A Once-a-Year Shot…

There is a famous, clich├ęd photograph of Los Angeles, with downtown shown surrounded by snowy mountains, that pops up every year or so. I must have seen it hundreds of times, but I still wanted to capture a version of my very own. One of the best places to get such a shot is Kenneth Hahn Park in West LA, where a high bluff overlooks the city, and everything is lined up just right.

It’s a majestic view, and my favorite moment of the day was when a little boy, approaching the view with his parents, exclaimed, “Wow! Is that New York?”

The last week of December 2021 was forecast to be stormy, with cold weather, and the possibility of snow at even lower elevations, so I planned ahead and invited my friend Mel to join me at the overlook. Little did we know that many other photographers had the same idea! We showed up an hour before sundown, and were surprised to encounter a scrum of photographers, packed in shoulder-to-shoulder, lined up to get the shot. There was everything from iPhones, to all variety of digital cameras, to a guy with an old wooden 4×5.

We found a spot and settled in for the shot, which I got in the first few frames… and then I realized the real shot was the bunch of photographers! So I backed up about 100 feet and took the shot that told the whole story.

It was a fun outing, and I would do it again. The color temperature changes so quickly as the short winter days become dusk. I’d like to go back, even without the snow covering, and try it when the sunsets are long and blue.