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Los Angeles skyline at sunset

5:44 p.m., .6 second exposure, f/22. 

5:49 p.m., 1.6 second exposure, f/14. 

5:53 p.m., 3 second exposure, f/14.

More on these photos after the jump.

We had a small storm blow through Los Angeles on Thursday, meaning that today was clear and cloudy -- ingredients for a good sunset. So I headed over to Los Angeles City Hall, intending to shoot the sunset from the observation deck.

Not so fast. The battalion of cops that guard the public entrance to City Hall informed me that the observation deck closes at 5 p.m., which doesn't help much when the sunset is 5:20. Why the taxpaying public is denied access to the top of their City Hall for sunsets -- in the land of good sunsets -- is beyond me.

And strikes me as...what's the word....kinda disgusting. 

With little choice, I hauled over to a spot in adjacent Grand Park that I remembered as having a sort-of view of the downtown L.A. skyline, the problem being a fence in the way. The only clear shot I had was of the top of the buildings. So that's what I tried. 

I also tried using a graduated neutral density filter because the sky was pretty bright and the buildings dark. As the sunset progressed, I also lengthened the exposure and tried a few different apertures and shutter speeds.

Finally, I tried some different things when processing the photos. I shot everything in RAW, which makes it much easier to process and especially bring back detail lost in the shadows. I also tried some different looks using VSCO presets. Nothing too dramatic, but I'm always interested in seeing the range of possibilities and going for the film look that I like in photographs. 

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know which you like best. 

My photos are available as prints at very reasonable prices, including mounted options that are ready for hanging. More info here. Please feel free to check out my SmugMug site for all my work.


All photos above are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

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