Griffith Observatory at sunrise

This past Sunday the 12th of February I left the house early to hike up the LA mountains to catch the Griffith Observatory at sunrise. I left my apartment before 6am and headed to the park where I enjoyed a brisk 20 minute hike up the mountain, past the observatory and to a good photo spot behind. I had been watching the weather over the days before and was waiting for some nice broken cloud cover which I was greeted with that morning. Besides it being a little cold the hike itself was fairly pleasant, I was surprised at the amount of people out so early and hiking up the side of a mountain in such low light.

Griffith Observatory

Image 1.
I stopped briefly while passing the observatory to catch a couple of shots while it was still illuminated, in hindsight I should have spent more time here but was anxious to get to my spot up in the hills behind.

Griffith Observatory at sunrise

Image 2.
One of the first shots I took when I got to my spot, this one shot is actually three, all different exposure times merged in photomatix to create a HDR. I’m fairly pleased with the result. This one was taken mere seconds before the sun appeared over the horizon.

Griffith Observatory at sunrise

Image 3.
Single shot of the observatory at sunrise with downtown Los Angeles behind. Its always in the back of my mind why I get up and head out in the cold and dark of an early morning, but as soon as the eastern sky starts to brighten and eventually the sun creeps over the horizon it all becomes clear, its  a special time to be out and looking over such a great view as this, the sky can be so different from a sunset and as a photographer its a great reward for leaving my bed so early.

Griffith Observatory at sunrise

Image 4.
Coming back down to the observatory around 7am I took this shot looking out over downtown, the orange skies have given way to the blue, but the sun still gives out a nice yellow glow, its interesting how light changes over minutes and even seconds when the sun is closer to the horizon. A Singh-Ray Gold-n-Blue polarizer was used with this shot.

Griffith Observatory

Image 5.
One of my last shots walking around the observatory, the upper levels are still locked at 7am so I had to make do on the lower observation point, the architecture here is impressive and photographs really well, I can spend hours walking around here capturing the different angles and details on this magnificent building, the observatory is one of the most photogenic buildings in Los Angeles.

All in all it was worth getting up and out early to catch the Griffith Observatory at sunrise. I’m fairly happy with the results, the clouds didn’t behave as I would’ve liked but that just gives me a excuse to do it again soon.

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