This sort of juxtaposition of the military, coming in to our city, and the kids and their cartwheels, that was really my moment - David Leonard

“We followed the smoke.” That’s what famed L.A. photographer Gary Leonard told me when I asked him how he and his photographer son, David, covered the 1992 L.A. riots. I think the photos they took show how Los Angeles looked and felt during the civil unrest, a city coming apart at the seams where scenes of violence, destruction and sheer weirdness played out on street after street.

To observe the 20th anniversary of the riots, Gary and David are exhibiting many of their striking photos of that time. They talked to me about how they went about capturing the chaos of two-decades ago. By the way, David Leonard was only 14-years-old when he joined his dad to bear witness to the chaos.

Listen to them talk about their photos:

You can see more photos on display most days at Take my Picture, 860 S. Broadway @ 9th, Los Angeles, CA 90014. More here.

Below, watch a video about the Leonards and some of their photos.

Parker Center from David Leonard on Vimeo.

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  • Shari Parker

    The photos are so realistic and you can really see the struggles of the people during that time. It's like bringing us to where it happened as it happens. These father and son should build up their own photo studio or shop and have some photo booths in Perth because they're very good in capturing still photos.

  • Leona McFarland

    It's true that those photographs are so captivating and it really brings out all the emotions that we felt during that time. I agree with Shari that you should have your own photo studio and Perth photo booth hire to make the most out of your talent.

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