Pastimes for a Lifetime has been a longtime fan of Unsplash, an Internet Company in Montreal, Quebec that provides free (do whatever you want) hi-resolution photos. Their photographs ranging from scenery to animals to still life objects grace several of the school’s Project Booklets which supplement the Drawing and Painting courses offered. Students learn to draw and paint those photos for their practice and portfolios.

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of coming across Unsplash’s free Los Angeles Expedition Facebook event.  On Sunday, February 12, 2017, guests were invited to join their staff photographers for coffee at Caffe Vita at 3:30PM and then on to a sunset photo shoot at the Griffith Observatory and adjacent hiking trail.

But first, coffee. Caffe Vita is an eclectic Silverlake coffee house, one of 11 owned by Vita coffee roasters of Seattle. Guests enjoyed coffees while my hubby, Barry Wehrli sipped a delicious iced herbal tea and I lingered over a cup of fragrant Earl Gray. Friendly staff. Creative vibe.


Caffe Vita


As guests wandered into the cafe, head honcho Jeremy Bishop introduced himself. We enjoyed socializing with this well-traveled friendly group of young adults. We were impressed with their hospitality and genuineness. Although we are about twice their ages, they made us feel welcome and shared travel tips and stories and talked shop about their favorite cameras and gear.


Unsplash at Vitta Cafe


When it was time to head over to the photo shoot, we carpooled with four of the guests. The driver was a local guy, one guest from the east coast, a young lady from French Morocco and a guy from China. We represented for the SFV Valley.

Traffic sucked along Observatory Road. As we inched our way along, we kept our cool discussing our favorite hiking places and with friendly bantering about the pros and cons of various pets including cats, dogs and reptiles.

The exhilaration upon arriving at the Griffith Observatory and being blown away by its stunning views was worth the shlep. Host Jeremy Bishop kept the pace casual, allowing guests to photograph from a variety of points along the Observatory’s walkways.


Griffith Observatory Obelisk2Griffith ObservatoryGriffith Observatory DomeMountain View from the Griffith Observatory


Before we hit the trail to a primo lookout point, one of the Unsplash reps handed out cool Unsplash logo pins, stickers and magnets. Fun swag.

A short walk up the trail brought us to the Tiffany & Co. Foundation overlook. Cameras clicked until just after sundown.

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Overlook

Photo courtesy of Dan Simpson

Griffith Park VistaGriffith Park SunsetGriffith Observatory at Night


Making our way down the trail in in the dark was a little challenging. Thankful for the iPhone flashlight app…

Back at Caffe Vita, the group split off for dinner and the hubby and I headed back home, eager to upload our photos. If Unsplash ever hosts another SoCal photo shoot, we’ll be there.

To learn more about Unsplash, visit their website and Facebook page. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Art Scene covers eclectic art events and locales.
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You can learn more about Pastimes for a Lifetime’s Art Curriculum and founder/instructor Linda Wehrli by clicking the links or feel free to explore the website.

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