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Walt Disney concert Hall: Studies in Frank Gehry's Vision by Different L.A. Shooters!

Brian Lowe

New member
This Saturday I went to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles to take some photos of the place. It's a fun, interesting and challenging place to photograph. So I thought I would try something a little different in my approach to photographing the Disney Hall. All of the photos were taken around 2PM in very bright sunlight.

What are your thoughts on these photos, hit or miss?

-Brian-








 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
GreatShots of Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.

Brian your images are original.

This is a great Landmark of the USA and perhaps the most advanced concert hall ever made. It's cladd in stainless steel. it was so bright, that neighbors soid to have much of the surface dimmed!

The first picture, with the dark background, isolates vertical and curved elements that seem almost plant like. As you have found, there is a great dynamic range, too much for a single shot. There is a huge difficulty in getting the darker areas and at the same time not blow out the highlights. Still that first image is successful! I like it.

The second picture has a great composition and brings out the impressive style of the WDCH.

Some edits need more careful selection, it seems, although this could be an artifact. If not for the strictness of the Disney Hall, this would make a great stock picture. They like to get paid for everything AFAIK!

The last image is intriguing! I'm stuck trying to recognize where it is coming from! What I like is the mystery of the tunnel or doorway effect. This always is interesting since one wants to know where it's going.


What camera and settings did you use?

Good work Brian!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Brian,

I should add some more to put your interesting images in perspective. I know myself how difficult Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall is to photograph and how rewarding it is too.

Those who may not know, the WDCH is a jewel of a building. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra is one at its peak in stature and performance capability. The director of the WDCH, is Debra Borda, a musician in her own right, but also a brilliant manager. Like Ernest Fleischman, before her, she has had the benefit of a hard working Board of Directors that performed a miracle in seeing through an impossible dream of building a world-class state of the art concert hall.

The building on the outside uses elements of sails. However, the unique forward stage with architecture subservient to acoustics, defined the outer structure limits and it was this challenge that Frank Gehry met with aplomb.

The orchestra is lead by Esa Pekka Salonen, a brilliant young Finnish conductor. His leadership is helped by the fact that he is adored by the subscribers, loved and respected by the orchestra and a perfect partner for Debra in leading this huge enterprise.

This orchestra has many outreach programs to all parts of the community including the schools. There are no less than 17 volunteer groups that are devoted to the support of the Philharmonic. At least 10,000 school kids go to concerts there at no charge. A music mobile staffed by volunteers goes to schools in challenged areas, bringing musical instruments and music. Programs are devised by a stellar Education Department with teacher guides to bring music to school curriculums.

The hall also hosts Jazz and folk singers and even modern edgy hip hop and the like.

O.K., why mention all this? Well, this is a massive human enterprise. What we photograph is just the stainless steel outside. I just wanted you to know what it means in human terms.

Asher
 

Brian Lowe

New member
Thanks Asher for you kind words on these photos.

I was using a 1DMKIIn with a 17-40mm L f/4.0 on that day. The photos were completely processed with Lightroom beta 4.1

The first photo the setting were,
Lens (mm): 17
ISO: 100
Aperture: 8.0
Shutter: 1/4000
Spot metering mode

Second photo,
Lens (mm): 26
ISO: 100
Aperture: 13
Shutter: 1/800
Spot metering mode

And the third photo,
Lens (mm): 17
ISO: 100
Aperture: 8.0
Shutter: 1/8000
Spot metering mode

-Brian-
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I'm impressed that these were daylight pictures. I really thought this was at night!

I guess they were all taken on grand avenue on the side or from the garden, I guess?

Asher
 

Gary Ayala

New member
Hey Brian,

Nicely done. So what was your thought process on isolation? How did you get to that photographic conclusion. Did you previsualize the shot as you present? Did you see the isolation eveolve from post processing?

Once again ... good job.

and here's some of mine, added by A.K.










Gary





I uploaded the pics for Gary :)
 
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Brian Lowe

New member
Hi Gary,

What you see is what I saw (or previsualize) when I looked at the subject. My disiplin for the day was using spot metering to allow me to create for what I envisioned. We see so many photos of the Disney Hall I wanted to take some that were different than the usual snaps we often see of the place.


Did you see the isolation evolve from post processing? NO, post processing was only used to enhance the preconceived vision of what I visulized.



-Brian-


P.S. Gary it's great to see here on OPF don't be stranger I miss seeing your posting around here......
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Well, Brian and Gary,

This shows were both of your experiences and visions permit different and yet complementary creative paths. To me, your images are very impressive. We have a post previously showing how difficult a subject the Walt Disney Concert Hall is to photograph.

Well this is a Frank Gehry masterpiece. First it's complex in it's design and the way it tests and invades the city space and changes with each glance. Next the very surface confounds lesser photographers because one needs to at least know something about light otherwise one ends up with blown out highlights from the reflected steel skin.

More important is the need to court this wonderful creation, move round her, look at her form and dance with her. There is a lot of intimacy involved in taking all the pictures posted here.

One is actually invading and grasping the curves and surfaces, reaching to the creation of this building itself.

