Los Angeles is an amazing place full of iconic architecture, famous buildings, and famous people. Also there’s an airport, another airport, and a third airport. Oh yeah, beaches aplenty. Also, In-and-Out Burger. Additionally, absolutely apocalyptic traffic. Then there’s the smog. LA is certainly a city with its hits and misses but it’ll always be memorable, which brings us to the topic of this post: international award-winning (and LA-based) photographer Mike Kelley wants to show it to you like you’ve never seen before.
I first saw Mike’s work a year or two ago and thought it converged nicely with three of my interests: architecture, aerial photography from helicopters, and airports. While more prominently known for his stunning architectural work (complete with his own Fstoppers tutorial), Mike’s an aviation nut as well. In fact, the first image I ever saw of his was this masterpiece he calls Wake Turbulence, the product of an entire day spent out at LAX doing nothing but taking pictures of planes taking off.
When I saw his latest project, LA Airspace, I immediately threw my support behind it and contacted Mike to offer a post up for him. He’s always been very generous with his knowledge so I figured this is the least I could do to get his project one step closer to funding.
I love the perspective that shooting from a helicopter can give you. You see things that sometimes only an architect has seen before. Patterns, formations, heck even traffic has this beautiful lifelike form to it that you just can’t see from any other perspective. I’m proud of my aerial photography work, but Mike Kelley’s is in a different ballpark. His project is to self-publish a book manufactured entirely in Los Angeles of his amazing work. He was gracious enough to provide some samples below.
If you’ve never tried it, I’ll clue you in: shooting pictures from a helicopter is hard. The angles are always changing and you don’t always get another chance to take a memorable shot. That Mike captures the geometry, symmetry, and drama of this great city is a testament to quite a few flights and a level of skill that I hope to develop someday.
To make it abundantly clear: Mike is not paying me to advertise this project for him. I’m doing it because I’m a backer myself and know many of you have a special place in your heart for LA. I hope you’ll consider backing his project!
In case you missed it, here’s the link to the Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikekelley/la-airspace-los-angeles-photographed-from-above