Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prints (will be) on Display

Good news, everyone!

So a few weeks ago my amiga Dorothy had a show at Coffee Cartel, a coffee shop located in South Redondo Beach. Both the atmosphere of this place and the show were amazing (as seen below)!

At any rate, I noticed that there was some art on the wall and I, being a young photographer, put two and two together and decided to see if could display some artwork there. So I packed up my stuff and headed over to Coffee Cartel today to try my luck.

To my surprise, it wasn't that difficult. I walked in, scoped the area out, and then started to talk to an employee. The employee took a look at my portfolio and then directed me to see the owner who was, very conveniently, around the area. I explained who I was and asked if I could display some of my photos on his walls and he agreed without even looking at my portfolio! I showed it to him anyway, just to prove that I'm not a fraud. And that was that. As soon as I get the photos printed and framed I will take them to adorn the walls of Coffee Cartel. If you're in the area, you should come check them out!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Light Trails in Palos Verdes

My friend Fiona took me to this place up in Palos Verdes last night which has one of the most incredible views in the South Bay. It was definitely tripod-worthy and I look forward to heading back.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Grotto and Sandstone Peak

Yesterday my friend Andrew and I went hiking up in the Santa Monica Mountains. I have to say that these were two of the best hikes I have ever been on. We had initially planned to go on two hikes in separate areas but once we reached our first hike we knew that we'd be spending the day there. Base camp was the Circle X Ranch, at the foot of Boney Mountain.

Our first hike took us from the Circle X Ranch down the Grotto trail. The trail was basically a descent into a ravine where we met up with a dry (in places) creek bed.

We were reminded early on that the area was rattlesnake territory and that we should proceed with caution.

As we continued down the canyon, water started showing up in the creek until there were pools of standing water. After reaching the creek we began to hit these very large house-sized boulders that had presumably fallen from the top of the hill. These boulders constituted the namesake for this hike, a magnificent grotto which featured a couple of small waterfalls and a crystal-clear pool. It seemed straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean or Tom Sawyer - I was expecting to see a treasure chest overflowing with golden coins, Pieces of Eight, and jewels!

After spending some time in the grotto, we decided to push further down the ravine to see if there were any more surprises - and we weren't let down. Not far down the creek and after another session of boulder-hopping we made it to a second grotto; not as breathtaking as the first but very cool nevertheless.

We explored a bit further but found nothing exciting, so we decided to head back up to the ranch. Instead of driving to our second spot, however, we elected to trek to the top of Sandstone Peak, which had been looming over us all afternoon. Sandstone Peak is the highest point in Santa Monica Mountains at 3111' [and not an easy hike].

The view was incredible from up there. It was so inspiring, in fact, that we decided to hike the entire loop around the mountains.

By the end of the hike both of my calf muscles and both quadriceps were cramping up pretty badly and I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I guess that is my body telling me that I'm out of shape. Despite the exhaustion, this day had produced two of the most rewarding hikes I have ever been on and I very much look forward to going back.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Day at the Beach

After a productive morning, Beth and I decided to spend the afternoon exploring the Palos Verdes peninsula and doing some seaside photography. We ended up at Royal Palms State Beach, just west of San Pedro. The facility was well-kept and it featured a fantastic view of the southern coastline (and perhaps Catalina Island on a clear day).

We headed down the cliff and walked along the beach until we hit a large rock outcrop, which we proceeded to use as a modeling prop.

She's a natural.

Father's Day

A happy (somewhat belated) Father's Day to all of you proud dads!

I was fortunate enough to spend this Father's Day with my own father. Always up for adventure, we decided to trek down to San Pedro to check out the former U.S. Army Installation Fort MacArthur.

We had a great time despite the hike up a steep incline to reach the Korean Bell of Friendship and the strong southwesterly winds once atop the hill. The wind was so strong, in fact, that I almost got drilled by a model plane (not a small model plane - we're talking an 8 ft. wingspan) that was trying to land nearby.

It was fascinating to see the huge foundations for the gun battery and the tunnel that peeked out in what appears to be a concrete machine gun turret shelter. Another little juicy tidbit is that this is the filming location of one of the scenes in Bryan Singer's 1994 crime thriller "The Usual Suspects," a favorite of mine.


Sunday, June 21, 2009


"To all who come to this happy place: welcome." - Walt E. Disney

My plan for this blog is to share with you my photographic endeavors. I invite you not only to read and enjoy what you see here but to interact with me along the way. Photography is not taking pictures. Photography is storytelling. In that way, I would like to tell you my stories - but I would also like for you to tell me yours. That said, I hope you like what I have to say and I look forward to hearing from you!