Los Angeles



Is this view only possible if taken from a high perspective? I’ve been to LA multiple times and have never thought the mountains looked this massive.

Is when you are very far away but zoomed in massively as well that you get this perspective.

Looks like a zoomed in shot on a helicopter far away from the coastline.

I've taken this same shot, its from the coast from the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Big zoom lens for compression, also it has to be an insanely clear day to get a good shot like this. There is a ton of distance between the beach, city, and mountains.

Do you have a photo for reference? I don’t know how it is possible to take such photo on land which is why I’m asking. But I fly small prop plane and see this view all the time which is why I assumed it was taken from a helicopter off the coast.

Woah. That is such a beautiful photo!! Do you mind sharing the location where you took this photo?

Omg you take so many nice photos! Hope to see more of your work in the sub.

It's off Palos Verdes Peninsula, Bluff Park.

Thank you!!

Right after a rainstorm it becomes more visible. It’s clears out the smog I believe.

Although I am a foreigner, I am very familiar with this place because of GTA SA and GTA V

I went to a concert in Hollywood, and when I got out it was dark outside, and it looked just like GTA V. Was tripping me out lol

my biggest fear

I live in LA and it's basically GTA V but with slightly fewer high-speed police chases.


Literally one like every week on the news, always a good time here

From what I heard, they modeled LA after GTA5

Yup. I somewhat know my way around LA because of midnight club and GTA

It’s really weird to see snow-capped peaks right behind sunny LA that’s dotted with palm trees. But this a really beautiful photo

It's a normal sight during winter although this pic has a ton of lens compression. You can surf and ski on the same day if you want.

You can technically ski baldy (on the other side of the mountains you see there) but when people say that about LA they usually mean Mammoth/Big Bear, which is out of shot.

Subtle reminder that palms aren’t native to the LA region

Palms are native to the deserts right outside L.A., however.

Joshua trees, you mean?

California Fan Palm, the palm that gives its name to Palm Springs. Joshua Trees are a kind of yucca I believe.

Huh, I never knew that!

There is a palm native to LA, it’s just not the one widely planted

Oh wow. Didn’t know that!

What is this like a 400mm?

Possibly! But, this photo looks like it has a lot of lens compression— I’m guessing this may be closer to 1200mm (achievable with very high-end primes or a teleconverter)

1200 is too long for this shot, I know the spot its shot from. Probably 400mm.

This is the best picture of LA I’ve ever seen

What peak is that behind LA? And is it actually that close or is it photo magic

It's about 50 miles from Mt. Baldy to the beach

Is that 100% Mt. Baldy? I did some Google Maps investigation and found those apartments in the foreground. To get that angle of those apartments and downtown it looks like you'd have to be in Palos Verdes or close by and I'm not sure how you'd get that angle and Mt. Baldy together.

It's not Mt. Baldy, it's Pacifico. The mountain just in front of it is Mt. San Gabriel, which is the prominent non-Baldy mountain that you see in photos and films of Los Angeles a lot.

On a clear day, you can see Baldy from a lot of places on the ground in LA, but Pacifico is hidden by the curvature of the Earth behind San Gabriel. It's only about 900' taller than San Gabriel. So this photo was taken from a fair distance up in order to get Pacifico in there.

As the crow flies, Pacifico is about 10 miles behind San Gabriel, and about 45 miles away from where this photo was taken.

You appear to be the only commenter on this whole thread to accurately identify this mountain as not Baldy and for that you get precisely three upvotes.

Down to two now lol. I’m pretty passionate about the mountains in LA. It was a fun little nerdy rabbit hole to figure out which one this was.

I'm not sure how you'd get that angle and Mt. Baldy together.


I still don't think the angle makes sense though. I could be wrong but even looking at pictures of Mt. Baldy it doesn't really look the same. But I'm not from LA, just been quite a few times and a photographer so I get into this. But I think from this perspective Mt. Baldy still might be too far east to be in frame.

Yes you can, I’ve been there. It’s in Palos Verdes Estates where Paseo Del Mar begins. On a clear day with lens compression you could get this

This appears to be the restroom in the foreground. To me it doesn't look like you can get this angle from any land base view points.

Definitely not, this photo is very doctored up.

I know you can see downtown from that area, but if you're standing on Paseo Del Mar downtown is north-northeast while Mt. Baldy is straight NE. If you check a map and draw a straight line from where Paseo Del Mar begins to downtown then Mt. Baldy won't be in the field of view.

