A Setting Star, Observed – Griffith Park, Los Angeles,CA

I have yet to see a sad sunset.

Sunsets are magical and awe-inspiring. Each paints horizontal brushstrokes of fire across a transitional sky that changes from ocean blue to pink to gold, and ultimately, star-speckled black.

Watching the sun set from an elevation of over 1,000-feet high, on a 36–degree viewing platform, imprinted a series of memorable moments on my mind.

Here is that progression, seen from one of California’s most loved landmarks, Griffith Observatory. Enjoy!


Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, LA.

Griffith Observatory.

A solar entrance.

LA sprawl.

The Astronomers Monument, on the right, pays homage to six of the greatest astronomers, including Galileo and Newton.

A hiking trail runs through it.

Greek Revival architecture.

In transit.

My devoted fellow traveler.

Telescope shadow.


Wild flora.

Colonel Griffith J. Griffith funded this landmark. Architect John C. Austin based the design on the preliminary sketches of Russell W. Porter in the early 1900s.

Coming full circle.

A kiss from the sun.

Cosmic inspiration.

One giant telescope…

… ideal for spotting planets.

A site in Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean.

The horizon, aglow.

A line of fire.

Glittery L.A.

An illuminated downtown.




47 thoughts on “A Setting Star, Observed – Griffith Park, Los Angeles,CA

  1. Beautiful use of verbal imagery- almost didn’t need the photos but your photos are truly brilliant and gorgeous. That sky!!

  2. The pictures are amazing. I am so glad you had such a beautiful sunny day; when we were there many years ago it was very foggy and hard to see the city in the distance. Great shots!

    • Thank you Marcia! It was my first trip up to Griffith Observatory ever – I had always planned to go so it was fun to photograph it for the first time. I hope you get there again – the view looks so infinite πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much Roger, I really appreciate it. I did end up being happy with the night shots after a number of fuzzy takes without a tripod. This was the first time I went up to the Observatory after planning to many times before. The views of LA don’t get much better.

  3. A great post Marina. The photographs are lovely, the commentary, as ever, fits perfectly. Really enjoyed this one. Griffith observatory is definitely now on the ‘to do’ list. πŸ™‚

    • Adrian, this is a spot I know you would love. A natural wonder set against one of the most built up US cities. If you need any advice about it when you plan a trip, let me know! Thank you for your lovely comment!

    • Thanks Roberto! I am so glad to share with you some of the best things about LA. This is definitely one of them! The views, the architecture, the open space on top of a mountain. It is pretty cool!

    • Hi Tricia, thank you! I loved photographing in California for its light. We were there for a week visiting family and our old neighbourhood, as well as some that I’d left undiscovered. I wish it had been for longer!

  4. Another amazing post! Love the off kilter angle you used on one of the monument shot’s – very Winograd, LOL. And as for the ‘Blade Runner’ inspired one…now that rocks! How do you feel about the sequel (prequel?) so btw?

    • Thank you – I had to look up Winograd JP! I am glad the image is being compared to a great photographer πŸ™‚ That’s so cool that you like the Blade Runner inspired photo – without a tripod, that was a tough one to take! Now, you mention a sequel?? Do tell as I am unaware?

    • Hi Karen! Thank you! We actually got there around 5/6 and left 8-ish. So it was from the onset of the setting sun, until nightfall. It’s a great space and Cali sunsets last quite a nice length of time!

    • Hi Karen! I am so so glad you commented on the night posts – they were a bit of a challenge as I didn’t have a tripod!! thanks for your lovely comment – it’s so nice to read πŸ™‚

    • Thanks 2 Rivers – I am so glad you liked them. It was my first real attempt to take some night shots – and as you know, a tripod is required and I didn’t have one. It’s such a great spot isn’t it? The views and that building! I have to admit, I was more taken with the architecture and surrounds though next trip, I’ll do more learning about the solar system!

    • My pleasure Barbara! LA does glitter and wears it so well! The James Dean monument is in a pretty amazing setting – I am glad I could capture it against the sunset πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  5. Love the pictures, especially the night ones! Such a great place to be and observe, I always like to find the highest place to climb and see panorama of a city/town πŸ™‚ great post and I also really like the photo with your devoted fellow traveller, the picture is so clean and peaceful! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much Kristina! Those night shots were so experimental for me though I really enjoyed taking them and seeing some good results. Aw, I am glad you like that picture of my devoted traveler – my hubby, Ali. I’ll let him know πŸ™‚

      • I love night shots, they always have this dramatic effect πŸ™‚ It’s so great that you have a companion for your travels πŸ™‚

  6. Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures! I always love sunsets and, now I’ve seen your night shots, I gotta try it sometimes. They seem so glamorous. Anyway, no wonder when I saw the first two pictures, they remind me of James Dean’s movie. It is indeed the set of Rebel Without A Cause! I don’t know the name of that place, but I certainly remember the scenic panorama.

    • Thank you Rob – it really was fun to photograph the scenes from up there. There was so much inspiration: from sunsets, to hills, to architecture – and James Dean. With the night shots, I had no tripod so there was alot of balancing and strategically pressing the shutter as Ali held the camera still. It was fun but yes, a tripod would have made things easier πŸ˜‰

      • Yeah, low light photography is absolutely tricky. If there’s no tripod, steady hands is a must. I’ve been in frustating situations where the pictures taken are all blurry. Devastating! But yours looks just great πŸ™‚ I am thinking about buying gorrilapod, but am still waiting for the right budget πŸ˜€

      • I think it’s also experimenting with the ISO if you have no tripod. I am doing a photo course and there’s alot of negative comments against the Gorilla pod if you have a heavy camera? Manfrotto brand has been recommended many times as it is lightweight – might be worth a look? Or i am thinking of getting a 35mm f1.8 lens so that it might help when no tripod is handy. PS I did take a few shots and they were blurry! Trial and error πŸ™‚

      • Thanks for the info! I am certainly going to look for it. Yeah, the blurry ones almost likely to happen in that situation, just keep them to ourselves or delete them instantly πŸ˜‰

      • I did a post on photo equipment a week or so ago, it could you out as some people shared comments? In this digital age, it is much easier to click a few times on the same scene πŸ™‚ imagine film??

      • Yeah, how many rolls are we going to waste. Immensely expensive effort! However, I saw several works of other bloggers working with film cameras, the photographs are amazing. Well, with you taking photography course, I guess I should expect more and more improved photographs now, right? πŸ˜€

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