There hasn’t been much weather to shoot locally this winter, but the city skyline is always around…if it isn’t obscured by haze. Who knows where it goes when you can’t see it through the haze?! On January 20, I was in the Hollywood area during the late evening with my camera equipment. The skies were mostly clear and the air was haze-free, so I decided to cruise up Mulholland Drive from the Hollywood Freeway to find a view of downtown Los Angeles. After a few hairpin turns and a little searching, I found a turnout with a cool view of the skyscrapers through a canyon.
The view above is to the southeast, from just above the Hollywood Bowl, along Mulholland Drive.
From this spot I continued west along Mulholland, and came to a pullout with a nice view of the San Fernando Valley, to the north. The tall structure is the NBC Universal building in Universal City, and the long stretch of road that is lit up is in Burbank.
I was back in the same area on February 16, and I lugged my tripod to a popular viewing “overlook” above Hollywood along Mulholland Drive. This was fairly close to my previous spot above the Hollywood Bowl on January 20, but a bit higher. I was here a bit before sunset, and I was anticipating moonrise, around 7:30 p.m. I was hoping that the nearly full moon would be rising very near to the Griffith Observatory, to my east. It would be cool to get a zoom shot of the moon next to the observatory dome. There was a potential issue, though. The sign at this little public park “overlook” said that it was open from sunrise to sunset. I needed to be ready about 90 minutes AFTER sunset. When I drove past this spot in January, the gates to the parking lock were shut tight — that was close to midnight, though. Would I be able to hang out here long enough this evening?
I played around with the 70-200mm zoom lens for an hour or so as the light of day faded away and the city lights came up. In the photos below you should be able to identify Hollywood and the Capitol Records building, the Hollywood Freeway, and the more distant Los Angeles skyline.
A little after 7:30 p.m., the glow of the moon became visible through some cirrus clouds and haze to the east. The moon was rising a bit to the right of the observatory, but was close enough to allow some cool images of the two.
And, after about 5 or t0 minutes of moon shots, I heard a loud horn shrieking from the parking area, about 50 yards away! I figured that that meant it was time to abandon the area. Sure enough, two security guard guys soon appeared and were telling the few folks remaining here that the park was closing. Thank goodness they didn’t shoo me out of here 10 minutes earlier!
I am going to have to figure out when the best time will be to return to this spot, when the full moon will rise right above the observatory.