Mission Beach Boardwalk at Night

Mission Beach Boardwalk

Mission Beach is one of those places I keep returning to, and each time, I see something different that inspires me to shoot. Long after the sun dropped below the horizon, the boardwalk was still populated with beach goers and tourists as I set my camera up on a tripod, zoomed my lens out to 200mm, and opened the shutter for several seconds to capture this image.

Mission Beach Boardwalk

Mission Beach Boardwalk

 

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Union Station, Los Angeles

East Portal at Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

Union station has always had an allure for me, the way the light beams through the windows, the long main hall, it is a simple, but magnificent place. As I sat there, just people watching, a sparrow fluttered by and landed on the seat next to me, then on to another chair across the isle, and out an open door. Part of Union Station’s charm, the occasional sparrow.

East Portal at Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

East Portal

Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

Light Burst in Lobby

Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

To Ticketing and Trains

Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

High, and Low Roads

Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

Boarding Platform

Favorite Foto Friday

Sidewalk traffic

There is something enchanting about street photography, it can be charged with emotion, very often it can be perceived as exploitative, and is generally an editorialized view of the people and events on the street worldwide.

Street photography gives us a glimpse of the culture in which the photographer is operating in. Sometimes the image is a vignette, an abstract of a much wider scene. I have always liked the shooting from the hip approach, there is a certain randomness to it, you never know what you are going to get…and here is my favorite hip-shot of the moment.

Sidewalk traffic

Sidewalk traffic

Lessons Learned Shooting The Forum Shops

The Forum Shops

One of my goals for this last trip to Vegas was to capture one of the more unique buildings with the lights of cars streaking across the frame. It was a concept I was toying with for the better part of a week leading up to my arrival to Las Vegas.

I scouted this nook just outside of Harrahs Casino earlier in the day, and thought this would be the perfect location for an evening shot with Las Vegas traffic buzzing by. The problem was my tripod was a couple blocks away inside the trunk of my car, and I knew it would take me at least half an hour just to find the car once I got to the parking garage, and time was running out.

Fortunately, there was a low fence rail I could use to rest the camera on. The sun disappeared below the horizon, and I was blessed with some clouds blotting the deep almost glowing blue sky. So, I took a few test shots, starting at about 1/30th of a second, until I was right around one full second before everything felt and looked right. Then it was a matter of waiting for a few cars to pass in front of me; I tried to time the shutter as the cars were just entering the frame. Not having a tripod was the biggest, and most limiting factor, I was definitely missing it. I had several blurry shots before I took this one, while not too blurry, I know it would be much crisper if I had that dang tripod. Holding the camera completely still while tourists were hopping on the rail so their friends could take some grab shots made this exercise both exhausting, and frustrating.

The Forum Shops

The Forum Shops

After taking this shot, and several more just like it with varying degrees of blurriness, I figured I would flip the camera on it’s side, and try a few portrait compositions…if shooting in landscape was challenging, portrait was even more so.

This was truly a lesson I will take to heart, next time I’m bringing the tripod!

The Forum Shops #2

The Forum Shops #2

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Venice Beach Mural

Venice, California

Venice Beach is another favorite haunt of mine. There is always something going on, the street vendors on the boardwalk, the throngs of tourists. The boardwalk has a gritty carnival feel to it, with bikini clad girls holding up signs enticing people to get a prescription (for medical marijuana) and street performers swallowing swords or contorting their bodies into uncomfortable to even view positions.

The walls and facades are covered with artwork, from graffiti to murals, which brings me to today’s quick-shot, one of my favorites:

Venice, California

Venice, California

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My Primitive Steps Into Street Photography

On the Boardwalk

Street photography is one of those disciplines I have only begun to explore. So few of my attempts have resulted anything that resonates with me, partially because I’m out shooting other things, landscapes, buildings, anything other than actually concentrating on street photography. I am not sure this image qualifies, it was taken on a beach boardwalk while I was trailing my wife and kid.

This image does talk to me though, perhaps it is the concentration on the bike rider’s face as she tries to weave between pedestrians or story can be told of the gentleman and the woman walking next to him.

More importantly, what story can you construct from this image?

On the Boardwalk

On the Boardwalk

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The Bradbury Building, A Los Angeles Landmark

Bradbury Hotel, Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a rich and storied landscape dotted with historical landmarks, many of which you may have seen on TV, and in movies. One such place is the Bradbury Building, built in the style of Italian Renaissance Revival, the exterior is brown bricked, with terra cotta details. Where this building really shines, however, is in it’s interior.

Upon entering, you will notice the minimal lighting and low ceiling that opens up into a naturally lit great center court. The skylight provides a flood of natural, rather than artificial light that changes dramatically throughout the day. The building welcomes visitors, but you are limited to the first landing, because this is after all, a building whose spaces are populated by people and businesses wishing not to be disturbed by tourists.

My visit was very brief, but then again, I only needed to get a couple shots. The place was eerily quiet, and it seemed like every shutter click was echoing though out the central court. I worked quickly to get the shots I needed, and moved on.

Bradbury Hotel, Los Angeles

Bradbury Hotel, Los Angeles

Satisfied, I stepped outside, and waited for my wife to pick me up. She was gracious enough to indulge my photo habit by driving me around town, dropping me off and circling until I was ready to drive to the next stop. Little did I realize my next stop was waiting for me, the view across the street had me looking through the view finder again to capture the Million Dollar Theater, which was the first movie house build by Sid Grauman, who also build the Chinese and Egyptian Theaters. Well, that should do it for this little jaunt to Los Angeles. Enjoy.

Looking out from the Bradbury Hotel

Looking out from the Bradbury Hotel

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