20 Amazing Aerial Photos of L.A. That’ll Change The Way You See The City of Angels

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Sometimes when you have a vision, you simply can’t stop till it comes to life. That’s how I see Mike Kelley.

Kelley spent more than two years photographing Los Angeles from the sky, embarking on dozens of helicopter rides (not cheap BTW) each carefully timed to capture L.A. during the golden hour, when the sun is close to the horizon and an amazing yellow lights baths the entire city.


The result of Kelley’s hard work was thousands of incredible images of our city of angels, which he has now carefully curated and aims to publish as a new photography book entitled, “L.A. AIRSPACE”.

Here’s Kelley (via a Kickstarter video) describing his current project.


On top of the Kickstarter vid, I had the chance to ask Kelley more specifically about his mission, and how he sees his work.

Here’s what the artist told We Like L.A.:

“While it is easy to describe as beautiful, Los Angeles has a tendency to be lost in translation when viewed from the ground. Newcomers are overwhelmed with the sheer size of the sprawl and complexity of the infrastructure. Yet as soon as you take to the skies, the jumbled mass of tangled streets, freeways, construction, nature and noise begins to take on a new life. There is an inherent beauty to it all when viewed from above, an ethereal, grand, graphical and at times humorous beauty. Los Angeles from above almost becomes some sort of fantasy novel, with all it’s quirky elements combining to form something incredible. I wish that more of the city’s residents were afforded these views on a regular basis, as I know that being able to experience this city from above has led me to fall in love with and appreciate it that much more.”

Now, I know it might not be quite the same as a real-life helicopter ride over Los Angeles, but the following collection of photos that Kelley shared with us with us will undoubtedly provide you with an entirely new perspective on a city you might feel like you already knew in full.

And if the photographs truly move you, I strongly encourage you to head over to Kelley’s kickstarter (now in it’s final days) and drop in a small donation to help bring his vision of the skies to life. It seems like a worthy endeavor and I’m happy we have the chance to shine a light on it.

Either way, enjoy the work!

1. Sun Setting Over The Pacific Ocean and Downtown Los Angeles

Sun Setting Over the Pacific
Credit: Mike Kelley

2. The 110/10 Interchange in Los Angeles

110-10 Freeway Interchange
Credit: Mike Kelley

3. Venice Skatepark at Sunset

Venice Skatepark at Sunset
Credit: Mike Kelley

4. Los Feliz, Hollywood, Burbank, and The Valley

Hollywood Sign Aerial Shot
Credit: Mike Kelley

5. LAX From Above

LAX Aerial Photograph
Credit: Mike Kelley

6. Freeways Snake around L.A. and Reflect the Setting Sun

Downtown Los Angeles Freeways
Credit: Mike Kelley

7. Santa Monica Beachgoers During The Golden Hour

Santa Monica Beachgoers Overhead
Credit: Mike Kelley

8. Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles Skyline
Credit: Mike Kelley

9. Pt. Dume Malibu

Pt. Dume Malibu
Credit: Mike Kelley

10. Surfers at Surfrider Beach in Malibu

Surfers at Surfrider Beach
Credit: Mike Kelley

11. Long Beach

Long Beach Harbor
Credit: Mike Kelley

12. Horse Stables at Santa Anita Raceway in Pasadena

Horse Stables at Santa Anita Raceway
Credit: Mike Kelley

13. Lufthansa a340 Pushes Back

Lufthansa a340 pushes back
Credit: Mike Kelley

14. LAX Terminal 3

LAX Terminal 3
Credit: Mike Kelley

15. Sailboats Near the Balboa Peninsula

Sailboats Near Balboa Peninsula
Credit: Mike Kelley

16. Downtown L.A. Under Stormy Skies

Storm Clouds Over Downtown L.A.
Credit: Mike Kelley

17. 757 Reaches V1 Speed on LAX’s Runway 25R

757 at LAX
Credit: Mike Kelley

18. The Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Monica Mountains
Credit: Mike Kelley

19. LAX Long Term Parking Lot C

LAX Long Term Parking Lot 3
Credit: Mike Kelley

20. Ship At Anchor Near The Port of Long Beach

Ship at Anchor Near Port of Long Beach
Credit: Mike Kelley

For more information about Mike Kelley, visit his Kickstarter page for L.A. AIRSPACE.


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