Jul 052011

Broken Fire Hydrant Venice Beach, Calif.

Broken Fire Hydrant, Venice Beach, Calif.

Broken Fire Hydrant, Venice Beach, Calif.

Broken Fire Hydrant, Venice Beach, Calif.

Forget fireworks. This year the big Fourth of July spectacular in Venice Beach turned out to come in the form of a broken fire hydrant spewing water four stories in the air at the corner of Speedway and Clubhouse Avenues. What else to do but throw off your clothes and dance beneath the downpour until the authorities arrive? Or, if you’re me, take pictures. In many ways it was a welcome relief the disappointment we experienced from the cancellation of major fireworks shows in Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey. We were still able to see distant shows to the north in Malibu and to the south in Manhattan Beach, but nothing that was in-your-face. On our way back from the beach after fireworks we came across this scene and, like everyone else, ran toward it. There, for 15 minutes or so, crowds of people cheered as people took turns dashing into the downpour until the authorities arrived, unwittingly making the show patriotic with flashes of red, white and blue light. After a few minutes they cleared out the scene and got to work capping the geyser. Apparently, the culprit was a car that ran into the hydrant, knocking it off its base. I haven’t heard that anyone was hurt and hopefully no one experienced too much flooding from the 4-inch deep river that formed in the alleys. Definitely a memorable cap to an otherwise great Fourth, despite the meager fireworks displays.

Check out more photos after the jump!

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Mar 042010

Humming bird at dusk

Woman with umbrella in El Escorpion Park, Los Angeles

I’ve been bad at posting lately, but do have some new work that I’ll be able to share in the coming weeks. Things have been fairly busy, with a couple magazine assignments for London’s Financial Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education, a few fashion portfolio shoots and a wedding this coming Saturday. Hopefully after that I’ll be able to share more. Now that I think of it, it’s not going to get any slower after that, as I’ll be in Vegas for the WPPI trade show on Tuesday and hopefully back there again a week or so later for another SoCal Scene fashion shoot. Other than a quick detour I took while driving west on my move to L.A., I’ve never been to Vegas before! So I’m definitely looking forward to it. Hopefully sometime in there I’ll manage to put up some new posts In the meantime, these are a couple I took last week while scouting locations for other shoots. The top is a surprisingly noisy hummingbird I came across in Venice and the bottom is Erinn strolling through El Escorpion Park in Canoga Park, where I have a shoot this Sunday.

Feb 112010

Los Angeles Rainbow photo

After a long day staking out a second day of possible mudslides in La Canada Flintridge, which fortunately never came, I pulled off for gas in the town of Eagle Rock, just north of Los Angeles and came across some of the most incredible afternoon light I’ve seen since leaving Florida. I hopped out of the car and started pacing up and down the street looking for something interesting to shoot and when I turned around saw this giant rainbow arching over the entire skyline. I was hoping to find some human activity to shoot against this background, but unfortunately there was none to be found. Still, it was a nice scene so I took a few shots. After the light went away I continued walking around and found myself on an overpass looking down at traffic driving east along the highway. I like the shine of the lights on the wet road. After taking a few frames I looked at my monitor and noticed I had a padiddle right up front. That was good enough for me so I hopped back into the car and made my way home.

On looking up the spelling of padiddle, I came across a wikipedia page with some interesting variations on the game I grew up playing on long nighttime drives across midwestern highways. Now that I’m all grown up I like the Canadian version called “beer” as well as the one called “sex.” I’ll have to remember those.

Feb 092010

I was downtown for an assignment that went bust the other day and figured I better shoot something to make the trek worthwhile. The Disney Concert Hall is as overphotographed a landmark as there is in LA, but I figured I’d rarely seen it in the rain so I hopped out of the car and took a couple shots as people walked by with umbrellas.

Jan 222010

After a meeting with an agency in Irvine today I decided to drive up the coast from Newport Beach to Long Beach just to explore. When I got to Huntington Beach there was a gorgeous light coming from behind an approaching storm cloud that forced me out of my car just south of the Huntington Beach Pier. Just north of the pier I spotted some kites and figured they were just power-kiters out on the beach, but then I saw one pop up in the air and realized there were actually people out kite surfing, despite, or more likely because of the large choppy waves being produced by the stormy weather. I hustled over their way and despite their moving quickly away from me I was able to catch up enough to get off a couple shots just before they packed it in as the black storm cloud got too close for comfort. I’d hoped to get one of them popping out of the water or a close-up of them battling the waves, but was still happy with what I got. I then spent a few minutes with John Moynihan, 24, as he packed up his gear and walked his kite back to the car. A self-described ‘gypsy sailor,’ Moynihan lives on a sailboat that currently resides in nearby Newport Beach. After this I parted ways with him. And just in time, as the rain started to come down and I was a quarter mile away from my car. I packed up my gear and headed back. We’ve had an unusual week here with daily storms and even a few tornados touching down. There was even one in Seal Beach today, which I drove through after shooting this, but I didn’t see anything. I’ve got a couple more stormy weather photos I’ll put up tomorrow or the next day.

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