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Capturing a Sunrise Timelapse at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook

by | Jun 20, 2024 | Blog

A Glorious Morning Begins

From the moment I woke up and checked the webcams, I knew the sunrise was going to be glorious. The sky was clear, and the early morning light promised a spectacular display. I quickly gathered my gear, excited for the photographic adventure ahead.


Returning to a Beloved Location

The Hollywood Bowl Overlook had remained closed to the public throughout the pandemic, and it had recently opened, making this timelapse even more special. As a cityscape photographer, I had missed this iconic spot and was thrilled to return.

Setting Up the Gear

For this shoot, I used two cameras to capture the timelapse from different perspectives. One camera was equipped with a wide lens to capture the expansive view of Los Angeles waking up, while the other had a tighter zoom lens to focus on specific details of the skyline and the sunrise. The camera settings were straightforward, allowing me to start the interval process without having to adjust them during the shoot.

The Magic of Sunrise

In person, the sunrise was amazing—one of the best I’ve seen in a while. The sky transitioned from deep blues to vibrant oranges and pinks, painting the city in a breathtaking light. I captured two timelapses that day, and both were stunning, showcasing the beauty of the Hollywood Overlook at dawn.

Video from that morning 

Tips for Shooting a Perfect Timelapse

  1. Check the Weather and Webcams: Always start your day by checking the weather forecast and any available webcams for your chosen location. This helps ensure you’re prepared for the conditions you’ll face.

  2. Choose the Right Lenses: Using a combination of wide and zoom lenses can give you a variety of shots and perspectives in your timelapse.

  3. Simple Camera Settings: Set your camera settings to manual mode to avoid any automatic adjustments during the timelapse. Ensure your interval timer is set correctly to capture smooth transitions.

  4. Arrive Early: Give yourself plenty of time to set up your gear and find the best angles. Arriving early also allows you to capture the gradual changes in light before sunrise.

  5. Be Patient: Timelapse photography requires patience. Once your cameras are set up and the interval shooting begins, resist the urge to interfere and let the process unfold.

Final Thoughts

Shooting a timelapse at the Hollywood Overlook was a rewarding experience. The recent reopening of this beloved spot added a layer of excitement to the shoot. The sunrise did not disappoint, offering a visual feast that translated beautifully into my timelapses. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting, capturing a sunrise timelapse is an incredible way to appreciate the beauty of a new day.

For more tips and stories from my cityscape photography adventures, stay tuned to Cinematic Skyline.