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A New Book Captures L.A.'s Darkest and Lightest Moments

Photographer and pilot Michael Light and writer David L. Ulin examine the city's landscape in the photo book L.A. Day/L.A. Night.

Photographer and pilot Michael Light has been soaring over the mythic landscapes of the American West, snapping shots for a series of eight books. In his photos of Los Angeles, he focused on its extremes, contrasting the land of perpetual sunlight with its deep, expansive darkness. Now Light (a fantastic name for a photographer) has collected the photos in L.A. Day/L.A. Night, a beautiful 72-page book featuring 30 images of the city captured from above.


The freeway-strewn, horizonless L.A. of the day and the glittery, infinite galaxy of the nighttime city are like two different characters who inhabit the same pages. Writer David L. Ulin, book critic at The Los Angeles Times, contributes the introduction to Light's collection, a moving essay about discovering (yet never really knowing) Los Angeles: "Daylight here is never daylight as it might be elsewhere. It is more lucent, higher contrast, offering an additional form of double vision, a lens that changes depending on the hour."

You can read the essay in its entirety, and see a slideshow of images from the book, at Places Journal. If the photos of this bleached-out, starry-eyed city don't make you fall in love with Los Angeles all over again, Ulin's transfixing words will.

Read the essay from L.A. Day/L.A. Night

Order a copy of L.A. Day/L.A. Night from Radius Books

Photo by Michael Light

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