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Time-lapse photographer offers fresh perspective on L.A.’s visual rhythms

By Sam Allen

On a steep slope, above a retaining wall with scrawled warnings “Stay off, Stay out, Private Property,” Colin Rich begins to unpack black bags full of cameras and gear.

The warnings confirm that this is where he wants to be. The secluded Echo Park hillside offers a sweeping view of downtown Los Angeles.

Over the next three hours, he will take a sequence of nearly 1,000 images, studying the scene and adjusting his camera as the sun falls and the city lights emerge.

Rich, a cinematographer and time-lapse filmmaker, has spent many nights in the last year photographing the city from out-of-the-way locations such as this. He’s talked his way to the top of a downtown high-rise, evaded security guards, sneaked behind the Hollywood sign and climbed dangerously close to rush-hour traffic — all in an effort to capture the visual rhythms of L.A., the city’s energy and flow.

An example of Rich’s time-lapse titled: “LA Light”

“It’s really, really, difficult to shoot an original shot here,” said Rich, 29, a native Angeleno. “If you want good shots, you always have to keep pushing.”

By editing and speeding up his images, Rich reveals patterns imperceptible to the naked eye: the intricate signatures of planes circling high above LAX, light splashing against the faces of buildings, clouds tumbling in the sky, cars flowing through the freeways like platelets in a pulsing vein.

Read the full story: L.A. time-lapse photographer takes the long view


  1. April 25, 2012, 8:51 pm

    These are really nice images of LA – I travelled to LA last month from Australia and this guy has done a really nice job

    By: tracy from Australia
  2. April 26, 2012, 1:25 am

    Very beautiful work. Anybody know the music, that was awesome.

  3. April 26, 2012, 10:31 pm

    It's to Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra

    By: Maddie
  4. April 26, 2012, 11:29 pm

    cinematic orchestra "That Home" I believe

    By: EMMMM

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