Los Angeles 2018 Workshop Recap – Day 1

A few weeks ago, we were in Los Angeles to host our second workshop in the City of Angels. Last year, the workshop was a success, so we decided to go back this year. While we mostly built on last year’s plan, we did add some major locations this year: the Getty Center, the Petersen Museum and the Griffith Observatory.

It was a two-day workshop, with each day starting at 10am and ending around 7pm, after shooting blue hour. As with every workshop we lead, we meet at the recommended hotel in the morning and bring everyone back at the hotel at the end of the day.

Today, we’ll go over the first day of the workshop, and we’ll follow up soon with day two. On Saturday morning, we left the hotel downtown Los Angeles in two Uber cars, heading to West Los Angeles, where the Getty Center (Richard Meier & Partners) is located. On the slopes of the hills, the Getty is a majestic site with sweeping views of the city.

We spend over two hours exploring several of the many buildings of the Getty. The exterior offers so many opportunities to shoot, with its white metal cladding and its travertine stone.

The atrium of the museum is stunning and provides great shadows when it’s sunny.

After having lunch on the beautiful terraces of the Getty, we headed to the Petersen Museum (Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates). The curvy, metallic, red and silver building stands out on Wilshire Boulevard. The curved enveloped is purely sculptural and getting under allows you to shoot it against the rigid straight building.

With the right light, you can even frame the blue building across the street between the red stripes of the Petersen Museum.

We then crossed the street for a short stop at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). We photographed the Urban Lights sculpture (Chris Burden) and the roof line.

Then, we headed back to Downtown, with a first stop at the LA Central Library (Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue). The Art Deco building has some interesting features inside.

After the library, we photographed two public sculptures, “Mind, Body and Spirit” (Gidon Graetz) and “Ulysses” (Alexander Lieberman). The first one is very reflective and we played with the reflections of the surrounding buildings.

The second one, a new addition to our workshop and already a new favorite, was perfect for abstract images. While Michael stuck with high-key black and white images, Angie explored blue toning in post-processing.

After the sculptures, we crossed the street to photograph the Westin Bonaventure. The exterior is all glass, very reflective, while the interior is very brutalist, the signature style of the architect, John Portman.

Then it was time for sunset and blue hour. We walked to the 4th street bridge over the freeway, to shoot back at the city and down the freeway. While the wider cityscapes are definitely a must-shoot, Angie zeroed in on some interesting details too.

Once it got dark, we headed back to the hotel, for a well-deserved dinner with the group. Stay tuned for day 2!

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