Thursday, January 2, 2014

Los Angeles River / 4th Street Bridge

I live in northwest Orange County, California, which is really very close to Los Angeles. However, I'm not a fan of traffic and crowds, and LA can present the worst of both. Therefore, I rarely venture into LA, but the photographer in me is drawn to it... and an area that photographs well is the old 4th Street Bridge area that spans the LA River. River is not an accurate description in my opinion. It's solid concrete and has no resemblance to what I see in my mind's eye when I think of a river. The concrete has become a canvas for decades of graffiti taggers and there are old sofas, shopping carts and every other kind of trash imaginable. However, I have to admit the area literally oozes the LA noire vibe. The 4th and 6th Street Bridges that span the river, though clearly in decline, make me think of old Bogart movies and a time when LA was perhaps in its prime. Most of the buildings in the area look neglected and/or abandoned, but look closer and you are likely to see signs and banners that say "Film Site Rental" with a phone number to call. A great example of where keeping buildings in their original condition is actually a money maker! There are a ton of shows filmed in this area.
Here's another old building that faces the "river" and is available for film shoots. I think these look great in b&w! Remind you of an old '50s movie??

I like the photo above because you can see some of the distinctive 4th Street Bridge architecture and old street lamps with the shiny new downtown LA high rises in the background.
The photo above gives you a good view of the 6th Steet Bridge over the LA River (shot from the 4th Street Bridge)
If you walk a little further east on the 4th Street Bridge, this is your view.
I like the detail of the old street lamps on the 4th Street Bridge (above).  Given the proximity to LAX, if you are patient, you can capture a plane in just about any photo of the sky!
There is an unmarked passageway at Santa Fe and 6th Street that takes you into the LA River. Here's what it looks like... you need to bypass the homeless folks who like the shelter of the tunnel, but it's an interesting location.
The race scene from Grease and other movies were shot at this location in the LA River... here's a link to the YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsYC-hVEpQM.  I think the nice blue sky, sun flare and airplane make for a good skywatch shot, so linking with Skywatch Friday. If you would like to see more of my photos from the LA River area, click on this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

22 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful part of the world to live in. Excellent set of photos.

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  2. They look brilliant in B&W though I find it hard to think of that as a river. Loved the photos will check out Flickr later

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  3. It does seem odd to call it a river! Neat scenes and photos of your LA! I wish you all the best in 2014, Happy New Year!

    Have a happy weekend!

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  4. Nice serie of shots. The bridge designers had a bit trouble to decide with way their bridge must look . Old or new but it gives it a smashing mixed view. The building looks great for a gangster movie . Thanks for showing.

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  5. I love this. Reminds me of the film Chinatown a little bit. I like the grimier older parts of Tulsa also. The Chamber of Commerce doesn't point people to west Tulsa but that is where the railroad yards, refineries, and old buildings are.

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  6. Love those old street lamps!
    And the second black and white image is very interesting
    Have a wonderful week-end!
    Lea

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  7. Love the 'mood' of bw shots and awesome color shots to for SWF ~ Agree fun place to shoot photos but prefer quiet country to live in ~ Enjoy - xxx

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  8. It has been 40 plus years since I lived there, I miss it not. But I agree that LA would be a wealth of material for the street photographer, with black and white the medium of choice. Be brave, venture into LA more often for us and show more great photos such as these.

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  9. Beautiful skies and I love the bridge and the old lamps! Really terrific captures for the day!! Those blue, blue skies make a perfect backdrop for the bridge!! Hope your new year is off to a great start! Enjoy!

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  10. Those are awesome shots! I've never seen a river lined with concrete; we have canals around here with concrete as banks, but those back up to houses and are to prevent erosion, I'd guess. Anyway, this area makes for some surreal photos!

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  11. These are awesome - they certainly have the L.A. vibe.

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  12. Once again you have captured the "real" feel of Southern California.
    I love living here in the Inland Empire, I am out in Corona but I go into Los Angeles and its environs often.
    I like every single bit of So Cal, the dirty, the wet, the dusty and decrepit. Everyone likes to see the Rose Parade but I like to see the floats afterward in the park because it is up close and personal, feels like it is just for us not the entire world.
    I look forward to seeing and enjoying more of your well honed sense of place in 2014, Happy New Year!

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  13. A interesting and dramatic set of photos showing a somewhat "grittier" side of LA than I saw when there many years ago. There is still a lot of beauty in the grittiness and you're showing us some wonderful perspectives on the city.

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  14. Love all your shots!!! I love seeing the banner advertising the site for photo shoots!
    Happy New Year!!! Thanks for visiting Mammoth Lakes Dp!!!

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  15. Fantastic shots! Shame the views down aren't rewarded with flowing water, but can't have everything!

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  16. Ha...been a very long time since I was in LA. I'm a country girl at heart. A trip down memory lane for sure. Love the lamps. Thanks for sharing! Aloha

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  17. «Louis» hopes you will link this with his Sunday Bridges theme today! :-)

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  18. Ah, yes...the memories! I don't often travel to LA anymore, either. I actually grew up in Arcadia and both my mother and aunt taught school in LA. We used to go to the fashion district, the farmers' market, the produce market, and Olvera Street. My dad worked downtown...Gosh, I haven't been there in YEARS! Thanks for the memories! Beautiful photos, too! :-)
    Cheryl Ann

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  19. What a great collection of images! My favourites are the 2nd b&w - very atmospheric and mysterious - and the colourful 4th and 5th with the interesting perspective.

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  20. These are fascinating photos. Some of the scenes look familiar because of movies or TV shows, but you have shown bridge detail that I haven't noticed before. I don't think I would like to venture into L.A., but I'm glad you did and got these pictures to share with us.

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