On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
I managed to convince my fellow photographer Hami to join me on another hike in Griffith Park, this time up to Beacon Hill. We’ve visited Beacon Hill on “On The Road” in the past (October 9, 2017) and it is one of my favorite views of downtown Los Angeles. The hill sits at the eastern edge of Griffith Park and used to have a beacon (hence the name) on the top to guide pilots flying into Glendale’s Grand Central Air Terminal. While lower in elevation than other peaks in the park, the hill’s location so far east affords a nice view of downtown with Silver Lake off to the side.
My intent on this hike up to Beacon Hill was twofold, one to get some night shots and to get some panoramas for a “Little Planet” type of photo. All of my shots from Beacon Hill in the past were daytime shots since it is not visited as often as other parts in the park and I was hesitant of hiking back down in the dark by myself.
Over the summer I’d purchased a device to automate shooting panorama shots, the Capsule 360. It takes care of rotating the camera via an app on my cellphone. I used this device to create the moving timelapse a few months ago of the sunset at Palos Verdes. I shot 3 panoramas, one in golden hour, one at blue hour and finally one after dark. Only the first of these 3 turned worked.
I tried to shot multiple narrow view shots with multiple panorama rows, this was a mistake with the changing light as the sun was setting resulting in color differences, I also failed to account for longer shutter speeds when it got dark in the app leading to a good photo and a one shot while the device was moving the camera. The one other problem I noticed when we got to the top of the hill is that the brush around the hill has grown a bit since I last visited which made getting a clean shot of a 360° panorama impossible. I ended up producing a full 360° “Little Planet” photo as well as one for the Glendale view and the downtown LA view.
Downtown LA at sunset.
Traffic trails on The 5 as it heads south to downtown LA.
Downtown LA at night with Silver Lake.
Downtown LA in a “Little Planet” projection.
Glendale in a “Little Planet” projection.
Full 360° “Little Planet” projection with Glendale at the top and downtown LA at the 5 O’clock position.