Why Los Angeles is a photographer’s dream

Welcome To The City Of Angels

  • LA is an incredibly diverse city to take pictures in
  • You can shoot cityscapes, people, and abstract photos
  • There are many other things to photograph here, it is up to you to explore

Robert Frank did it to create his photographic masterpiece “The Americans.”

Bruce Gilden wasn’t afraid of doing it to capture his extremely candid portraits of random passerby in Manhattan and beyond.

Bill Cunningham did it to record the latest trends and fashions being flaunted on the street.

The action in question that all these men were doing was simply heading out into the city to photograph.

For these men, the wave of sights, sounds, and smells that accompanies any big city is their muse, their inspiration and motivation to capture the scenes around them.

And what better city to photograph in than Los Angeles? Any aspiring photographer can experience the massive melting pot that is LA just by picking up a camera and heading out to explore. From Koreans to Brazilians, homeless to hedge-fund manager, run-down subway stations to sparkling skyscrapers, the City of Angels is a vibrant and pulsating metropolis just waiting to be photographed.

Here are three easy types of photography to try the next time you venture into the city.

PORTRAITS

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Long heralded as a champion of encouraging and embracing diversity, Los Angeles has as many different types of people as there are cars on the 405 freeway at rush hour. There is an incredible variety of people here.

This makes Los Angeles a perfect place for portrait photography. With the almost constant sunlight LA provides year-round, perfect lighting is provided for you to evenly light your subject, as shown above. Most people don’t mind having their picture taken, even welcome it at times.

Approach politely, and offer to show them the portrait after to obtain approval. People often love the attention that comes with being photographed. With this in mind, you will pick up some stunning portraits of Angelinos and some stories of your adventures to boot.

CITYSCAPES

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The skyline of LA is one of the most recognizable worldwide. No one can confuse it with anywhere else in the world.

With that being said, taking cityscape photos in LA is as easy as 1-2-3! The city has many open spaces (Pershing Square, 6th Street Bridge, Union Station, to name a few) where you can set up a simple tripod and shoot a long exposure. You’ll end up with beautiful light trails and blur like above, all while capturing some of LA’s most scenic and iconic locations!

ABSTRACT

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As your photographic eye becomes more attuned to catching small details and intricacies in the world around you, you’ll find yourself shooting more and more abstract photos.

With fantastic abstract architecture scattered throughout the city, including Walt Disney Concert Hall (pictured above) and The Broad Art Museum, Los Angeles provides ample opportunity to explore the less tangible side of photography.

The good thing with abstract photography is that it is open to interpretation; you can take a picture of anything and create your own meaning. Is it a concert hall or cascading waves? An art museum or a beehive? It’s totally up to the viewer!

About the author

Christian Manoukian works as a photographer in LA. He is currently studying journalism at Cal Poly Pomona. You can view more of his work on Instagram.

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