top of page

Capturing the Magic Hour: Roy Hankey's Sunset Photography in 1970s and 1980s Los Angeles

In the realm of photography, few subjects possess the ability to evoke a sense of awe and tranquility like a breathtaking sunset. During the 1970s and 1980s, renowned photographer Roy Hankey embarked on a remarkable journey, capturing the ethereal beauty of Los Angeles sunsets through his lens. Let’s dive into the captivating work of Roy Hankey, exploring his unique approach to sunset photography and the enduring legacy of his art in the context of Los Angeles.

Roy Hankey possessed an innate talent for capturing the essence of sunsets, a skill honed through years of dedication and artistic experimentation. His keen eye for composition, mastery of light, and ability to evoke emotions through his imagery elevated his work to extraordinary heights. Hankey recognized the magic hour—the fleeting moments when the sun graces the sky with a symphony of colors—as an opportunity to create visual poetry.

Los Angeles, known as the City of Angels, provided a captivating backdrop for Hankey's sunset photography. The city's unique geography, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the San Gabriel Mountains, offered a diverse range of landscapes and vantage points. From the iconic palm tree-lined streets of Hollywood to the serene beaches of Malibu, Hankey traversed the city, seeking out locations that would enhance the magnificence of each sunset.

Hankey's signature style was characterized by the "golden glow" that infused his photographs. He expertly captured the warm hues of the setting sun, transforming ordinary scenes into mesmerizing works of art. Through the interplay of light and shadow, Hankey conveyed a sense of serenity, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of the moment.

Hankey's sunset photography captured more than just the natural beauty of the sky; it encapsulated the essence of Los Angeles itself. Each photograph served as a visual love letter to the city, embracing its diversity, energy, and iconic landmarks. From the vibrant lights of the Sunset Strip to the silhouettes of palm trees against a fiery sky, Hankey's images became windows into the soul of Los Angeles, evoking a sense of nostalgia and pride.

Hankey's work resonated deeply with audiences, both locally and beyond. His photographs were featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, captivating viewers with their timeless beauty. Hankey's ability to capture the ephemeral beauty of sunsets allowed people to connect with nature and find solace amidst the fast-paced urban environment. His legacy lives on as a testament to the enduring power of capturing moments of tranquility and wonder.

Roy Hankey's sunset photography in 1970s and 1980s Los Angeles transcended the realm of mere images, transporting viewers into a world of breathtaking beauty and introspection. Through his masterful composition and skillful use of light, Hankey captured the essence of Los Angeles sunsets, turning fleeting moments into timeless art. His work continues to inspire and evoke a sense of serenity, reminding us of the profound beauty that can be found in the simplest of natural wonders.


Pic 1: Looking west on Hollywood Boulevard - 1978.

Pic 2: Griffith Observatory with DTLA in the distance - 1978.

Pic 3: Looking west on Sunset - 1981.

Pic 4: Hollywood - 1978.

Pic 5: Sunset Boulevard - 1980.

Pic 6: 🏙️🌴🌴🌴🌇 -1980.

Pic 7: Sunset at Echo Park - 1980.

View this post and more on our TikTok and Instagram!


L.A. Explained Blog

bottom of page