Tag Archives: los angeles

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 Observatory and Downtown Los Angeles

As a follow up to a post I did on January 4, 2015, I am celebrating my all time top selling print which is the Griffith Park Observatory with downtown Los Angeles in the background. On the original post, I was asking for input (Griffith Park Observatory in Black and White) on which prints were favored so I could narrow it down to a few to post in my art gallery. I featured six captures I had narrowed down from a series of them. The three captures I ended up posting in my gallery were #1, #4 & #6 now known as Griffith Observatory and Downtown Los Angeles, Open For The Telescope and Observatory In Art Deco. I thought it would be interesting to see what the vote was from the original post. Number 1 received the most votes with #4 coming in second. #6 didn’t receive votes, but it struck me as a nice compliment to the other two to finish out the series. All in all, all three of the ones I picked have done well, but #1 has blown the roof off.

Griffith Observatory And Downtown Los Angeles
Open For The Telescope
Observatory In Art Deco

Thoughts?

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Architectural Elements in Pastel

This week I wanted to share some prints that I created using a pastel chalk technique. The three that I have posted all have architectural elements to them. I haven’t created many prints using this technique, but thought it did bring a unique look to the subject matters attached.

The first one is the door to the train station in Glendale, California (Los Angeles area). The train station was built in 1924 by the Southern Pacific Railroad using a romantic Spanish Colonial Revival style. The elaborate architectural details immediately becomes a visual focal point. The station now serves for both Amtrak and the Los Angeles Metro Rail system and was purchased by the city of Glendale in 1989. I liked the way this technique highlight the colors and architectural detail of this door.

Pastel Train Station Door

The second print is the Daniels and Fisher Tower located in downtown Denver along the 16th Street Mall.  The tower was constructed in 1910 as part of the Daniels and Fisher department store. At that time it was the tallest structure between the Mississippi River and California. Again, this technique highlights the color of the brick facade and compliments the architectural details

D&F Tower In Pastel Chalk

The third print is from Union Station in downtown Denver, Colorado. Behind Union station is the transit center where Amtrak, light rail and RTD buses come together. The difference between the first two examples and this one, is that this structure is is very modern in design, but again the subtle colors pop out with this technique complimenting the design element.

Denver Transit Center In Pastel

Thoughts?

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Views of COVID-19 – Across the United States

A great post from Travel Tales of Life by Sue Slaght. Sue has been posting fellow bloggers experiences with the pandemic from around the world. This week is from across the United States and she asked me to contribute from Los Angeles.

Sue Slaght – Over the past weeks we have been inviting readers from across the globe to share their COVID-19 stories. We began with views on the pandemic from Thailand, Mexico, Spain and Australia. Last week we gratefully received contributions from Chile, England, Finland and Portugal.  Although thousands of miles often separate the writers, one consistent theme rings true. COVID-19 is life altering and we as humanity battle a common foe. This week we welcome contributions from across the United States. Our heartfelt thanks to the authors of these pieces. For those that have provided links to their own blogs or social media we encourage you to visit.

Los Angeles Freeway

Patio

Views of COVID-19 – Across the United States

 

Descanso Gardens Part 2

Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California. If you’re not sure where that is in the Los Angeles Metro area, it’s in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northwest of Pasadena. Descanso has a fascinating history dating back to 1937, more information here.

Summarizing from last weeks post: I was not prepared to take professional photographs of the surreal beauty of the Enchanted Forest of Lights we encountered at the Descanso Botanical Gardens just before Christmas. My son-in-law has the new I phone 11 which handles night photography really well. Last weeks photos were his and this week are the better ones I took that weren’t duplicates of his!! Enjoy!!

Descanso Gardens 10

Descanso Gardens 11

Descanso Gardens 12

Descanso Gardens 13

Descanso Gardens 14

Thoughts?

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Descanso Gardens Part 1

Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California. If you’re not sure where that is in the Los Angeles Metro area, it’s in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northwest of Pasadena. Descanso has a fascinating history dating back to 1937, more information here.

Every holiday season, as do  many botanical gardens, they have a beautiful light show at night for guests. I have been lucky enough to see a number of botanical garden light shows, but I have to say this is the most incredible night show of lights I have personally seen. I have heard about this over the years, but until this year never went to experience it. Our daughter and her husband took their daughter to see it last year and all they could talk about was having us go this year with them. Our oldest daughter and her husband were flying down from Seattle to spend Christmas with us, so opening night (Monday before Christmas) our LA daughter, her husband and our granddaughter (plus a new grandson born this year) hosted all of us to a night at Enchanted Forest of Lights in Descanso Gardens.

I was absolutely not prepared for the incredible beauty of the evening. I loved their use of fog machines throughout to enhance the look and experience. I took some photos, but not on a professional level. Using just my I-phone I wasn’t able to get truly great night photos. Having said that, my son-in-law had his new I-phone 11, which does do night photography quite well. All of that being said, I wanted to share a taste of what we experienced. The photos I am sharing in part 1 are his (with his permission).  Part 2 (next week) are a few of my better ones that weren’t duplicates of his. I hope you enjoy!!!

