Exploring: A Family Trait

Yesterday’s holiday offered me the opportunity to do some exploring…with my son.  Now that my children are grown, married, and living in cities away from me, I treasure the time we get to spend together in any configurations of our family.

So yesterday morning, with a day off from work, I got into my car and headed up the freeway to Los Angeles to spend the day exploring with my son.  In many ways, he is my inspiration for taking photographs.  He has fancy cameras and takes amazing photos.  I use my phone and continue to learn.  And he is quite the cheerleader for my growing skills and like me, enjoys looking for interesting photo opportunities.

Los Angeles has its downside: most notably, traffic!  But it is rich in interesting history, eclectic neighborhoods, memorable landmarks, and famous people along with a beautiful natural environment.  So after an amazingly quick commute in light traffic from my home to his, we set off for a day of exploring and picture taking.

We spent the morning at the La Brea Tar Pits (can you believe neither of us had even been…even though we both grew up in Southern CA?), the Page Museum, and the sculpture gardens at LACMA.  Then after lunch, we decided to drive the surface streets of the greater Hollywood area as we ventured off to find the Ennis House, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural gems.  (More about that later this week!)

And in the process of driving up the narrow, winding streets of the hillside above the greater LA area, we found so much more than Frank Lloyd Wright’s treasure.

We found a place to park on the steep streets of an obviously exclusive neighborhood and set off on foot with lenses in hand.  As we walked, I found myself searching for a space where I could see the view beyond us.  I did sneak this view through the opening in a fence.


But I wanted more.  A side road beckoned with what looked like ruins of some sort.  A closer look revealed stairs leading to a door…to something that is no longer there.


But when I turned around…the view I was looking for revealed itself!  I’ve written before at how hard it is to capture distant landscapes with my iPhone (but it never keeps me from trying!).  With a little help from post production, I did manage to create a photo that gives a glimpse of what I was able to see!


I love that I could see the Los Angeles skyline in the distance.  And you can see what a beautiful sunny day we were experiencing (it was easily 80 degrees at its peak).

And best of all, Nick and I had a wonderful day together exploring his city through our lenses. The fun thing is that we don’t have to do something “special,” just spending time exploring and talking and being together was enough.  I can’t wait to see all the photos he took…and you’ll get to see some of the other photos I took later this week.

What traits do you share in your family?  How do you enjoy spending time together?

8 thoughts on “Exploring: A Family Trait

  1. Patricia O'Leary

    I have never been to California, it looks beautiful through the pictures that you took. I am a mountainous girl and not one for flat land, and hot weather however I would love to visit. The time you spent with your son is truly valuable, and capturing the beauty is a great way to keep the memories alive. I can’t wait to see more pictures that you took. My niece is into photography and a day with her and her camera is always treasure.
    Over the weekend, my sister came home from Portland to celebrate her 24th birthday. We were able to get my mom out to the local bar to watch a favorite county band. We danced the night away and the next day she said she would never go out with us again. However, our time together was great. Family bonding is such a big thing to me. Thank you for your post.

  2. blkdrama

    What a wonderful thing to share with your SON! Love the images and the context for them. My camera is sick but being fixed for me. Hope I have it for Puerto Rico on Feb. 3. If not, I will have to start making sense of my GOPRO. Good thing there’s backup in my bag. Of course the iPhone has been great!

  3. Jessica & Mallory

    Wow what beautiful photos. I really like the last one because of the faded buildings and city in the distant but healthy green pretty plants and trees.Thanks for sharing the photos!

    1. kd0602 Post author

      Thanks Mallory. The one of the cityscape is my favorite too! I hadn’t thought about the contrast between the buildings and the vibrance of the plants… I really love taking photos and then writing about them. Thanks for taking time to comment!

  4. Heather Gibson

    Your pictures were amazing! I took love to take pictures, but rarely get the opportunity to take my new camera out. Anyways, to answer your question. I live in another state than my family so we do not get to spend as much time together as I would like. My family is really into racing, and my two brothers race dwarf cars. That is how we spend most of our time together. I enjoyed reading about how you spend time with your son. So creative! Thank you for sharing.

    1. kd0602 Post author

      Heather, thanks for you comments. I really love taking photos and because I take them all with my phone, my camera is always handy. I try to take at least one photo every day…and some days I take many, many photos!

      How fun to spend time at the races together. That was something my dad and I shared when I was a teenager…sprint cars! Distance is definitely a complication of spending time for family…but it does create opportunities for travel!

      Thanks for you comments!


  5. Pingback: An Architectural Learning Walk | Thinking Through My Lens

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