Hollywood or Bust

Last week I had plans to meet up with a visiting friend to hike up Beachwood Canyon so she could see the Hollywood sign. Of course I've seen it a million times but I have never gone up to the top.

And I still haven't.

After trying to meet up with her and failing - I couldn't find them because I lost cell phone connection - I decided to drive up a private road and ended up getting this unexpected view of the sign. The closest I've ever been to it. 

To me, this photograph of the Hollywood sign represents the dreams of the thousands of hopefuls that arrive in Hollywood every year in hopes of 'making it' in the big time. The blue sky with puffy white clouds, the telecommunication tower and dishes, the sun shining on Hollywood, and even a private helicopter floating above. A postcard shot of a summer day in February. 

Here's the fantasy:

 
 

Prior to being up there, I had taken some other photos earlier in the day. When I downloaded and saw them all together I noticed the symbolic juxtaposition of the photo above and the photo below...it was as if I had planned to visualize the contrast.

I couldn't resist snapping this drive-by - okay, I was actually stopped at a red light - shot for the irony within the image itself, not realizing it would become the antithesis of the photograph above.

Here's the reality: 

 
 

 It's sad how many of the people who come to Hollywood with a dream only to end up living a nightmare. I wish good luck and hard work to all you in following your dreams.

Angles - Photography Tip #3

Sometimes you need to look at things from a different direction. In life, and in photography. 

Look through your viewfinder - that's the little peep hole on the back of your camera, not to be mistaken with the screen - and change your perspective. Actually, before taking any pictures go for a walk and look at everything around you from different angles. Look up, look down, angle your head in all different directions. Looking at everything like it's a rectangular photograph. 

The perspective becomes even more dramatic when you are looking through the viewfinder. Looking on the bigger screen or shooting with a phone camera allows too much of your peripheral vision to intrude on the composition of your photograph.

Here are some samples of what I'm talking about:

 
Looking straight up.

Looking straight up.

 
 
Looking straight down and angling to the left. The lines at an angle also create an optical illusion of the photograph looking crooked on the page.

Looking straight down and angling to the left. The lines at an angle also create an optical illusion of the photograph looking crooked on the page.

 
 
Angle up and to the right.

Angle up and to the right.

 
 
Straight up.

Straight up.

 
 
Angle straight down. The boat was already angled.

Angle straight down. The boat was already angled.

 

Now take your camera out and go play.

I am happy to answer any questions you have (to the best of my ability) now, or after you tests out shooting at angles.