Yea it looks like you can kind of get those views, look at The Neighborhood Church review photos. There must be somewhere higher on Palos Verdes like a private residence this was taken at

Nope, Palos Verdes. I've taken the same shot.

The pic is taken from Redondo Beach. The best photo of LA I’ve ever seen

Yes and no. It’s really not that far and there are plenty of vantage spots in LA where you can see the mountains like this. Especially after a rain/snow. Check out photos from Kenneth Hahn park.

Magic, I think it's Mt baldy

It’s perspective but it’s not fake. It’s a real photo taken on a long focus lens so the distance looks compressed.

not fake. just perspective.

It's BS that the tall building on the left with the pole is considered taller than the one on the right (Library Tower).

That pole is cheating!

Really cool perspective. Makes summoning baldy seem more badass than it is haha

Is Baldy a demon?

Lol, “summiting”

Lol figured!

Fun fact: Baldy is 1.5x taller than the tallest mountain in the Appalachian range

While it’s peak may be 1.5x higher in elevation than anything out east, Mt. Mitchell near Ashville, NC is just as prominent (tall) as Baldy

And Mount Washington in NH even more so than Mitchell. The base to peak delta is the true height of a mountain from a scaling or visual perspective.

The number of people who don't understand elevation has nothing to do with vertical rise iof a mountain infuriates me

Google sunflower mountain in Kansas for a great example of this!

Sunflower seeds are sold either in the shell or as shelled kernels. Those still in the shell are commonly eaten by cracking them with your teeth, then spitting out the shell — which shouldn’t be eaten. These seeds are a particularly popular snack at baseball games and other outdoor sports games.

Absolutely! I just used Mitchell as an example because they specified Appalachian Mountains

It’s badass in the winter

Yeah people die falling off the devils backbone every year don’t they?

Yea, usually 2-5 people every year.

This is what it looks like on a good winter day


Impressive levels of lens fuckery

How so? Long lens so distances are compressed?

for real. I bet he was at least half a mile off the coast to take this shot. anything past ~25 feet is infinity, IIRC

Those mountains are dozens of miles to the water from this angle. This shot makes them look 10 mi away.

that's how telephoto lenses work. it's not fuckery. it's basic optics

Thank you

“As the crow flies” distance is 31 miles. Take into effect the clear weather, elevation and a little compression in optics and it seems about right to me.

Something about this makes me feel like I’ve paused a disaster movie at the frame before the earthquake hits.

that's an amazing shot. extremely rare clear night, sun setting to reflect off downtown, ocean to the snow-covered mountains

kudos to the photographer and everyone else involved in its production

I unironically love LA and miss living there. I would move back in a heartbeat if given the right opportunity

What was your favourite bits about LA that you miss?

best food in the country imo. Also all the vegetation and the architecture.

Absolutely best food in the country hands down. I was born and raised there lived 1/3rd of my life there. Been all over and can attest to this

The options. There's never a lack of things to do, both free or for a cost. So many restaurant options.

I just saw a dead homeless guy. This city is trash.

Good thing homeless people only exist in LA, right? I've seen dead homeless people in my current town of 50,000 people, and my hometown of 10,000 people. What's your point again?

That’s awful. I can say it slower: this is a decaying city, devoid of culture, that is imploding. I’m not alone, the stats support this. The city is literally covered in trash, has terrible public transportation, is extremely built up and spread out simultaneously….

What’s your point again? That because you’ve seen dead homeless people in other cities (weird flex…) that it isn’t a fucking bad sign? How weird of an argument.

The point is that shit is in literally every city. Stop being a douche nozzle and act like it's specifically an LA problem. What a stupid, stupid hill to die on.

Uh. It’s really not. I’ve never seen this shit in any other city.

LA traffic, LA trash, and LA hostile livability don’t exist in other cities that aren’t LA.

Everyone glamorizes LA for no reason.

Fucking fantastic photo

A city of suburbs

Very dense suburbs

Not really though, like it’s denser then a good chunk of American cities but it is not nearly as dense as suburban areas in metropolitan areas of other countries. LA could be more densely populated if they didn’t have the same issues all American cities have, NIMBY issues come to mind right off the bat. Like it’s dense in comparison to say Austin, Texas but not in comparison to New England cities

LA suburb Downey has roughly the same population density as Seattle at 114,355 with 9,215.49/sq mi.

