Beneath the Noir, L.A. Is Fundamentally Primal and Glamorous

A Recent Photo Book Captures the Genuine City of Angels

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In 2013, wildlife photographer Steve Winter captured an arresting scene for National Geographic: a burly male mountain lion, ambling across a dirt trail in the mountains at night, with the white letters of Los Angeles’ Hollywood sign illuminated in the background.

By then, the “Hollywood cougar” already was a fabled celebrity, having previously popped up in front of remote cameras around Griffith Park. But Winter’s shot was the first to pair beast and sign in a single, supremely weird image—one that juxtaposed symbols of Los Angeles at its most …

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