Thursday, October 2, 2008

griffith park observatory

i guess i should start to put how exactly i take these crazy night photos.
no tripod
3 second exposure
ISO 1600

this photo was taken at the griffith park observatory in los angeles. it's probably my favorite place to go just to hang out, sight-see, people watch, learn, explore space (yes, i'm a nerd), and occasionally run to the hollywood sign just behind the observatory. i've been going to the observtory all throughout my life at random times as a tourist. since moving here, it has taken on different meaning as i have gone up there dozens of times with friends and family that come to visit. the visits i made as a kid were just for fun and to look out and see the city and how emense the los angeles area is from the hollywood hills. now when i go it is a place just to escape and meditate and see how small the world really is. i love to see the different types of people that visit the park and try to guess why they are there and what the purpose of their visit is. the observatory has always had a special meaning to me because as a family we came here several times on our trips to socal. thankfully, my parents always took the time to show us around to places other than disneyland, the beach, and tijuana while on outings to socal. i think they wanted to teach us simple yet meaningful lessons about how one can have a good time without doing the typical activities engaged in by tourists. early visits to the park were at a time when the observatory was a much ignored establishment. since the renovation that took place during the years of 2004-2007, it has been rejuvenated with a diverse crowd of visitors with varying reasons for their visits. some come to explore and see the city from a different perspective while others visit to experience a piece of socal and all-american nostalgia. i like to go there and reflect on my family and all the fun and adventurous things my parents helped us experience as kids. i try and make a point to take as many of my friends there as possible so they can also experience the peace and beauty of the park and the environment. it's fun to talk to people from socal that have never been to the park, heard it was renovated, or seen the observatory in person (let alone look through the many telescopes on display for a clear view of stars, planets, and nebula at one low cost of free). i guess you could say i have a peculiar fascination with the place not only because it's neat to visit, but i can vividly remember things from my childhood that were said to me while visiting with my family. we went to a lot of different places on vacations and have seen many neat things as a family, but this one place in particular has never left my mind. after not having visited for 10 years or so, returning was such a familiar experience that i almost found the observatory with no problem or help from locals. i love the fact that i have few places in this world outside of oregon where i have vivid memories of our family being together, and one of those is right here in socal with memories that took place several years before i became a resident. i guess it just goes to show that we never know how our experiences will impact our kids and to what magnitude.