This past weekend I participated in the LADIG photo safari at the Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA. This amazing architecture has almost become a photo cliché, and its easy to see why! The stainless steel curved structure provides truly spectacular geometric abstract scenes, both inside and out! I had actually never been to the location to take pictures—amazing but true—somehow, I’ve managed to avoid taking any pictures of the building until now. I expect I’ll be going back many times to revel in one of the most beautiful architectural environments ever created.

At any rate, while I was going through my images, I noticed several shots that would be improved with a little application of the aerial perspective technique I examined in a recent blog post. You can see the step-by-step video post here: Aerial Perspective in Photoshop.

Here is a perfect candidate for this technique:


Disney Hall - 1

A shot looking down the elevated walkway around the stainless steel structure.

There is a very strong graphic diagonal line at the edge of the building, but it is interrupted by the blue building across the street. I thought the shot might be improved with a little bit of aerial perspective to push that building further into the background and strongly separate it from the main subject…

DIsney Hall -1a

The atmospheric haze pushed the building across the street further into the background.

A little bit of atmospheric haze goes a long way towards separating the background from the foreground and clarifies the geometry of the building. This is a relatively easy masking and screening procedure that can find application in many images. Here are a few other examples:

Disney Hall - 2

The strong graphic lines of the Disney Hall are marred by the ugly stuff across the street…

Again, there is a great shot here that could use some distance from the dark mass across the street…

Disney Hall - 2

The solution is to blow a little smoke into the scene…

A not so subtle application of smoke really helps isolate the Disney Hall from the background. Where does the smoke come from—who cares, it could be dust from the construction site—Most people wouldn’t automatically assume that some manipulation had altered the scene. The simplification of the background also isolates the small figure at the center of the frame; this now becomes an important element to show the scale of the building!

One final example:

Disney Hall - 3

This shot is not bad the way it is but…

Again, I’d prefer it that the building across the street were less noticeable…

Disney Hall - 3a

The structure is now a castle in the clouds…

The atmospheric clouds romanticize the image and help bring out the shape of the building form at the left. The lightening of the background pulls the eye to the staircase at the lower left which provides a visual anchor for the strong undulating forms which dominate the overall image.

You can see some of the other images I made of the Disney Concert Hall on my Flicker page here:

Again, if you want to know exactly how I achieved these effects, please take a look at my step-by-step video tutorial here:

And remember to enroll in my online course The Fundamentals of Photo Illustration