Tag Archives: griffith park

Griffith Park – Hiking

My wife and I were Los Angeles a few weeks ago visiting our middle daughter, her husband and two of our grandchildren. They live in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles which bumps up to Griffith Park. If you are not familiar with Griffith Park, it was created in 1896 and is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. It is home to the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry Museum of the American West, the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign. Along with that, golf courses, picnic areas and hiking. It encompasses the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, which provides some awesome trails to hike or horse back ride. The trails are wide and take you up into the mountains with stunning views. For more details: Wikipedia

So onto the hiking part. I have hiked some of the lower trails with my grandchildren (4 & 6), but those are the ones that follow the valleys and are close to their home. Having said that, I have always wanted to hike up the other trails, but they are too much for the kids. I had an afternoon open while they were both in school and did a spur of the moment thing and took off hiking. I did not take my camera and all of the shots in this post were from my cell phone (just wanted to make that disclaimer).

The first capture is the first picture I took (I hadn’t even thought about taking pictures when I left, but as I got higher up the trail…….). This capture is looking down at where I started. The green lawn with the building in the middle is one of the golf courses and is close to where I started the hike. On the right side of the picture, you can see the trail as it starts to wind up the mountain.

The next capture brings into perspective the trail I had hiked. This particular morning had been foggy, but it burned off about an hour before I started. I add this to let you know that the buildings in the background is downtown LA and that isn’t smog, but remnants of the fog. I also mention it because you will see a completely different look to the sky when I get to the top and show you the other side of these mountains.

You see the trail as it climbs up in elevation.

The next shot is still following the trail I had hiked to get to this point.

You can see how it follows the terrain…..

This capture brings you up to where I had stopped to take these shots. Notice the width of the trail. It almost looks like a road, but again it handles horse back riding and pedestrian hikers.

I took this shot at the top and it looks back to the Santa Monica Mountains that form the park and go all the way west to the ocean dividing the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley.

Turning around from the shot above is the top I hiked to. What you are now seeing is the city of Glendale which lies at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in between Burbank and Pasadena.

This shot shows one of the golf courses that bumps up to Interstate 5 heading north into Burbank. This is literally where the LA Basin winds around the end of the Santa Monica Mountains and feeds into the San Fernando Valley.

There is still that haze in the air, but notice in these last two shots, clouds developing over the mountains. They turned into afternoon showers in the San Fernando Valley later in the day

Thoughts? As I have said before, everyone reacts to visual art techniques and looks differently, so I am not in the least offended by opinions. 

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Griffith Park Observatory in Black and White

The shots I am attaching today actually tie into two prior blog posts. Last weeks post titled Phoenix Trotting Park is a result of the work I did on todays post and todays post is a result of a photo shoot I shared last October titled: Architectural Elements. So let me back up to the October post. That post was about a series of shots I took of the Griffith Park Observatory last fall that focused on the architectural element of the observatory. I love the details of this art deco building.

The observatory came up again in a conversation I had with someone in Los Angeles towards the end of last year. They were looking for some black and white prints for one of their rooms and specifically wanted shots of the observatory. They also love the art deco look of the building and thought shots in black and white would give it a retro look. That’s all it took for me to get rolling. I played with a number of the shots and came up with the technique I described last week on the racetrack photo shoot. Those shots were a result of me finalizing the technique on the observatory photographs.

I have attached the six art prints that resulted from that conversation. The client ended up buying three of them from a private gallery I set up for them. I wanted to share them, as they aren’t available yet to the public.

Observatory BW 1

Observatory BW 1

Observatory BW 2

Observatory BW 2

Observatory BW 3

Observatory BW 3

Observatory BW 4

Observatory BW 4

Observatory BW 5

Observatory BW 5

Observatory BW 6

Observatory BW 6

I’d be curious which one is your favorite and what your thoughts are around this black and white look with this type of building.

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Architectural Elements – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

This post is about taking architectural elements of a building and framing them into a photograph that tells a story. The subject matter is the Griffith Observatory. This building is an iconic landmark in Los Angeles sitting high atop Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. A very popular tourist attraction with an extensive array of space and science related displays. The observatory opened in 1935 and was built using an art deco style that was popular in that time frame. It is this style that I wanted to try and capture, specifically the bold geometric shapes.

Griffith Observatory 1

Griffith Observatory 1

The first capture is just a shot of the Griffith Observatory showing the central dome. I only use this shot as a point of reference for you. What isn’t shown in this shot is the full size of the building. On either side of the central done are observatories making the building very wide and geometrically balanced with three domes. I wasn’t in a position the day I was there to get that kind of shot, but if you are curious you can go to Wikipedia for a picture of the entire building.

Griffith Observatory 2

Griffith Observatory 2

The second shot gives you a perspective of just how high above the Los Angeles basin the building sits. You can see downtown LA through the haze. Also note the geometric shapes of the building as it curves around.

Griffith Observatory 3

Griffith Observatory 3

For the third shot, I have used my zoom lens and from the same spot, I framed just the edge of the building making downtown LA a larger part of the composition. This would be a spectacular shot on a crystal clear day.

Griffith Observatory 4

Griffith Observatory 4

The fourth photo is of one of the observatories in a tight shot. You can see the detail of the art deco trim around the base of the observatory and note the art deco detail on the observatory itself. I love the bold geometric shapes.

Griffith Observatory 5

Griffith Observatory 5

For the fifth capture, I have used a perspective that includes the lines of the arches (which is a walkway around the side of the building) and the detail of the geometric shapes as they support the central dome which is what the top part of the frame is. I like the lighting and shadows as an additional element to the art deco shapes.

Griffith Observatory 6

Griffith Observatory 6

For the sixth capture, I found an interesting angle to capture the intricacies of the aged copper roof over the front entry. The angle and framing create an abstract print of art deco shapes and color.

As always I try to find a unique perspective to a building in highlighting the architectural elements in a way that the photograph tells a story. Thoughts?

 

 

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