So the previous photographer told the truth!

Asher
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Let me add, how happy and privileged I am to be in a City that can support a facility like the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This is a word class architectural landmark, a living beathing work of art enjoyed outside and inside by hundreds of thousands of people from here and all over the world.

Make sure when you visit Los Angeles to allow time for this treasure!

Even more so, I'm proud that we have Brian and Gary who have made the images to share with us. I have been taken back by how much more there is to learn about each work of art I enjoy.

Asher
 
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Mike Spinak

pro member
Brian, Gary,

Both of your sets of pictures are very impressive, and I really enjoyed looking at them. Well done!

I also find it educational to see the relationship between Brian's second picture and Gary's first. The two pictures are taken from almost a mirror-image identical position and angle; and yet, they each have entirely their own lighting, and stand as their own compositionally.

I also agree with Asher's comments about the need to court this structure, move with it, study it, learn its ways, and adapt to it, in order to photograph it deeply. Indeed, this is often the case in most areas of photography... an aspect of high level photography which may not always get as much emphasis as it should. you two took the time and effort, and had the sensitivity, to do this right. Congratulations.

Cheers,

Mike

www.mikespinak.com
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Mike,

Yes, that was a perceptive pairing. I'll have to check how that is possible! Some hidden recapitulations of design or artistic license of the photographer?

Well, I did hold back on some of Gary Ayala's most special images, since I felt that the presentation of images has an important role to play in the appreciation of the work.

Now I'm revealing several images I hid from you. They have remarkable color. That in itself is surprising after one looks at the many images of curvaceous steel in mostly pure B&W tones, stark and private as Brians work or more open and aggressive in Gary's photography.

So here's the color!






Now what's your reaction, feelings, thoughts about this new presentation.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
We would love your comments on the building and the photographs.

We also would like further images of the Disney Hall. Please submit new images to me before posting. Send to w84u AT mac.com

We're attempting to put together a coherent body of work on the WDCH by OPF members.


One is, of course, welcome, as always, to start a new thread to post any other picture of this or any other building without prior submission!

Thanks

Asher
 

Kathy Rappaport

pro member
Gary -

WOW!!!! Incredible shots. I have said it before - I admire your work. WOW!!!
What time of day did you take those? What kind of PP did you do on them?

Asher, I guess I will have to head that way sometime soon and take some photos there. And as a supporter of the LA Phil, which also runs the Hollywood Bowl, I am glad you gave the other visual of the behind the scenes take. There is never enough funding to make all their projects happen.
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Kathy,

Yes, these are unique and creative pictures of a remarkable building and home of one of the best orchestras in the world. It's famous, not only for it's classiical music. It is also known for brashly presenting premieres the most new composition. These require a new way of listening. The music leaves behind the repeating gavottes and fugues buried in classical music. This new music allows expression by very talented new artists with sound that has a 3 dimensional, sculptural quality that is fitting for this 21st century work of art, the Walt Disnet concert Hall.

I'll post some images of the WDCH that I used for gift cards. Since you are a supporter, you might be interested. ($100 for a pack of 5 cards!) The money goes 100% to the Phiharmonic, especially Symphonies for youth. You might want to contact my wife who is chairman of all the volunteer committees in case you want to help in some way. One nice thing is the program, taking instruments and music to inner city schools. There is also Symphonies for Youth, bringing 10,000 school kids into this great inspiring world to concerts by the finest musicians. The kids are a joy and light up. Anyway, you may already be involved! I'm glad you are a supporter too!

You may already know, but the LA Philharmonic sets the standard for organization and community support that is used as a learning model throughout the country! This orchestra is a proof of the generous hearts of people here. How they collected the money for this is a miracle in itself!

Interestingly, the modest sized but beatiful raised garden is a public park and is open to visitors at no fee. It is great for photography. The trees are mature, as arborists and designers toured southern California streets, spotting marvelous trees and offered so much money that the owners couldn't refuse!

Anytime let me know we can shoot together.

Asher.
 

Victor Hoyt

New member
>>Interestingly, the modest sized but beatiful raised garden is a public park and is open to visitors at no >>fee. It is great for photography. The trees are mature, as arborists and designers toured southern >>California streets, spotting marvelous trees and offered so much money that the owners couldn't >>refuse!

The building also has a striking interior, and a very unusual looking pipe organ. Shooting pipe organs is one of my prefessional specialties and I hope someday to be able to shoot in there.

vic
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
I had the chance to see the Disney a few days ago and I have to say that both Gary and Brian pictures are beautiful.
Each one with his own skills did catch the light on the metal in different ways but still keeping the orignal perception that I keep from my visit there.
I do love Franck Gerry's work for long and I can say that these photos, seen and captured by artists do not lie or interpret, they just magnify the architect work.

More than well done, should be published as a book… I'll buy! as many will, I'm sure!

Brian and Gary, my hat down and my right knee on the ground!

Now it's gonna be really challenging to post photos of the Disney for other photographers, what a benchmark! level is already in the L.A. sky…

Please, poor me some more French wine now!
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Well Victor,

As Gary and Brian's creativity shows, Frank Gehry's brilliant architectural design allows a breadth of interpetations. Yours will, I'm sure fullow suit.

