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Awe-inspiring video captures LA’s skyline in ultra high definition

The city’s streets and skyscrapers look spectacular from above

Downtown LA skyline
Downtown LA’s skyline is captured in an exquisite collection of aerial shots from photographer Vincent Laforet (below).
Sean Myrden/Getty Images

With the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains serving as an elegant frame, Downtown LA’s skyline makes for a pretty picture—especially at night, when the city’s sprawling streets form a sea of twinkling light.

Those lovely images were brilliantly captured last year in a video by photographer Vincent Laforet. Shot from a helicopter with a camera and lens worth a combined $100,000, the footage provides a stunning bird’s eye view of Downtown LA.

The video was highlighted Monday morning by the California Sun newsletter, and it makes for perfect rainy day viewing.

The video shows the skyline illuminated at night, then sparkling in the rays of the early morning sun. Shots of streets and freeway interchanges illustrate the orchestrated, frequently chaotic, movement of people and vehicles in and out of the city’s center.

According to Laforet’s website, the video is part of a larger project aimed at highlighting the shared experiences of those living in cities.

“I chose the title AIR because it’s something we all share and are all equally responsible for,” he writes. “By definition air doesn’t belong to anyone. It belongs to us all regardless of background, social status or origin, as does this project.”