How to photograph Pasadena Colorado Street Bridge
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena is one of the premiere photo spots in the Los Angeles suburb, a symbol of the city, an icon and a jewel to photograph.
I discovered on my recent #Photowalk of the city that there are 2 fantastic spots to nab the bridge for photos. That would be above ground, underneath it and as a bonus, the other side too.
The bridge itself was built in 1913, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1981, and a Pasadena Cultural Heritage landmark since 1979. It connects Pasadena to other cities in the east like Glendale and Eagle Rock and is some 1,486 feet long.
In the film La La Land, which celebrated Los Angeles, Sebastian and Mia were seen strolling across the bridge at dusk.
The Colorado Street Bridge, from the Pasadena Photowalk by Jefferson Graham for the YouTube series. Just walk across the bridge to get this shot.
Let me tell you how to get there. (The map below tells all, but some wording and photos may help too.)
Park near the corner of Orange Grove and Arbor (just off Colorado) and then enter a small park. You won’t find anywhere to park on the other side of the bridge. Go through the park, and take your ten minute stroll across the bridge.
The pathway leads directly to the bridge entrance.
The entrance to the Colorado Street Bridge.
Once across, cross into the patch of grass to get your shot of the bridge.
Under the Bridge
This will take some backroad driving, but it’s worth it. The city of Pasadena has a cool hike that leads you to directly under the bridge.
Drive down lower Arroyo (S. Arroyo Blvd.) and look for the sign that says Pasadena Roving Archers and Lower Arroyo Park.
Drive or walk down the path, park, and then head down the hike, all the way, until you get right under the bridge.
As Dave Basulto, the inventor of the iOgrapher smartphone/tablet mobile filmmaking case said, there’s just something about being underneath, “I like being down here and just seeing the awe of it,” he told me.
Finally, one more view:
As you head up S. Arroyo, back to Colorado, you can get a different angle on the bridge, from the opposite side of the Colorado Street view that we first saw.
Park by the La Casita del Arroyo, an old Pasadena facility that’s open for private events, and point your camera at the bridge.
The best time to photograph is at dusk, when you still have a little golden hour left, and the bridge lights go on. Magic! Catch the timelapse in the Photowalks video.
Have fun shooting! Any questions, hit me up on Twitter or Instagram, where I’m @jeffersongraham