Light Crafter Photography: Blog en-us (C) Light Crafter Photography [email protected] (Light Crafter Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:36:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:36:00 GMT Light Crafter Photography: Blog 120 96 Bottega Louie - Downtown Los Angeles' Sweet Spot While driving through downtown Los Angeles on Grand Avenue two weekends ago, someone in the vehicle mentioned a place downtown from where people have been posting images of luscious looking sweet treats on social media. Another said it’s somewhere along Grand Avenue, and it has Louie in its name. What do I know? As if on cue, as we were about to cross 7th Street, I spotted the place. It’s at the corner of 7th Street on your left if you’re driving south on Grand. I looped around to Hope Street and paid $4 to park all day at a lot across the Sheraton. It was a Saturday, and I didn’t have difficulty finding a spot. There is also curbside metered parking along Hope Street.


From there it’s just a short walk to Bottega Louie. It’s a restaurant serving Italian cuisine. From the signage, one learns that it has a patisserie and gourmet market as well.

Bottega Louie is located at 700 S Grand, Los Angeles, CA.


We did not have the chance to dine in, but by the looks of it, the restaurant is quite popular. This is actually the smaller of two dining areas. The larger area is towards the back. The Saturday afternoon crowd at the restaurant. This is actually the smaller dining area. The bigger space is towards the back.

The busy restaurant kitchen. The busy restaurant kitchen.


But it was the patisserie that brought us here. As a photographer, I respond readily to visuals, and what a treat I had that afternoon. As soon as I walked through the door, the patisserie captivated me and it was hard to peel myself off its grip. My head was swirling as I took in the sights of the beautiful and photogenic sweet creations. The design and presentation for every piece is enticing and attractive. Short of putting in a photo shoot proposal, I almost could not stop taking pictures.  

This is the patisserie. It is what greets you as you walk in. The patisserie.


Beignets. The term is of french origin. They are cousins of the doughnuts. In fact some parts of the U.S. consider them as doughnuts, and the beignet is Louisiana's state doughnut. Beignets. The term is of French origin. They are practically cousins of doughnuts. In Louisiana, they are considered as doughnuts and have been named as the official doughnut of the state.


Colorful macarons. Colorful macarons.


The staff was very attentive and helpful. I liked it that they put on gloves when gathering and handling your order. The staff are very attentive and helpful. I also like it that they wear gloves when gathering and preparing your order.


Rows of pretty eclairs. Pretty eclairs.


These two have a flamboyant name, La Framboise Buche. La Framboise Buche. This dessert with that fancy name should taste as good as it looks.


The pricing is quite reasonable, $-$$. Pricing is quite reasonable. Range is $-$$.  To view more sweet images, go to my Playtime galleries, and click on Bottega Louie.

All images were shot without flash. Food images were shot mostly through glass of the display case and using the display lighting. Equipment were Canon 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 L IS USM lens mated to Canon 5D Mark II. Range of shutter speeds used: mostly 1/30 to 1/160 sec.. Range of apertures: 3.5-5.6. Range of ISO: 320 - 1250.




[email protected] (Light Crafter Photography) 7th Angeles Avenue Beignets Bottega Buche Colorful Desserts Downtown Eclairs Grand L.A. Los Louie Macarons Patisserie Restaurant Street Sweets Tartlets Tasty Terrine Treats Tropezienne Verrine Tue, 04 Feb 2014 07:25:53 GMT
Los Angeles Chinatown Walking Tour I've been to the LA Chinatown twice before, but mostly as side trips from when I happened to be in the vicinity. The area is not that large, but I thought that a well-informed foray would be exciting and key to making new discoveries. So, I booked a walking tour through  Chinatown's website, The tour I selected happened to fall on the last day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, February 24, 2013. The meeting point with my guide was at the Dragon Arch vicinity near Cathay Manor at 600 North Broadway. A close-up of one of the dragons of the arch, looking like it The image above is a close-up of one of the two dragons of the arch.

While waiting for my tour guide, I explored the small courtyard of Cathay Manor, and was delighted to discover two sculptures of ancient Chinese fighters guarding the courtyard. Here's a close-up of one of them.

A close-up of one of the two sculptures in the courtyard.

The tour formally started at the Central Plaza, where the rest of the participants gathered. The statue of the founding father of the Republic of China, Dr. Sun Yat Sen sits prominently near the plaza entrance.

There was also a lot of activity on the stage that was set up for the Lunar New year celebration. I was able to glimpse at a few cultural performances while our guide, Helen Hua was discussing Chinatown's timeline in history. Below is an ensemble of women performing on Japanese drums (taiko)...

Japanese ensemble drumming or kumi-daiko with women performers.

... and young women performing a Tahitian number.

From the Central Plaza, the tour made its way around Chinatown. Our guide Helen was very knowledgeable with the historical background of many buildings and structures. She also discussed and pointed out interesting tidbits such as the stores/homes of the remaining original settler families in Chinatown, or places where movies were filmed. There were also commentaries and recommendations on the best places to eat in - one useful thing because I like authentic Chinese cuisine. The Taoist temple at Yale Street, the Thien Hau temple which was crowded with the faithful, was a great photographic opportunity. Shown below is a huge censer at the entrance of the temple.

A large censer at the entrance of Thien Hau Temple.

Above is the small side chapel of the temple.

The crosswalks in Chinatown are elaborately painted and make for really graphic compositions.

The crosswalks in Chinatown are the most elaborately painted lanes that I have seen.