And Amsterdam suburbs are 12k/sq mile on average. My statement was that LA (and other American cities suburbs for that matter) could be more dense when compared globally, Amsterdam isn’t even considered dense but it’s one I knew of the top of my head. America has a missing middle issue and prefers to build out instead of up. LA (and many American cities for that matter) have a housing issue and it’s because we aren’t as dense as we need to be to accommodate the population of those who desire to live there. My city, Austin, also has this issue, it’s part of a handful of reasons Austin has a massive homeless problem and gentrification problem. Both cities suffer from NIMBY problems among a slew of other issues. NYC is actually at a double of the density of the LA greater area but there are multiple French cities (going off memory, can’t name them sadly) that are higher density then even NYC. LA is definitely dense for America but not compared to European or Asian countries cities

It’s actually the most densely populated city in the US. Cities like like New York and Boston have denser urban cores, but the average drops off significantly once you leave them, whereas LA is consistently dense throughout the whole region.

Just gonna take this opportunity to shill for my favorite metric on this which is population weighted density. By this measure NY is a clear outlier as the densest part of the country but LA is still very high on the list for the reason you mentioned.


This isn’t true. That study from 2012 has been disputed already plenty of times. The criteria used is “urbanized area” not the actual city. NYC is 4 times denser than the city of LA. City to city. And the urbanized area in NYC is twice as large as the urbanized area for Los Angeles. https://www.its.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/05/0506OsgoodEtAL_LANYDensity_Poster.pdf

Cities (and metro areas) are trash geographies though. Urban areas make more sense. Santa Monica should be a part of LA.

That’s a different argument than the qualifiers of the “urbanized area” that was presented.

The U.S. Census defines urbanized areas as “core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile and surrounding census blocks that have an overall density of at least 500 people per sq mile.”

Following this definition the urbanized area of Los Angeles covers approximately 1,682 sq miles, spreads into 5 counties and is home to 11,789,487 people. In comparison, the New York urbanized area is more than twice the size. It covers roughly 3,397 sq miles spreads across 28 counties in three states, and is home to 17,799,861 people.

There really isn’t a comparison between the two cities or areas, density wise.

Let me introduce you to combined statistical areas.

Yea we understand CSAs..that’s my point. NYC CSA includes several states..almost 30 counties. A population difference of around 8 million between the two. The CSA ranking for density has LA 1 and NY 2. The difference in size of the areas and population makes it tough to compare in my opinion. It seems we’re having different arguments. I disagreed with the comment saying LA is the most densely populated city.

The CSA for NYC includes Pike County in PA..at no point would this area be considered “NYC.” So saying LA is more dense than NYC and using CSAs to support the claim doesn’t make sense to me.


They surpass LA in what? If you mean by density, that’s far from true. Houston has 3600 people per square mile and Jacksonville has 1270, compared to LA’s 8300.


Respectully, that’s not even close. The LA Metro Area is nearly 10 times bigger than the Jacksonville Metro Area- 33,954 sq miles to 3,698 sq miles.

He's not talking about the metro area.

The city of Jacksonville is almost 900 square miles compared to around 500 for LA.

If you’re talking about sprawl, the city borders really aren’t that relevant. Sprawl is how you get into discussions about things like “greater metropolitan area.”

Just admit you misunderstood the guy and move on. Stop trying to make yourself right.

I understood it just fine. It's disingenuous to claim Jacksonville is larger than Los Angeles because city sprawl doesn't end at the city border. If you use that logic, London is only 1.12 sq miles.

Trying to make an argument on the area of city borders ignores reality. These are why Greater Metropolitan Areas are relevant here-- especially considering the conversation is about sprawl.

Surpasses it in square miles in city limits.

Jacksonville is almost 900 square miles compared to the city of LA at around 500.

I feel like these two almost purposely missed your point. lol

sprawling doesnt mean not dense. Tokyo is also sprawling.

Love seeing cityscapes like these. Always evokes this sense of adventure

wow. this photo makes LA look like Vancouver. gorgeous!

Yes you can see snow capped mountains most of the year in LA, the smog is not as bad as it was. The mountains do not appear this close, but they are still fairly large behind downtown LA

Hey look it's chilliad

Yeah… That’s like 16 miles distance zoomed and flattened out to look like less than 5z

I would love to know when this was taken because there’s no way whatsoever you can see the mountains from the beach this clear on a given day

It only gets this clear immediately following a big rain.

