A Los Angeles Christmas

A Los Angeles Christmas

The Citadel – Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Happy Holidays!

– view larger –

This image was harder to get than it looks. I always wanted to photograph The Citadel, an old tire factory turned retail outlet with an imposing facade modeled after the 7th century BC Assyrian Palace of King Sargon II, and when I saw it this Christmas with a huge red bow and ribbon on the roof, I thought it was now or never. My mind was racing. Since the Citadel faces west, I envisioned returning with my camera at sunset when the edifice was bathed in the warmth of an Assyrian sunset, golden clouds like magic carpets reflecting in the windows…

Reality check #1: To get most of the Citadel in the frame with my widest lens (24mm), I would have to position the tripod on the sidewalk, across the service road for the I-5 freeway with my back plastered against a cyclone fence, the only defense between me and semi trucks doing 60 mph. The shutter would have to be tripped in-between trucks to avoid camera shake.

Reality check #2: There is heavy rush hour traffic on the service road so it will require precision timing to avoid getting a car in the frame. I make a mental note not to forget about the speeding, 80,000 lb. eighteen-wheelers 3 feet behind me (I’d sure hate to get camera shake).

Reality check #3: Pedestrians. Lots of insidious, Christmas shopper type pedestrians on the sidewalk directly in front of the Citadel. They are the bane of my existence! Photographers know this kind of pedestrian all too well. As they waltz by, they notice your camera on a tripod and decide whatever you are shooting must be good. Then they spend the next five minute in your frame taking at least 25 shots (just in case they don’t nail it the first time). Other pedestrians see them, and like lemmings to the sea, join the others in your frame.

Reality check #4: I end up taking 25 shots as well to get one frame with no vehicle or pedestrian in it (I’m not even going to mention the cyclists).

Happy New Year!

– Citadel History –

You may also enjoy The Old Ice House

Copyright 2015 O. Bisogno Scotti,  All Rights Reserved

 Nikon D810 DSLR,  AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D, Nikon A2 filter, exposure: f/8, 1/4 sec., ISO 64, exposure program: Aperture Priority, shutter: M-up mode, Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote,  Manfrotto 3221 tripod with Manfrotto 3047 studio head. depth of field measurement: 6′ 11.64″- Infinity, Simple DoF Calculator, iPhone 4S, distance from subject to focal plane mark on camera: 15.5″,  capture date and time: 1/04/2015, 5:56 pm.


23 thoughts on “A Los Angeles Christmas

  1. Contemplative Art: I imagine this building which is so unusual for Los Angeles has been photographed many times over the years. This pushed me to get something a little bit different. Thanks for liking my effort.


    • J: That was me. I used the self-timer to run across the street and get in the frame. I’m a bit of an exhibitionist. If you look carefully, you will find me taking a leak in every photo I have ever made. How many photographers can say that?

      …just kidding of course…but there is a very good photographer in Southern California who does large format b&w landscapes, and his wife is posing nude in every one of them, but you’ll never find her unless you scrutinize the frame closely.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Violet of Violet’s Veg*n e-comics: The Citadel’s facade is light tan, but during the golden hour it glows gold for about ten minutes. That’s when this image was taken. Timing is everything. Thanks for liking it Violet.


  3. Your description of what you had to go through to capture this is priceless. I would have loved to see that, she said with a wicked laugh. Ok……I’ve been watching this building with fascination since I was a wee lass. In other words, for an incredibly long, long, long time. I’ve actually seen it glow almost this color and even pinkish on very rare occasions. But I’ve never seen the bow. Damn you’re good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What I won’t do for a photograph! It was funny…afterwards. Isn’t it remarkable how The Citadel changes color with the time of day? I have also seen the pink you are talking about. At noon it looks kind of bland and colorless…like an old tire factory should. Thanks Lezlie!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You are the only person I’ve ever known who has seen, let alone recorded, this golden transformation of “The Citadel” and who remembers it as a tire factory to boot. You never cease to amaze me. And your work, your art, I just can’t stay away from it. It fascinates me. Inspires me. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lezlie Sokol” Painted Cloud Gallery: I am a colorist. I see color and I analyze color, and yes I am old enough remember the tire factory. I believe an artist’s lot in life is to fascinate, and inspire…to provide the spice in life.

      Liked by 2 people

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