Photo Essay: The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles Through the Lens

Words by:

Nyssa P. Chopra

Perched atop a stunning hill in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Getty Center overlooks the vast cityscape of the greater Los Angeles area. Its exceptional contemporary architecture, wide array of pre-20th century art, colorful gardens, and panoramic views are its crowning glories. Richard Meier, the architect, built almost the entire complex with travertine stone, giving it a sterile, slightly futuristic vibe.

With an intricate interplay of light and shadows, shapes, and architecture, photographers can get lost in the possibilities and near limitless compositions. The character of the complex changes throughout the day, from the early hours of dawn to the last fleeting rays of sunset. While day time allows for better shots of the architectural details, night time offers some of the most breathtaking panoramas of the City of Angels.

The Getty Museum is one of my favorite places in LA. With never a dull moment or chance of boredom, you can bask in the sunshine, soak up the splendor of LA, have a picnic, read a book, meander through the galleries, or experiment with photography. While I loved the new Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance exhibition, it was the time I spent with my Nikon (yes, I cheated on my iPhone 4S) outside that I appreciated the most.

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*I finally experimented with HDR (high dynamic range)! That’s me giving myself a huge congratulatory cheer as I’ve been wanting to test it out for so long now. It’s really time-consuming, but it was so refreshing reverting to the good ole ways of Photoshop editing (that’s right–no Instagram). Though a complete novice, I’m pleased with some of the results. Butttttt practice makes perfect, right?

If any of you seasoned photographers (or photography enthusiasts, for that matter) have any tips to offer or advice to share, I’m all ears (and super grateful)!