Descanso Gardens 1

Descanso Gardens 2

Descanso Gardens 3

Descanso Gardens 4

Descanso Gardens 5

Descanso gardens 6

Descanso Gardens 7

Descanso Gardens 8

Descanso Gardens 9

Thoughts?

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LA Hills – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

In Last Weeks Post (The Jacaranda Tree), I mentioned that we were in Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend visiting our daughter and son-in-law, but more importantly our first grandchild (just hit the 6 month mark). I had also mentioned that I volunteered to do the daily stroller outing into the neighborhood each day while we were there (she loves to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air, sights, birds, etc.). I was always wandering up into the hills with her as the climbing was good exercise for grandpa and the views were spectacular for both of us. At that point last week I talked about the Jacaranda Trees, but also mentioned I would come back to the views of that daily outing. This week I have attached 10 shots I took during that daily venture.

LA Hills 1

This capture gives you an idea of the typical hillside neighborhoods that dot the Los Angeles hills. The streets are narrow, windy and go up and down quit dramatically. On one side of the street you have the height of the home facing the street and the other side, just the top portion of that home with it’s height going down the backside of the house.

LA Hills 2

The homes represent a variety of architecture and mix in size. Interesting architecture and look as the next shot shows the same house from around the bend and down the other side….

LA Hills 3

Every few steps the scene is totally different.

LA Hills 4

Because land is so precious, there isn’t any space wasted as you notice the garages actually start just feet from the road.

LA Hills 5

Love the variety of architectural elements and color in the homes.

LA Hills 6

Creativity is necessary as the hillsides are quite steep.

LA Hills 7

As I alluded to earlier, the views between the homes (the views they actually have over each other) that you can see from the street are spectacular. This view looks southeast over Glendale, California towards the San Gabriel Mountains.

L.A. Hills 8

This view is looking in the same general direction as the capture above (you can barely see this facility in the far right portion of that view).

LA Hills 9

This is a capture of downtown Glendale, California which is located northeast of downtown Los Angeles and south of Burbank.

LA Hills 10

Then to the south of this location behind another set of hills is downtown Los Angeles. The final approach pattern to LAX takes planes just south of downtown and with the air traffic coming into LAX, not surprising that I captured a plane in this shot.  Thoughts?

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The Jacaranda Tree – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

We were in Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend (weekend before last) visiting our daughter and son-in-law, but more importantly our first grandchild (just hit the 6 month mark). We try and go as often as we can for obvious reasons. I volunteered to do the daily stroller outing into the neighborhood each day while we were there (she loves to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air, sights, birds, etc.). I always wandered up into the hills with her as the climbing was good exercise for grandpa and the views were spectacular for both of us (more on that next week in my post). One of the things I particularly enjoyed was the Jacaranda trees in full bloom.

If you’re not familiar with Jacaranda trees, they are native to subtropical regions of Mexico, Central America, South America, Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Having said that, this particular species of the Jacaranda family has been widely planted across the globe and regions well known for them now include South Africa, Australia and in the US, Florida, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. I love this time of year when they are in full bloom. I have seen pockets of neighborhoods across Southern California where they have been planted in abundance and this time of year you have a sea of purple.

I have attached five shots I took on one of our outings giving you an idea of the beauty of these trees in bloom.

Jacaranda One

You can see how they add a dramatic touch of color and of course you have the mess of dropped petals to contend with (well worth it to me…we had one at the end of our driveway in San Diego and the concrete was always covered in purple as the petals dropped).

Jacaranda Two

This shot shows two next to a driveway on our walk through the hillsides.

Jacaranda Three

The trees are scattered throughout these hillside neighborhoods and give you that pop of color.

Jacaranda Four

This gives you a close up look at the blooms…

Jacaranda Five

as does this final shot. Thoughts?

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Southern California Flower Garden – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I wanted to share a photo shoot I did last weekend while we were in Los Angeles at our daughter and son-in-law’s house. They have a lot of mature plants around their house and I usually do a quick photo shoot whenever we visit because something is always in bloom. As usual I wasn’t disappointed. I wanted to share the first capture just to give you an idea how thick and mature their gardens are. This shot was actually taken from a window looking out into what looks like a dense jungle. Just through those bushes is a green carpet of lawn, but from this viewpoint you just see bushes and a few stray lilies.

Southern California Flower Garden One

This next capture is the same lily from the first photo, but from the yard looking into the “undergrowth”. I loved the subtle lighting this single plant was getting.

 

Southern California Flower Garden Two

I took a stroll around the house and found the rest….

Southern California Flower Garden Three

Southern California Flower Garden Four

Southern California Flower Garden Five

Southern California Flower Garden Six

Thoughts?

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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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