Photographer Noé Montes shoots Los Angeles like you've never seen it


Okay, I confess I don’t quite get this.

I’ve lived in LA for more than a third of a century, and, while I think there’s a great deal of beauty to be found here, I don’t see much of it in these pictures. Several shots of the port, several views of the Bunker Hill towers, and a hazy shot of MacArthur Park?


Now, mind you, I am quite fond of the Hubris of Industrial and Infrastructural Architecture. I’ve spent time touring and photographing ports, power lines, electric substations, railyards and the like.

As Tom Hanks’ character in Joe vs. the Volcano remarks on first arriving in the LA area:

It looks… fake.

I like it!

It’s not that I can’t see the awe-inspiring man-made beauty of the port infrastructure — but I don’t really get much sense of it in these pics.

For an interesting aerial tour of Los Angeles, I recommend blogger Atwater Village Newby’s LA Helicopter Tour: Complete Round Trip album on Flickr. Not so much arty lens flare, but a much more comprehensive look at the city in all its beauty and ugliness

At least the parts that can be seen from the air. Most of the really beautiful parts of LA aren’t visible - or at least aren’t obvious - from the air.

The aerial photos seem to depend on the color to be the point of interest, and I’m not sure I feel the compositions are that extraordinary. Flipping through the portfolios, I’m not sure that his style in general is really to my taste… which is totally fine, as far as I’m concerned. My only beef is that the assertion that Los Angeles is ugly is such a worn out trope, just like saying Los Angeleans are all shallow and obsessed with the entertainment industry. Can we get a new one? Like, that we all really like illegal hot dogs? Or that you can’t go a block without hitting a sketchy donut shop?

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For some reason, Clive looked at me as he said “Only the very ugly is truly beautiful."

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