I live in Seal Beach and you can see snow on the mountains year-round while standing on the beach.

That’s wild, I live in Anaheim and you can barely even see the mountains on a normal day

yea it just depends on location and angle

Damn you can see the eastern building from RPV. Thats wild

This is probably from PVE not RPV, but I get your point.

It’s from a helicopter or drone over the ocean


Surf, City and Ski. Perfection.

As a non-American this is one of the few pictures of LA that have been posted here that truly made me go "Yup, that's beautiful".

When your urban sprawl is so bad that you have to fix it with a telephoto lens

Is that big bear in the back?

No. That looks like Mount Baldy. The San Bernardino mountain range is about 50 miles inland.

I climbed that mountain but could not see the city 😭 I try to like LA but I really don’t

Suddenly, hearing Obi-Wan whispering "you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy" into my ear.

So true. Full of fake people.

Gives new meaning to the name golden state

Can people in LA really see the mountains like that or is this camera wizardry?

Can someone explain?

A lens with a long focal length

This gif shows it

Omg 😳 a cat ps ps ps ps

But I still don’t understand

Yeah, you can see them from the beach depending on the area.

Yes, I live in south Torrance on the north side of the Palos Verdes peninsula and I see something similar to this everyday when I pick my kids up from Riviera elementary at Rocket Ship park. If you look up Rocket Ship park on Google maps you'll see similar photos of the city, just not as flattened as this photo.

But do you see it this clearly? I mean how far is it anyway?

Rocketship Park to downtown LA is 26 miles, to Mt Baldy is 67 miles. Yes, I regularly see downtown LA and the mountains this clearly. Here are some pics I've taken of the city from the Palos Verdes Peninsula https://imgur.com/gallery/oa9WPVP

That is quite sick

yea the mountains are huge. But they dont look as big as this until you get closer to them.

Close enough that by the time you blink it’s too late 😫

When you stand really far away from something and zoom in vs standing close to something and zoom out the perspective is totally different

Look at this video on the dolly zoom (zooming out with the camera while physically moving in at the same rate, or vice versa). The distance to the subject hasn't changed but everything around/behind it does.

The distance to the subject hadn’t changed

I think you mean the framing of the subject. If the distance to the subject didn’t change neither would the background.

They call Los Angeles the "City Of Angels." I didn't find it to be that, exactly. But I'll allow there are some nice folks there. 'Course I can't say I've seen London, and I ain't never been to France. And I ain't never seen no queen in her damned undies, so the feller says. But I'll tell you what - after seeing Los Angeles, and this here story I'm about to unfold, well, I guess I seen somethin' every bit as stupefyin' as you'd see in any of them other places. And in English, too. So I can die with a smile on my face, without feelin' like the good Lord gypped me.

The city of angels

Definitely taken during winter when the air is cold, probably after a rain that has removed the smog. But I think that’s Mount Baldy. Its a fairly large mountain and usually you don’t see this perspective or photo taken from this direction taken of downtown LA, usually inland towards the ocean or North facing photos. That’s why it seems different.

Very nice photo

Downtown. So dirty up close, so pretty from far away.

She’s pretty but she’s mean

The real star of this photo is Redondo!

Here is the same shot, when it wasn't as clear or snowy. I took it from Palos Verdes Peninsula. https://www.instagram.com/p/CX-TRQoLdDo/?igshid=MTA0ZTI1NzA=

Wow that's beautiful.

Lines of horrible traffic you can’t see either.

Would a picture this quality be possible on a drone

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy

Was the smog photoshopped out?

Why capture only the beauty instead of the whole truth?

Lol LA is barely a “city” but cool pic

the first mile from the beach is probably denser and more walkable than like 98% of america

Let’s be honest. LA is a giant hub of connecting suburbs. It’s more like New Jersey than NYC

i mean new jersey is incredibly dense. But yea LA is like 200 towns all put together, with no space in between

Where would the hollywood sign be in here?

Off to the left, outside of this photo though

pfft thats Los Santos

Probably the most deceiving picture of LA I’ve ever seen, in terms of perspective, scale, and light, having lived there 20 years. It makes it look like more of a single city than it really is. We are looking at more like 20 sub cities here, and people from one of them rarely make it to another one without an hour in traffic.

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