I Love L. A. (and I never thought I’d say that)

Image by Cindy Bendat

Image by Cat Gwynn

Tonight, Dan Miller of the Duncan Miller Gallery in Venice, CA and Duncan Miller Projects in Santa Monica, CA, presents his brainchild, The I Love L.A. Photography Exhibition. Tonight is a free preview reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Pacific Ballroom at the downtown Wilshire Grand Hotel. Then it will run August 13 to September 17 that Duncan Miller Gallery.

Image by Carolyn Hampton

I asked Dan why he set out to create a competition, with 5 esteemed judges, about loving Los Angeles. His answer: “The only thing I wanted was a great gallery exhibition. I want someone in Tokyo to be able to walk into a room, with no other information but these photos, and smile and get it and go, ‘Oh, L.A!'” That said, photography lovers in Toyko might be doing just that as he plans to travel the show. A stop in the Los Angeles sister-city in Korea is planned, and more will follow in the future. “I have very ambitious plans for this to travel, but it needs to prove itself first,” Miller said. “This is a really interesting ambassador for the city of Los Angeles, but it’s an art project, not a promo piece.”

Image by Tom Alleman

50 photographs by the 42 shooters were selected by jurors Dan Miller, Steven Banks, design director of Los Angeles magazine; Los Angeles Times staff photographer Barbara Davidson, whose “Victims of Gang Violence” won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for feature photography; Rebecca Morse, associate curator at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art; and Karen Sinsheimer, curator of photography at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Image by Clay Lipsky

Image by Kevin McCollister

Image by Jesse Franke Narducci

Image by Ann Mitchell

Image by Thomas Alleman

Image by Jeff Seltzer

Image by Diane Cockerill

Image by Karen Florek

Image by Aline Smithson