We also made our way through the Dynasty Center, which is quite familiar to most visitors to Chinatown because it's the place to find bargains in clothing, and novelty items. Below is a trio of happy Buddhas.

A trio of happy Buddhas at one of the stores at Dynasty Center.

We headed back to the Central Plaza at the end of the tour after almost two and a half hours. (Just about time for some dim sum. I tried Ocean Seafood Restaurant, while others went to other spots.) The tour was very informative, and Helen's knowledge of the place and its history provides an insightful perspective.


Some of the tour participants at the Central Plaza.

Some of the participants at the end of the tour. Our guide, Helen Hua is at front far right.

For the full gallery of images from the tour, go here, or paste this link on your browser:

[email protected] (Light Crafter Photography) Buddha Cathay Manor Central Plaza Chinatown Los Angeles Dragon Arch Dynasty Center North Broadway Street Tahitian Dance performers Taiko Drummers Taoist Temple Thien Hau Temple Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:33:48 GMT
Shuttle Endeavour's 26th Mission  

The youngest of the space shuttle fleet had traveled more than 120 million miles in its career, but it seemed that the last few miles it had to make were a challenge. After more than a year of planning, it was scheduled to travel 12 miles in a little over 24 hours from LAX to its final destination at California Science Center at Exposition Park. After many extended stops and delays, it finally arrived about a day late.


I wanted to take photographs of the shuttle early on its journey on the streets of Los Angeles, but I was only able to get away from my obligations about 24 hours after the move started. At very early Saturday morning, the 13th of October, I drove about 60 miles from home to Inglewood where I was able to catch the shuttle a few blocks before it arrived at the Forum. It was my first time in the area, and with no time to set up and no press pass, I was just there to take what I could from the situation.

The shuttle had its own huge entourage of support and security personnel. Understandably, security was tight. Nobody was allowed to run alongside the shuttle, and we had to wait until the shuttle was a good 50 yards past us before we could move. To get ahead of the shuttle, most of us would use a side street and loop around 1-2 blocks ahead of the shuttle and take pictures again.

By the time the shuttle arrived at the Forum, multitudes had already gathered there.


This security guy was probably here since before 4am.

With 99% of people having cameras, it's bound to happen that I would meet someone camera to camera. Here, we are shooting the shooter.


The mood of the crowd was festive and celebratory, and most were just thankful of the opportunity to witness a spectacle that will never happen again.


[email protected] (Light Crafter Photography) 26th Angeles Endeavour Final Forum Inglewood Journey Los Mission Move Shuttle Space Streets The of Wed, 17 Oct 2012 11:13:22 GMT
Witnessing History - The Last Flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour Space Shuttle Endeavour on carrier aircraft flies over Griffith Obsrcatory in Los Angeles, California.

California is home to a lot of space industry companies. And it’s ironic that like millions of other Californians, I have not seen an actual space vehicle in flight. My experience remotely close to that was limited only to network news footages of space missions, launches and such. Until September 21, 2012.


The day was auspicious and historic as I’ve heard from the car radio. It was the day of the iPhone 5 launch, and the day when the last of the space shuttle fleet, the Endeavour, was to be airborne for the final time after 25 space missions and more than 120 million miles traveled. I could not care less about the iPhone really, but I was set on being one of the witnesses to a space historical event, and record it with my camera.


On its last flight, riding piggy-back on its carrier aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, the Endeavour was scheduled to fly-over a number of metro LA landmarks. On events like this, from a photographer’s perspective, success depends largely on the location where one is shooting from.  I have to choose my landmark wisely to get a good chance of coming up with images that will make me happy (the vision thing, you know). And I decided to position near Griffith Observatory because I’m familiar with the area. Plan A was to hike up the ridge behind and overlooking the observatory and at about the elevation of the Hollywood sign. From there I can frame the shuttle and the observatory with the city of LA in the background.  I had been to that area at least 3 times before, and I estimated that it would take me approximately an hour, maybe an hour and a half to hike.


The Endeavor was estimated to be in LA airspace at 11:45am, and I reckoned that a 3-hour lead-time would be enough for me to drive the 65 miles from Riverside to the observatory and complete the hike up, and still have time left for desperate gasping to get rid of the bluish cast from my face before the shuttle shows up. I picked up my 5DII, 28-300mm lens, a bottle of water, and set out for the location.


Ok, to cut the drama off that Murphy’s law set in motion, let me just state that at 11:15am I was still sitting in my car in a really long line of cars that did not seem to move in the west-bound right lane of Los Feliz boulevard headed for Hilhurst Avenue. What the _ _ _ _? How could tens of thousands of Southern Californians be thinking the same thing as me?


Scrap plan A, switch on 007 mode, and scramble plan B. At 11:30am I found myself taking the approach to the observatory from the west side through Fern Dell road and was able to drive up a hundred meters when I encountered a road block and was forced to drive into a parking lot at the base of the hiking trails below the observatory. The drama continues. One important rule of plan B is if you run out of parking spots, just make one. Check.


The next ten minutes was spent on a mad scramble to get out of tree cover and get to high a vantage point as possible and to shoot from the west of the observatory. I was still panting when the roar of the 747 was first heard followed by wild cheering from the nearby hills and ridges. And then we saw it. What a fantastic sight. It was all worth it.

[email protected] (Light Crafter Photography) 747 Aircraft Angeles California Carrier Endeavour Flight Griffith Last Los Observatory Shuttle Southern Space Mon, 24 Sep 2012 13:27:54 GMT