Franks Gehry collaberated with the equally distinguished Manuel Rosales in the pipe organ design so it's an integral part of the interior world of fine crafted sculptural wood.

The four-tiered organ was silent for a year, the time it took to hand tune the 6,134 pipes. Each had to be tuned, together with slight accoustic modualtions in the hall itself. Each pipe has to be separately voiced. The end result is an ephemeral sound that fits the auditorium, This now provides a commanding, awe inspiring and independant voice to the orchestra of amazing range, beauty and versatility.

Asher
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Please feel free to post your impressions of the Walt Disney Concert Hall gardens, architecture, music or other aspects. It's great to integrate a living public landmark with photography and then your opinions on both!

Asher

P.S. Anyone has any WDCH pictures to show please PM me! We're looking for more!
 

Victor Hoyt

New member
Asher Kelman said:
Please feel free to post your impressions of the Walt Disney Concert Hall gardens, architecture, music or other aspects. It's great to integrate a living public landmark with photography and then your opinions on both!
Ok. I wasn't going to do this, but you asked :). I find much of Gehry's work intriguing, interesting, striking, but ultimately unsatisfying. I think that time will not be kind to the either the structures or their appeal. But that's just me, and I'm a bit of a curmudgeon.

I can speak with a little more knowlege about the organ, having been in the business for 30 years. It was built by Glatter-Gotz with M. Rosales acting as consultant and tonal designer. I've heard it, and like it. Manuel is superb at what he does. However, again, I find the look very off-putting. It's cool for a while, but eventually just gets annoying. Building the organ practically put G-G out of business. Those curved 32' Woods alone were a killer to make (a friend of mine calls them The Doug Fir French Fries).

To bring it back to a photographic angle, I think the interior of the building is probably its best and most striking feature. It would really be a joy to shoot in there. I'm going to be in Redlands in a few months, and I plan to make a trip to LA to at least get some exterior shots.

For me, Balboa Park is a much more satisfying combination of art and architecture, in a public space.
 

Brian Lowe

New member
Return to Walt Disney Concert Hall

Yesterday I returned to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Here are a few shoots from the visit, all of the photos were processed in Adobe Lightroom 1.1.

Here I was going for a different look and adjusted all the Lightroom sliders till I got this look.



Here is another that was taken using spot metering in manual mode.



With this photo I used the split toning sliders in Lightroom to get this effect.



A girl waits at the steps at the Concert hall.



All were taken with a 1DMKIIn and 17-40 f/4 L, thoughts and comments are welcomed.


Enjoy,
Brian
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Brian,

I did enjoy the images as soon as you posted them. I like them all but the last one is especially unique in photographs of the Walt disney Hall.


I have not seen any photograph in all the collections exhibited that shows this composition or anything like it as it's not obvious. The person gives dimension to the building and without it the composition and inpact of the picture might not be there. I wonder whether or not you have the same view without anone there?

As always, impressive!

Asher

BTW, what was the focal length used on the 17-40 lens?
 

Brian Lowe

New member
Return to the Walt Disney Concert Hall

I was driving through downtown Los Angeles today and I had my camera with me so, I had to park and take some photos of this building, again.

I just love shotting this building each time it gives me something different to capture. These were taken with the Canon 40D and the Tokina 12-24 & Canon 15mm Fisheye, post processed in LR 1.3.


Hope you enjoy this offering,

-Brian-







 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Learning points from Brians Recent 3 Photographs!

Hi Brian,

You are a great contributor. not often do we have an impressive wild life photographer who does architecture too! Thanks!

There are some take-home meassages from Brian's 3 pictures here:

  1. Continue to hunt for and refine new vantager points: The first picture demonstrates the value of hunting for original points of view and then improving on that. In this case we have progression from his recent earlier work, the grand front entrance steps Brian shared two posts back, with a girl giving life, purpose and scale.

  2. Exploit unique lens characteristics: Comparing the two grand avenue wide views of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the first shows a great building one might pass by and find impressive.

The photograph Brian made with the fisheye lens has far more depth and dimension and one cannot pass! This picture arrests one's attention. Correcting the lens characteristics would likely ruin this effect. Maybe, Brian you might try and do that and post a before and after?

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I was driving through downtown Los Angeles today and I had my camera with me so, I had to park and take some photos of this building, again.

I just love shotting this building each time it gives me something different to capture. These were taken with the Canon 40D and the Tokina 12-24 & Canon 15mm Fisheye, post processed in LR 1.3.


Hope you enjoy this offering,

-Brian-

Heres my most recent stiched panorama, (using Autopano Pro from Canon 5D images with the Canon 50 1.2 L). This is part of a new thread on Monumental Artistic Architecture, discussed here.

As the dawn broke with an overcast heavy sky, I stood in the road andc shot freehand, as if I had the right of way as a survey engineer! Luckily, I did not get hit by cars or ticketed by the police.





© Asher Kelman Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall Do not copy or download

Post here, in this older thread, artistic sections of WDCH you wish to feature!

Asher
 
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