This week I’m continuing my series on downtown LA with this shot I got at the corner of W 1st and S Hope.  The funky building to the left is the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which I was just totally captivated with.  I love buildings like this with lines going everywhere and the solid silver color of it made for some interesting color reflections as the sun went down (I’ve since seen videos where they will project things onto the side of it, SUPER cool!).  I spent probably an hour or more photographing it and looking at it (see below for a few more pictures I took of it), and in the end, I liked the above image the best as it nestled the concert hall into the greater downtown LA scene.  This particular corner also didn’t have a lot of traffic, so it allowed me to get some light streams from passing cars, but not just an obnoxious amount (with this being just on the edge of the financial / business district, it’s pretty dead after 6 or so, especially if there are no concerts or other events).

One of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve shot more and more of these city scenes is that I personally like the look of cities later in blue hour.  This allows the lights of all the buildings to come on, but leaves the sky looking blue (though it was very dark to my eyes by this time).  The bluer sky is just more appealing to my eyes than a solid black sky, especially when there are no clouds in the sky, as was the case on this particular night.  What I used to do is take a shot at the beginning of blue hour to get all the detail of the buildings, and then wait till well after dark to take another shot of all the lights… then I’d combine the two.  What I have found, however, is that if you wait to take the shot till later in blue hour, you can accomplish the same end result with a single shot and a lot less effort.  I still use the other technique from time to time, but this is definitely way easier!  🙂

Next week we head to the desert, and I couldn’t be more excited to share these images!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Walt Disney Concert Hall
1st / Hope, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA

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