Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

An aerial view of downtown Los Angeles from the Goodyear blimp, shot with a fisheye lens.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

The use of a tilt-shift lens gives a different perspective on Staples Center, L.A. Live and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

A pool near downtown Los Angeles makes an interesting pattern.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

A parking lot on Francisco Street in downtown L.A.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

An advertisement keeps watch near Macy's Plaza.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

Rush hour on the 10 and 110 freeways downtown.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

A detailed look at downtown skyscrapers.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

The use of a tilt-shift lens gives a different perspective of a neighborhood in South Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

The 110 and 10 freeways during rush hour.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

Harsh shadows are cast upon buildings in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

The sun pokes through the clouds, highlighting areas of southeast section of downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

The setting sun cast light on Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

The sun sets on downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

Pilot Matthew St. John operates the Goodyear blimp over Los Angeles on May 27, 2010.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

An aerial view of Los Angeles looking west toward Santa Monica from the Goodyear blimp.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

Staples Center is aglow during a Western Conference playoff game between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

An aerial nighttime view of downtown Los Angeles from the Goodyear blimp.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

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View from the Goodyear blimp

Trying for a different look while shooting aerials over downtown Los Angeles from the Goodyear blimp, Times photographer John W. Adkisson brought along a 90-millimeter tilt-shift lens. He had seen how this type of lens makes aerial shots of cityscapes look like miniature models. It was learning on the job, as he had never used the lens before. Adkisson figured it was a six-hour ride and he would have plenty of time to try the lens and also shoot with more traditional lenses. He brought along six others, including a fisheye.

When they took off in the afternoon, the light was overcast and flat. As it got later in the day, the clouds parted and beautiful golden light came out of the skies. The pilot said it was one of the most visible days, because the haze was pretty thin. The ride was smooth, but the movement made shooting in low light at dusk difficult. Adkisson had to shoot exposures of 1/8 at f4.0 at ISO 640 to compensate. He braced himself and hoped for the best as they cruised at 1,700 feet.

The main challenge was physical space. It was pretty tight in there. There was room for probably six people and Adkisson took up enough room for two people with all of his gear. Also, no bathrooms for the 6-hour ride.

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