JohnJ
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LAX Summer Photography

Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:32 pm

I've spent the last 90 minutes perusing various threads on this site, plus lots of other aviation-related sites, looking for LAX photography information. I'm left with the feeling that LAX isn't a great place to be in the summer. The Imperial Hill location will be backlit during the hours that have good light, as I think will Proud Bird. Despite all the high praises of the In-N-Out location, I've read many complaints that it's not a great photography spot as the aircraft are almost directly overhead. I happen to like boring side-on shots and that's really what I'm after. The TBIT food court sounds interesting, but that looks to be a morning shot and I'd ideally like to be out in the evening.

I welcome any other tips besides the usual spots anyone has, again bearing in mind this is summer and I'll need to be shooting to the south (I will have a car). Checking Bing I see a park called the "Carl Neilson Youth Park" that would appear to have excellent angles. Has anyone tried this spot? It looks to be a baseball park, and I'm guessing that there would be games going on there in the early evening hours. Plus, I'm aware that some of the areas surrounding LAX aren't the best places to be and I don't know if this falls into that category.

Thanks,

John
 
Sharpshooter99
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:53 pm

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
Despite all the high praises of the In-N-Out location, I've read many complaints that it's not a great photography spot as the aircraft are almost directly overhead.

While this is sometimes true, most the time I've found that around only one in every three birds that fly over are ones that you can ONLY see the bottom of the plane. The others offer an interesting undercarriage/side on hybrid view which is one of my favorite types of shots, like these


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Photo © Terry Wall


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Photo © Tong Xian



Plus, due to the large park next to In-N-Out, you are able to maneuver around and try to make a shot more of a side on or more of an undercarriage shot. I'm a bit biased I guess as when in LAX, I ALWAYS head to In-N-Out. But still, its a great location if you are willing to work with it  
 
saintex
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:19 pm

There's a car park in the small shopping center just up Sepulveda from the InNOut.

You can get side-on shots in the late afternoon and evening from the top floor. BUT you may arouse the "concerned citizens" unless you're discreet. I sit in the car there and just pop out for a shot. Never had a problem, but no guarantee of course.
 
NIKV69
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:28 pm

I don't know where you get the hill will be backlit but it's not till the afternoon. Heat haze is the biggest issue but for early morning it's fine. Also I am confused as to your In-N-Out comment. Though the planes are a bit close it's a great spot to shoot a variety of angles and types of shots late afternoon.
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JohnJ
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:06 pm

Nick, I like at least 10 degrees of sidelight, and at Imperial the sun's azimuth won't be at 93 degrees until around 9:45 a.m (nose-on at about 8:30 and backlit anytime before that), assuming true runway heading of 263 degrees for the 25s as listed by AirNav. The aircraft in the morning will also be tail-lit if operations are to the west, which isn't a situation I'm fond of. I'd think any light past 9:45 will start getting real harsh and real high. I suppose I could try Imperial in the morning, but it would be a very short window of opportunity. As for the afternoon, the sun goes nose-on at around 4 p.m. and using my 10-degree sidelight criteria, the light would be unsuitable past 3. That time of day at the height of summer any other place I've been is not a good time to be taking pictures.

I will give In-N-Out a try and see how it works out for me.

Thanks for the feedback thus far. Despite my reservations, I'm looking forward to the trip.
 
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dvincent
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:49 pm

I'd also recommend swinging by the Flight Path learning center to get a look at the DC-3 and maybe you'll get lucky and see something parked on the ramp.
From the Mind of Minolta
 
NIKV69
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:56 am

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 4):
Nick, I like at least 10 degrees of sidelight, and at Imperial the sun's azimuth won't be at 93 degrees until around 9:45 a.m (nose-on at about 8:30 and backlit anytime before that), assuming true runway heading of 263 degrees for the 25s


Basically during summer months the hill is going to have a small window since heat haze becomes an issue almost immediately. Though You can still manage at sunrise from either the hill or Proud bird. Though winter light is much better, this is true at LAS as well. I think your getting a little too technical here, I have gotten some nice shots by moving around and adjusting to the sun which is always key.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
JohnJ
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:40 am

I've never done photography at LAX, so yes moving around and checking out spots will be the order of the day. The catch is that I'll be in LA with my wife and kids, and I'm going to cash in a proverbial chip to do any photography at all - so that means I'll have just a couple of hours for photography, hence my trying to get my ducks in a row before arriving to maximize available time.

At this point, my plans include a definite visit to In-N-Out. No matter the photography result, I want one of those burgers. I will probably also check out the park I mentioned earlier, then just see what plays out. The reopened observation deck will also probably be on my list, although it doesn't sound like there's much benefit there from a photography perspective. Sometimes it's fun just to watch the planes, but man it's painful sometimes to do that...
 
dacman
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:47 pm

Basically LAX is a winter airport for photography not a summer!

