Street Shooting in LA

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by white.elephant, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    Street Photography in LA

    All

    I'll be visiting LA in a few weeks and I'm looking for advice as to an interesting location to do some street shooting. Looking for something other than the ordinary (Farmer's Market, Hollywood Blvd). The time of day would be either dinnertime or early in the morning (breakfast time). Any advice would be appreciated. I'll have a car, so I can go anywhere, really.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2010
  2. AgentX

    AgentX Member

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    Perhaps the term "street shooting" may connote something else to LA-dwellers...
     
  3. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    Other than Hollywood, not much interesting in L.A. for street shooting if you are looking for people. You may want to drive to Santa Monica and check out the 3rd Street Promenade. Terrific people watching there. Try to go there on a weekend day. Old Pasadena is also pretty good.

    If you know the famed Farmer's Market, trust you've been to The Grove. Always jammed with people.
     
  4. MXSolomon21

    MXSolomon21 Member

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    I'm a native Angeleno. Some places to check out that I've found interesting and worth shooting include Downtown-Broadway is a good starting point. If you wander around there is a lot to be seen, Chinatown can be a hit or miss, Los Feliz is fun. The Santa Monica Pier has been good to me in the past, try it out.

    Never been to Old Pasadena enough to give a verdict, but have heard positive things about it.

    Can't think of anything else at the moment L.A. is surprisingly bland sometimes.

    -Max
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Check out the beach walkway along the shops in Venice. I agree the title for this thread is not the best choice of words. :surprised:

    Steve
     
  6. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    Yeah, I know the Promenade, I know the Grove. I figured if I carried a camera around in the Grove and kept 'capturing' people sooner or later I'd get strong-armed by some celeb's security goon. I had forgotten Old Pasadena, that's a good suggestion, as is Venice Beach.
     
  7. AgentX

    AgentX Member

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    I'd climb Mt. Wilson if I was in Pasadena. But not much "street shooting" up there. The mountain biking, on the other hand... (man I wish I was still in SoCal sometimes.)
     
  8. stewmander

    stewmander Member

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    I dont know if these are too "ordinary", but some good things to check out in Downtown LA would be Angels Flight, which was just re-opened and can be ridden now. Next to Angels Flight is a small park with the "famous" bench from the movie "500 Days of Summer" (a viral facebook profile picture spot), and across the street from Angels Flight is the Central Market. There is also the new "magnet" high school near the 101, which has got some interesting artechiture to it. Of course the Disney Conert Hall. There is also LA Live at the Staples Center. One thing to keep in mind, most things will probably be closed, and the place pretty dead come dinner time.
     
  9. MXSolomon21

    MXSolomon21 Member

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    Good call on Venice, lots of interesting characters around there.
     
  10. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    Wow, forgot all about that, and I will be staying nearby. Hmm, thanks.
     
  11. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    If you're in the neighborhood I'd be happy to show you some of the downtown architecture.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You must not have ever strayed far from your area of comfort (your car, perhaps?)! There is a crapload to shoot here, and all you can name are some of the worst places to do it! Old Pasadena, the Farmer's Market, and the 3rd Street Promenade are tourist traps featuring a bunch of middle class people shopping, almost exactly like we have all over this country in every decently-sized city. These places are all about spending money and looking like everyone else. IMO, all are some of the least interesting places to shoot street photography in the L.A. area, unless documenting these disturbing places and their similarity is somehow a part of your concept. This very well may be, however, the original post made it seem as if you (i.e. the OP) just wanted to blow into town and have some fun shooting interesting people on the street.

    L.A. as a whole is low in pedestrian traffic density, due simply to how sprawling it is. We have over ten million people, but they are spread over a wide geographical area, so they generally do not walk. So, if you want densely populated sidewalks with lots of activity, you have to go to neighborhoods where people conduct business on foot...and these are neighborhoods in which large numbers of people do not own cars...because they cannot afford them and/or because they are immigrants from places where cars are simply not a part of the average family's life.

    My two first suggestions if you want a taste of real L.A. (average L.A. people living their actual lives) are to try walking down 6th on the eastern side of downtown any time (the middle of the night is fun :D), and to try walking down Cesar Chavez and/or Whittier Boulevards east of the City on a weekend day (Boyle Heights, East Los Angles). Barring these, you might want to hit the streets in the Westlake/MacArthur Park area at afternoon to evening rush hour, or on weekends. 6th, 7th, and 8th are good bets. If you want to shoot some Asian-American enclaves, try strip malls in Alhambra, San Gabriel, and Monterey Park. (Some main drags here are Vally (E/W), Garfield (N/S), Atlantic (N/S, will also lead you into the eastern part of East L.A.), and Garvey (E/W).

