2019 Los Angeles Workshop Recap

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Los Angeles for our third workshop! There is a lot of great architecture to photograph in LA, and it’s one of our favorite cities to teach our workshop in. We had beautiful weather (if only a little chilly) and, as usual, a great group to spend the weekend with!

On Saturday morning, we met at the hotel and took Uber to get to the Getty Centre (Richard Meier & Partners). It’s an incredible site and we spent 4 hours there (3 hours wasn’t enough last year). The beautiful white cladding and the curves of the buildings are great for detail shots.

The atrium is definitely a highlight, with a beautiful ceiling (take your widest lens and lie on the floor!) and a great staircase.

We spent a lot of time in the different areas of the Getty, mostly outside, catching details. Going up and down the various staircases provides great viewpoints!

On the way back to the tram, we explored more areas and caught some interesting shadows.

Our next stop was the Petersen Automotive Museum (Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates). The red and silver facade is fantastic to shoot abstract compositions!

Angie caught a great angle with the neighboring building’s color and pattern contrasting the red curves of the Petersen.

Right across from the Petersen Museum is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The most interesting part is the sculpture in the atrium (free access): Smoke by Tony Smith. It’s a fantastic art piece that can be photographed wide or abstractly.

After an Uber ride back to Downtown, we had one more stop before sunset: the Ulysses sculpture (Alexander Lieberman). It’s great for close up abstract shots. You can make it minimalist against the sky or include one of the nearby buildings in the background.

After a quick stop at the hotel to get our tripods, we walked to 4th street and the bridge over the freeway, which has some great views of downtown LA, with an interesting foreground. We photographed there until blue hour and then went to dinner.

On Sunday, we started the day with the Walt Disney Concert Hall (Gehry Partners). You can visit inside (except the auditorium) for free, but it’s often closed for a few hours before a show. Fortunately, it was open that day and we were able to explore the vast interiors. The wood and white combination is great for abstracts.

Black and white also works great with the interesting shapes of the building.

We then spent some time exploring the exteriors, and its many possibilities for abstract compositions.

Our next stop was right across the street: the Broad (Diller Scofidio + Renfro). The patterns facade have some amazing shapes for abstracts.

After a stop for lunch, we headed to an LA icon, the Bradbury Building (George Wyman,  Sumner Hunt). The gorgeous atrium has some great options for wide lookup shots.

Next was the Los Angeles United States Court House (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill). While the facade has some interesting patterns, the underside by the main entrance is our favorite part, especially at the corners.

A couple of blocks east, we stopped at the LAPD Headquarters (AECOM). The clean architecture isn’t easy to photograph, but the glass provides some great reflections.

Our final downtown spot of the day was the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Rafael Moneo). The outside isn’t easy to photograph, but you can find some interesting details.

By the freeway, the glass has some interesting etchings that can become great abstract images.

You can also view the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts (COOP Himmelblau) and its futuristic architecture.

Going inside the cathedral, there are some interesting compositions to find with the ceiling and the organ. The shadows are great to include.

Our final stop of the workshop was the Griffith Observatory. It has some sweeping views, from Downtown LA all the way to Century City. Being elevated gives you a very different kind of cityscape compared to the first cityscape stop by the freeway.

As always, we had a great time in LA! The city has a lot of great architecture and we can’t even cover it all in a weekend. See you next year!



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