There is no greater collection of madness, crazy beauty, love, broken hearts, passions, aspirations, shattered dreams and angels with broken wings. Every time I photograph this city I feel like I am drowning in raw poetry of everything it is to be human. Los Angeles! What would the world be without you? Never stop dreaming…
Not long ago I took a quick trip down to Los Angeles to visit friends and family. Of course I had to plan a photo excursion while down there. I have photographed Los Angeles before and posted about that exploit here: Los Angeles Sunset – Griffith Observatory and here: Los Angeles after sunset.
This is one of the views I have been hunting for a while now. I did a fair amount of research and realized that it has not been photographed that much. Why? Well, I sure did find out. Shooting from this location is a two-man job. Your first challenge is that the park closes at sunset, so while this view is accessible by car, you must leave before sunset, park on the street (limited, 2 hour parking) at the base of the hill, then haul yourself and your gear up what seems like an eternity of stairs, all the way to the top (see photo to the right), over 400 feet high. This is not for the faint of heart. If you have any heart or health conditions, do not attempt this!
Once at the top and you have caught your breath, you will be taken by the view, from Santa Monica and the Pacific all the way to Downtown Los Angeles. However your next big challenge will be the wind (and maybe a few snakes). You will never be able to get a clean shot no matter the time of day.
The wind was a big problem so I immediately set out to find a solution, a compromise position that offered a buffer from the constant wind. I settled in for the sunset. It was about 5pm. I setup the 7D Mark II to capture an HDR time lapse of the sunset. With that going, I started setting up the 5DsR and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for detailed panorama captures. The haze over the city is a very big problem and requires considerable editing and post processing. The two panoramas above are actually crops from a single 50 megapixel image wide shot at 70mm.
I stayed through sunset, was finally packed up and heading down the stairs by 10pm. Going down the stairs was just as painful if not more than going up. I honestly did not think I had it in me when I started before sunset, but I had come too far to turn around. My camera kit alone weights over 30lbs. I suppose I just discovered new limits of my endurance…LOL.
I hope you enjoyed this view too. I will post the final shots as soon as I get around to processing and editing them. They will most definitely make it to limited edition print. Next time you see a good clean shot of a view, hopefully you can pause and think how much effort it took that photographer to get that shot.
Thanks for stopping by.