followed by drinks at @botaanikbar, added the cherry on top. If you visit Tallinn, please make sure you don’t skip either business. . And if Europe at this time of year is your thing, today on Twitter at 9 AM PST you can get even more ideas on where to go in Sep/Oct/Nov because the theme of today’s #travelskills chat is Fall/Autumn in Europe. There are always so many great ideas shared in this chat, that I struggle with how not to just buy a new plane ticket every week 😝 But Europe is the part of the globe I love most and where I never need any extra convincing to travel to. Are you like that as well? . . . #tallinn_city #tallinnoldtown #tallinnestonia #tallinncity #visittallinn #estonia🇪🇪 #myvikingstory #myvikingjourney #autumnineurope #europeinfall #europeinautumn #travelgramm #travelgrammers #wheretotravel #darlingtravels