Star-gazing and shopping might be what tourism in Los Angeles is famous for, but that’s certainly not all it offers visitors, especially the shutterbugs among us.
You’ll be hard-pressed to choose your muse in LA, which has many hidden photographic gems – edgy street art, architectural delights, botanical treasures and, of course, stunning sunsets on sandy shores. Here are the 11 most popular spots for photography in the city of angels.
The Art District
A once derelict neighborhood of abandoned warehouses and factories, this downtown quarter has been reinvented as a base for many creative studios and businesses. Massive street murals and graffiti lend the area a chic feel and form the perfect backdrop for – or subject of – photography.
Melrose alleys and boutique
When visiting the Melrose area, duck into the alleys leading off the main street for a glimpse – and shots – of stunning graffiti and street art. Even the world-famous Banksy has worked his magic on the walls along those alleys. The boutiques dotting the area are famous for their whimsy and make interesting subjects for photographers.
The Huntington Library
The main library and art center buildings are impressive architectural subjects, but it’s the vast botanical gardens around them that inspire photographers. Themed gardens – some with spectacular sculptures and pavilions – are popular among nature photographers.
Santa Monica Pier
A hive of activity any time of day, this iconic LA landmark is among the most photographed. Sun, surf and sand apart, the pier jutting into the Pacific is home to an amusement park and a host of restaurants.
The palm-fringed, sandy shores of Venice Beach offer an opportunity to capture nature and shots of people enjoying the outdoors. The boardwalk, the skate park, handball courts and the famous Muscle Beach are big draws.
The immaculately landscaped gardens around Greystone Mansion are a tranquil escape from the bustle of Hollywood. Visitors cherish leisurely strolls around formal gardens, patios, terraces and fountains, every twist and turn revealing more inspiration for the photographer within. The park also has gorgeous views of the LA skyline.
Hiking through this trail in the Santa Monica Mountains reveals a slew of photographic treasures – foliage, waterfalls, ruins of a burned down ranch and (from the highest point) a view of the ocean.
Well, you can’t – and perhaps shouldn’t – resist the appeal of showbiz altogether while in LA. At Paramount Ranch you can walk around elaborate sets for old films, especially Westerns. Use your filters to photograph these gems and produce sepia-toned images of the Wild West for your collection.
Be it the striking exterior structure or the high-octane action within its confines, Walter Pyramid is another favorite with visitors to LA. Home to an arena for basketball and volleyball games, this landmark never fails to thrill.
Murphy Ranch Trail
The trail around the ruins of Murphy Ranch has natural and architectural attractions. Several abandoned buildings are now covered in colorful graffiti, making interesting subjects for the lens. The ranch’s intriguing history – it was reportedly home to a Nazi sympathizer during World War II – adds to its allure.
The Flower Fields
The vast fields of blooms in Carlsbad are every nature photographer’s dream. Walking through the riot of colors by the ocean is an unparalleled feeling and capturing those images for posterity a very rewarding experience.