Not for at least 35 years have I spent a Sunday at Griffith Park. Back in the mid 1970s, I actually worked a summer in the kitchen at the Griffith Park Boys Camp. From around that same epoch, I also remember several death defying, adrenaline fueled bike rides down winding, rail-less fire trails with friends from St Victor’s. Amazing that we rode our bikes all the way to Griffith Park from West Hollywood. Yesterday’s hike up to Mt. Hollywood â€“ just above the fog which had saturated most of Los Angeles â€“ was refreshing. After the walk, I ate a surprisingly tasty Korean Chicken dish at the observatory’s cafe before having the universe explained to me, cinema-dome style, in the planetarium. It was a good day.
Spent part of the weekend in Downtown L.A. What a contrast to Santa Monica it must be living there. Spoke to a few of the locals and checked out a couple of the recently renovated old buildings on Broadway. Love the old movie houses â€“ some of which are being converted into rentals, condos and hotels. Met this familiar fellow on Spring Street and followed him into a restaurant. His name? Darth Waiter. Duh!
I had a late and lengthy session last night with more or less perfect weather conditions. I’ve added a few of my daytime shots and put together a collection from Tongva Park, Santa Monica’s latest public space and one of 26 parks located in the city. Get your Tognva fix here.
I’ve spent the past three months more or less in constant “landscape mode”. So now I have a tidy collection of wide shots from the beach, surfing, PCH, Palisades Park and the Santa Monica Pier. I’m definitely going to spend more time on is some of the details that contribute in making this city so special and visually pleasing.
I can barely remember when I last had a land line, let alone used a pay phone. Must of been in the 1980s or thereabouts. Once in a while, I’ll see someone using one and it always grabs me how quickly we abandoned old technologies and adopt new ones â€“ as if we were embarrassed by an old relationship and need to distance ourselves â€“ as fast as we can! When Elle is as old as I am now, the phone above, which I found on Lincoln somewhere, will be gone and probably entirely forgeotten. As will the current smartphone in my pocket. Ce la vie.
From yesterday’s shoot along the Breakwater between Venice and Santa Monica beaches. Absolutely perfect weather (clear), plenty of beach activity (lots of surfers) and amazing light (sunset) to boot. I am constantly reminded of the quality of life here along the seashore.
My morning surf routine is so invigorating/rejuvenating/replenishing, that I can easily pull off a 14 hour workday afterwards. Which considering my workload right now, is a good thing. Yesterday, a sea lion kept us company in the waves for a while and there are plenty of dolphin sightings in the area. Most common are of course the pelicans that often swoop down and fly just inches above us in the waves.
Shot this last night. Getting usable and at least somewhat unique night photos from on the Santa Monica Pier is always a challenge. Not just because there’s a lot of people â€“ making you compete for space with everyone else who like me, is trying capture the moment. The fact that the pier’s wooden boards shift, albeit ever-so gently, when walked or driven on, also adds to the challenge of long-exposure shots. But then again, it’s challenges like these that make photography so interesting and ultimately, creatively fulfilling.
I now have the unprecedented privileged of spending the majority of my workday outdoors â€“ similar to the gentleman pictured above whom I met in Palisades Park and mentioned in yesterday’s post. My new “office” has surprisingly quickly become such an integral part of my everyday life, that I seriously doubt whether I will ever be able to readjust to mostly working indoors again.
After a nice long jog to Venice Beach, I spent most of Thursday editing my article about the advantages of visiting Laguna Beach off-season. Towards the evening â€“ and just after making a batch of Swedish meatballs for dinner, I took a long walk in Palisades Park where I found myself in a lengthy, multidisciplinary conversation with an architect/visual artist. Just as the sun set in the Pacific and before retuning home, I got to shoot my favorite overpass â€“ the one above â€“ near the pier. Yeah, it was a good day.
This was my view tonight as I walked home from the beach via the Idaho Stairs. I’m still intrigued about the intense, round-the-clock traffic along PCH. Where is everybody going? Malibu? Ventura? Santa Barbara? Still, it’s probably one of the nicest commutes one could have â€“ at least when not as congested as tonight.
Shot this evening with my always reliable Canon s95 + underwater housing. After a disappointing morning surf (flat, flat, flat), I assumed that it could only get better this evening. And low and behold, the swell was small but consistent and like the sunset, sincerely enjoyable. We’re in for a brief heatwave with comfortable autumn temperatures coming in via the Santa Ana winds.
After I don’t know how many years of promising myself to take the time to get a few decent shots of landing planes at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), I finally got around to doing just that yesterday evening. I wasn’t alone by a long shot. But the small park just before the north runway begins wasn’t crowded by any means. And we all had one thing in common â€“ plane spotting during a spectacular California sunset.
Here’s the view last night from the sixth floor at the epic Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd (across the street from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre). The room was facing south and the window would only open about 10 inches â€“ so, it took a few tries to get the right angle and exposure time (30 sec at f22) for this shot which not in the least incidentally, will be included in a Hollywood story for a travel magazine. I’ll obviously be updating my portfolio from L.A.
I shot the sign for a travel guide about a year ago. I got it from a small chopper with my door unhinged and hovering above the Hollywood Hills. I’m headed to Hollywood again this weekend and staying at one of the oldest hotels (est. 1927) with a fairly notable guest list, that includes, Marilyn M, Shirley T, Gloria S, Charlie C, Judy G, Frank S and for me, the most impressive of the lot, Stan L and Oliver H. This time, I’m going primarily going to shoot a few hours of stock footage documenting the weirdness of Hollywood Boulevard and its infamously gritty side streets. Which shouldn’t be too difficult.
From yesterday’s stock shoot at Venice Pier. I’m nowhere near the pier when I surf, but there are a few others that I assume need an additional adrenalin rush to get the ultimate thrill out of their rides. From land, I saw a few whales out in the bay yesterday. But I’m still waiting to see dolphins show up while I’m on my board. More surf photos here.
This Brittish fellow I met during tonight’s before-dinner walk along the north stretch of Palisades Park. His relaxed pose on the bench needed to be documented and after a brief chat about photography â€“ the merits and demerits of digital image recording â€“ I was generously granted a few candid shots. If he ever drops by this site, I hope he likes how our short cooperation turned out.
Today, after close to three months, we were blessed with a few cleansing showers. Coming from Sweden, that’s almost hard to believe. I can’t remember when I last experienced such a long dry spell. Definitely not while visiting or living in South-East Asia where it rains both regularly and profusely. The last time was likely when I lived here last. Which was back in 1995. The shot is from yesterday evening, above the bluffs and not too far from where we live in Santa Monica.
This is from our Monday morning meeting in Malibu. Shot with the nifty, nimble Fuji. Definitely see and feel signs of autumn these last couple of days. Not that we have any cause to complain about how comfortably warm it still is midday with temperatures around 70F/21C. Booties have now arrived making my morning surf sessions a little less chilly.
From Friday’s shoot on Santa Monica Beach with Shelby and David. Perfect weather, perfect location, perfect model. A trifecta like that will inevitably help generate the right vibe and inspire everybody involved in the creative process. This shot is part of series in a theme with the working title, “Left the boring party. Gone surfing”. MI’ll be posting more images from the shoot here.