Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Travelers make their way up the improved arrivals ramp at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Visitors are reflected in the sliding glass doors of the newly improved Tom Bradley International Terminal, which features a bank of screens that gives the status of flights at LAX.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

A traveler makes a phone call in front of a new public art piece featuring electronic media and video near Daniels Bistro.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Travelers arrive at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, where they are greeted by high-tech lighting and a video screen that projects a time-lapse photograph of vehicular traffic at LAX.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

A traveler checks out a panel of videos projected over a bank of telephones in the arrivals area of the newly improved Tom Bradley terminal at LAX. The video panel is one of many new public art pieces featuring electronic media that can be found in the terminal.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

A traveler walks past a new public art piece featuring electronic media and video at the terminal.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

The new arrivals area at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, overlooking U.S. Customs and Border Protection booths under modern light fixtures. The baggage area, background, now has high-capacity carousels to help passengers retrieve their luggage more quickly.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

High-tech lighting and changing colors are some of the improvements that greet travelers at the Bradley terminal.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

The arrivals ramp features an art installation by Kim Abeles titled "Arrival." "Arrival" combines drawing, photographs and video to portray the interior of the aircraft after landing.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

One of the high-capacity luggage carousels includes a screen that projects video of flowers.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

A traveler pushes his belongings along the arrivals ramp at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Metallic phone booths at the remodeled terminal.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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Scenes from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX

By Genaro Molina

Half of the excitement of traveling by airplane is the ascent and a trip through the clouds, but the real surprise at the newly redesigned Tom Bradley International Terminal is in the descent. Travelers flying out of Bradley begin their trip on the second floor but will be amazed, as I was, by the changes on the first level.

The new arrival area at Bradley is a photographer’s dream, and I was immediately inspired to create images that captured the artistic spirit of the place.

When embarking on an assignment filled with amazing visuals, it’s easy to just dive in and start making pictures, but sometimes this can lead to rather pedestrian images.

After being led on a media tour, I went back and walked through the terminal again, taking in all the multimedia, changing colors and new light fixtures. I was trying to figure out which areas had the greatest potential for good photography.  This was an assignment in which I was allowed the time to be a little more methodical in my approach, as opposed to the constraints of a spot news or sports assignment. I had the day to illustrate this story, and I took advantage of every minute.

I started by photographing individual sections of the terminal. I began with the arrivals ramp, where passengers walk underneath a huge picture frame that depicts time-lapse photography of traffic going in and out of LAX.  The gels in the background changed from magenta to blue and then to green.  I decided to focus on the green gel, giving the viewer a subliminal message of a “green light,” as in to “go.”  I chose to keep the passengers as silhouettes, capitalizing on their frames and keeping them anonymous.  If I had used a flash, it would have disrupted the effect that the designer had for this part of the terminal.

Then I moved to an area where family and friends were waiting to greet their loved ones. This area reminded me of a scene out of the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and I wanted to capitalize on the circular lights that resemble the bottom of a huge spaceship.  I anchored the photograph by a pair of men waiting on the left and right side of the frame, as silhouetted sentinels to frame the arriving passengers. Once again, not using a strobe gave my pictures a sense of uniformity.

Next I moved to the telephone booths shaped like cylinders, which had a dull sheen to them. I shot them with a long lens to compress the booths and, by using a medium depth of field, it gave the image a dreamy quality.  Then I waited for a person to complete the composition.  The bonus was his look upward, directing the viewer to examine the line of video screens overhead.

One of the motifs I use in my photographs is reflection. Reflection helps add atmosphere and texture to images.  An example of this is featured in my image of the glass doors where passengers exit to the street.  Reflected were the shadowy figures of those waiting for a ride.  The content of the image can be found in the flight arrival information that seems to float inside the forms of these curbside travelers.  The challenge was trying to capture the image in the sliding glass doors that were constantly opening and closing.

I like to photograph in busy public places because all the activity provides a photographer with cover and you can also work in these locales legally.  So I was never bothered by security.

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