    If you want to capture the strange desolation of our sidewalks, try almos anywhere except where I mentioned! :D Seriously, I would try the west side (west of Western technically, but I always say that west of Alvarado is where it really starts feeling like the west side), the San Fernando Valley, or Orange County (insert dramatic creepy music here): The Weirdest Place on Earth. :D:D:D

    If you are lazy and unadventurous, Hollywood is OK, just for the fact that it is such a wretched piece of $hit of a place in almost every way. Grand Central Market and other areas of downtown could prove fun and fruitful as well.

    Have fun!!!! Don't let the coldness and the emotional and physical distance of the people here intimidate you.

    FWIW, I am a sixth-generation Los Angeles person.
     
  13. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    2F/2F, thanks. That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Normal Angelinos doing their thing.
     
  14. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Glad I caught your drift OK. I am sure you figured it out, but I should tell you straight out that all of the places I listed - except Hollywood and downtown - are socio-economic and/or ethnic enclaves. So much the better! That is what L.A. is all about; what truly makes it great IMO.

    Also, 6th on the eastern side of downtown does not feature the average L.A. person (though it certainly features some of our sadder elements). That is affectionately known as "Skid Row," so I was somewhat joking when I suggested it. Ripe with photographic opportunity...just be respectful of the homeless, please. You having a camera puts you at a huge advantage over them, as if you were not already.
     
  15. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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  16. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    No, no, that kind of thing to me is taking advantage, and what I'm looking for is not an essay on the state of how society has left behind some of us, but rather a look at what one would see walking down the street of a 'real' place in LA, not a place contrived for those visiting as tourists. I recently visited Rio, and I always looked for natives doing their thing. While the attached image is a beach scene, the people in it are not tourists; this is what they do when they get out of work.
     

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  17. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    Chris: That is one of the finest pictures I've seen on APUG in a long time. Bravo.
     
  18. Sonicmook56

    Sonicmook56 Member

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    I would also suggest leaving the car at your hotel. Take the train and bus around. Maybe rent a bicycle. You will see much more.
     
  19. cfclark

    cfclark Member

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    I'd agree with 2F/2F that Old Pasadena, as appealing as it may be for shoppers, is not that distinctive. You can probably snap people outside the Cheesecake Factory wherever you are without making the trip to Pasadena. However, I have had the thought that all the empty storefronts that have popped up over the past two years in such an upscale area might make for interesting shooting.

    The areas of Pasadena away from the "strip" of Old Pasadena may be a little more interesting, for example the area of Colorado Blvd. east of Pasadena City College (a little more "local" in flavor, and businesses that have been there for decades), or the streets that parallel Colorado, such as Green or Walnut. Not as much foot traffic, though.

    The 3rd and Fairfax Farmer's Market has been done to death, but I was at the local farmer's market in Pasadena this morning, and lamented I hadn't brought my camera--the local markets always draw some characters, and if you're into shooting photos of food, needless to say there's a cornucopia :D of subjects.
     
  20. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    East of West LA

    title of a book you should send for by Kevin McCollister; ifpublications.com
    the book will cost you a whole 20 bucks....
    take it from a guy who had lived in New York for over 20 years.(and finds very little in the way of photo inspiration in a "cleansed" city)...LA has got it ALL..it's up to you to go out and find it...could probably spend an entire lifetime making photos there
    Best, Peter
     
  21. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    The parade of crack-hoes on South Figueroa are interesting as are their cheap and trashy customers. Each block of S. Fig has a couple of small rundown churches and sleazy no-tel hotels. There's the Sunset Strip chock full of prosperous and gorgeous young people who drive very expensive cars and wear shiny clothes. Drinks in clubs on the strip can easily cost $18.00 per so budget accordingly. Down on Santa Monica Blvd. between La Cienega Blvd. and Doheny is boy's town where throngs of young gay people go to dance, cruise, booze and hang-out. Many interesting photo ops to be sure. You might well take the subway or buses to these locals since parking is such a bitch and expensive when you can find it. Already mentioned, Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Promenade are interesting because of all the different people performing for tips. Don't forget the Santa Monica Pier.
     
  22. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    Shawn, thank you so much. That was really generous of you to say. I was really in the right place at the right time with the right camera.
     
  23. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    I'll be staying near the Staples Center, maybe we can do that?