Griffith Park Nature Walk

Photography

One of my favorite places to hike in LA is the Fern Dell Trails at Griffith Park. Its a nice, short route that transports you to a different place that does not feel like Los Angeles at all.

So a couple of weeks ago, my good friend, Juan Acevedo, hit me up and began asking me questions about photography. Years ago I actually sold him my old Canon Rebel EOS T2i DSLR camera and he’s had it tucked away this whole time. He never had much experience using it so he asked if I’d be down to meet up and show him my gear and how to use the camera’s settings and how I go about shooting photos while out and about.

I of course agreed because its been a few months since the last time we met up and hung out.

We met up at one of our usually hang out spots, a Panera in Downtown Burbank. We decided to grab a quite bite to eat and then take one car out to Griffith Park. I decided to show him one of my favorite places to shoot and just plain hang out in general, the Mineral Wells.

We parked on the curb and unloaded our gear and walked to the nearest park bench and I started going over the basics of lenses and aperture, ISO speeds and shutter speeds.

Once I showed him the basics, I told him to walk around and take some photos in the area.

After watching him for a bit, I took a test shot as well to show him about foreground focus and background blurriness. I explained that for as long as I’ve been interested in photography, my favorite thing to do is try to capture scenes in photos and videos that aren’t from a normal eye-level perspective. I enjoy taking photos from down low or up high to get people thinking, “Wow!”

After spending about an hour at the Mineral Wells, we decided to pack up and head over to the Fern Dell trails to walk around and take photos of stuff. The point of this was that I wanted to demonstrate how you would ideally set up your camera’s settings to take quick photos without much prep time in between photos and how you can use the low f-stop number on a 50mm 1.4f lens to your advantage to get some good blurriness in your backgrounds in nature shots while focusing on leaves and trees and stuff.

So we set off on our mini hike and I began showing him what kinds of things to look out for while walking. Since we weren’t there for an actual hike, I said to be aware and mindful of the surroundings and to not be afraid to get down low and take photos or stop randomly to get some good shots.

As we started walking, I began telling him how I’ve been coming here for years and that there used to be a pond in the middle that was full of water. But as the drought in California got worse over the years, the pond began drying up and I assume the city just drained out all of the water

It was still quite early in the day and we passed by lots of people on their usual morning walks. As some of the friendly regulars smiled and said good morning to us, we tried to be as courteous as possible so that we didn’t block people trying to walk past us as we suddenly stopped to take photos of things along the path.

As we continued down the trail, we got to the part where a small stream of water turns into a series of small ponds that reach all the way to the end of the trail on both sides.

Then it was at this point that I remembered that I brought along with me my glass photography ball. So I took it out and grabbed a quick shot of it.

I could tell that as time went on, my friend Juan had really started understanding some of the basic things I explained. The more we walked, the more I kept noticing he would stop on his own to take photos of things I either missed or disregarded. That was the most important thing I hoped he would take away from all of this, was to be aware and have the will to take photos of things someone might not even consider taking a photo of at first.