We used to have a few good spots to shoot from during the summer months, TWA Cargo (afternoon), and what I used to call "Kalitta Corner" a great morning spot if you had sun. The "Imperial Hill" is bad this time of year due to sun angle (early morning-tail lit), mid-morning high sun and heat haze then back-lit in the afternoon, not good at all.

In-N-Out is good for some interesting shots as well with the sun being around for decent shooting by about 1800.

I would save my money though and visit in the winter (late October - late February) as it is the best in my and other locals opinions.

Cheers
Dacman
"Airliner Photography is not a crime"
 
NIKV69
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:01 am

Quoting dacman (Reply 8):
Basically LAX is a winter airport for photography not a summer!

Check the homepage, thankfully Andy didn't take this advice. LAX is doable in the summer, you have to adjust and have some patience but if Andy or people like Randall Johnson have taught us you can get nice captures in summer.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
JohnJ
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:26 pm

I do agree that with some work and perhaps a bit of "artful dodging" I should be able to get some shots. The point of my starting this thread was to see if anyone had suggestions for photo locations beyond the "famous" ones. I think the parking garage just behind In-N-Out is one of those non-standard locations; I'll have to go on a hunt to see what else I can find.
 
saintex
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:23 pm

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 10):
I think the parking garage just behind In-N-Out is one of those non-standard locations;

Just to be clear it's NOT the commercial Parking Spot garage, it's the one above a supermarket in the shopping plaza in the next block.

If you go, let me know what you think - I like it but nobody else seems to  
 
dbudd
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:47 pm

Yes it use to be Longs Drugs but is now a CVS Drug Store. There is also a Ralphs...

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...7515&spn=0.001246,0.00284&t=h&z=19

I've used this spot before but there are power lines that run thru the scene...

I find that parking there and walking up Westchester PKWY to near the fire station will afford you better shots late in the day.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...491&spn=0.002492,0.005681&t=h&z=18

Of course you'll have to keep moving and be descreet with your camera..but it is possible!!

Dave
 
sluger020889
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:00 am

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 4):
Nick, I like at least 10 degrees of sidelight, and at Imperial the sun's azimuth won't be at 93 degrees until around 9:45 a.m (nose-on at about 8:30 and backlit anytime before that), assuming true runway heading of 263 degrees for the 25s as listed by AirNav. The aircraft in the morning will also be tail-lit if operations are to the west, which isn't a situation I'm fond of. I'd think any light past 9:45 will start getting real harsh and real high.

haha

Your thinking too much. Its LAX, go to In n Out, grab a double double, some animal style fries, and watch the action at what is arguably one of the best spots in the world.

Joey
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FedexL1011
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:52 am

Quoting sluger020889 (Reply 13):
Your thinking too much. Its LAX, go to In n Out, grab a double double, some animal style fries, and watch the action at what is arguably one of the best spots in the world.

I agree to much thought my opinion and many others is that is the best spot in the US and have fun with the park I havent heard security called there before so try it.

And another question: Have you thought about this area for pics
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Malay...lines/Boeing-777-2H6-ER/1740535/M/
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...lines/Boeing-767-223-ER/1738327/M/

This appears to be an all day spot but i dont know the location someone will have to help with that
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saintex
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:37 pm

Quoting FedexL1011 (Reply 14):
This appears to be an all day spot but i dont know the location someone will have to help with that

Taken from Westchester Parkway, looks to be somewhere near the golf course. Afternoons only and you are highly likely to be accosted by LAPD or LAWA cops there.
 
JohnJ
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:34 am

Thanks again for the tips. I went out this evening and am generally pleased with what I came home with. The In-N-Out spot was fine and there were quite a few other photogs there. I checked out the park I referenced in my original post and found it's locked tight and marked clearly as "not open to the public". Too bad, as the angle there would have been good. However, I took a few shots outside the gate with good results. It's in a residential neighborhood, though, and I suspect if you lingered long one of the neighbors would drop a dime on you.

From there it was over to In-N-Out, then met up with a fellow spotter who took me out to the Westchester bridge, a great spot. We met up with another A.net photog up there. The angle was superb, but heat haze was an issue until about 6:30 p.m. Lots of light poles and trees to shoot around up there, plus my 300mm lens was wishing it was 400mm. Past about 6 the light was really nice, though, and it's nice that you're able to get some background scenery into the shot that marks the pic as "LAX".
 
andyhunt
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:02 pm

Can anyone put a google map of the location at Westchester Parkway, and also where to park the car....  

It would help...thinking of giving it a try soon.

Regards

Andrew
Full frame always beats post processing
 
JohnJ
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RE: LAX Summer Photography

Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:48 am

Andy, I wasn't driving so didn't pay much attention to exactly where we were. However, if you go down Westchester west of the In-N-Out you'll cross a bridge with a fantastic view of the airport. This is what I got on Google:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour....412458&spn=0.004014,0.009602&z=17

We took the first right past the bridge and drove down a block or so to find plentiful legal street parking. The place for photography apparently is not actually on the bridge, but immediately to the west of it. There's a sidewalk there.

[Edited 2010-07-19 23:53:21]

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