Friday, March 29, 2013

Out on the Water

SS Lane Victory - Cabrillo Marina / Hurricane Gulch, San Pedro, July 2012, Lubitel 2, 75mm f4.5, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO

I went out on the water with the 'rents in their boat. Oddly enough, this was the first time that I remember actually getting sea sick. Too bad I didn't blow chunks. I woulda taken a shot of that too.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Building of the Phil

Walt Disney Concert Hall - Downtown LA, Fall 2011 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 50mm f1.8,  Ilford hp5+ 400 ISO, Also might have been pushed one stop to 800 ISO

This was an old scan from a school computer before I knew about blowing off dust and using an anti static cloth. The Disney Hall has to be one of my most favorite places to take pictures of. I think I've gone there at least 6 or 7 times to shoot pictures. A marvelously designed building and a joy to look at from up close and from a distance.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Figure it Out!

Alpine Village in Torrance, January 2012 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 50mm f1.8,  Fujicolor Superia 400

Alpine Village is a cool little German Town/shopping center right off of the I-110 in Torrance, CA. Its the location of one of the largest Oktoberfest celemebrations in the US. One of my friends loves anything german and when I told him about this place, he jumped at the opportunity. Oddly enough, we couldn't find any calendars that were in German. I have never had a problem finding japanese ones so that was kinda wierd. Oktoberfest FTW!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Adventure Continues ....

Star Tours - The Adventure Continues, Disneyland  Fall 2011 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 50mm f1.8,  Fujicolor Superia 400

Damn queue went on FOREVER! I miss the old version. :'-( , though the new one has 54 possible versions!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mountain's of Thunder

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disneyland 2012 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 50mm f1.8,  Fujicolor Superia 400

Friday, March 22, 2013

Let's go ......... Right!

The end of Beach Blvd in Orange County, January 2012 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 35-80mm f3.5-4.5,  Fujifilm Superia 400 (just a roll I picked up at Walmart)

I had read that Highway 39 went up into the mountains but had never seen it, at least in my current memories.. I drove all the way from the start of the highway, Beach Blvd and Pacific Coast Highway, which begins at Huntington Beach city beach and ends near Crystal Lake in the San Gabriel Mountains. A very scenic trip. 

To follow highway 39 to the mountains, you must turn right at the intersection above Until you reach Harbor Blvd/Fullerton Rd. Then turn left and merge onto the 60 West going towards Los Angeles. Then get off at Azusa and turn right and follow the road up the rest of the way

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Solvang: A Real Danish Town in America

This year, I started going on vacation. I had been putting it off for several years. And you can't really count Vegas as a vacation, at least if you stay on the Strip and don't explore the region. As you've see from my previous posts, I've been working on a photo project with the El Camino Missions in conjunction with my vacations. 

My second trip brought me to the cute little town of Solvang. For me, this city was a big mystery. I had driven through back in December and discovered a ridiculous amount of foreign visitors from Asia. As it turns out, this city, in the Central Valley of California, is more historically accurate then modern cities in Denmark are, which all of the tourism is based on. 

I had a nice little walk about the town and then enjoyed a burger at Solvang Brewing Company on the main highway/street through town. There was soooo much located in such a small area it is sensory overload for us ADHD folk. 

At the end of the main strip through town, You'll find Mission Santa Ines. It's a real trip to see these historic locations because you almost get a window into another time. 

Below is one of the supports from the original building.everything was made out of rock and adobe. I wonder how the adobe was made so it didn't wash away during rain storms.

The statue below was built in recognition of the famed danish author. This was near the center of town. There was also a huge boulder on display for reasons unknown to me. I took a picture of it, but it wasn't very good.

This area is full of activities and worth a day or more. To the south on the 101 is the Gaviota Wind Tunnels, shown here a few weeks back, as well as Nojoqui Falls, and La Purisima Concepcion which is on the opposite direction of the main road going through Buelton.

If you are looking for some fresh beer in the area, The Solvang Brew Co is in the middle of town, but its just ok. Their imperial red was awesome though. There is also Figueroa Mountain Brewing and a taproom from Firestone Walker both in Buelton, right off the 101 Freeway. Take some time off and take a trip to the town that really shows the American dream, one of the few places left in California.

To read more on Solvang, you can visit the Wikipedia entry here, And to view the entire set from my trip, click here

Paradise Found!

Paradise Pier + California Screamin, Disney's California Adventure, Fall 2012 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 50mm f1.8,  Kodak Tri-X 400 ISO

One of my best friends works at the Mouse House and got me in. I took this picture for my first photography class and it was used for my 2nd project to show contrast changes when using gel filters on the enlarger in the darkroom. Needless to say I got 95/100 for pure badassery.

Monday, March 18, 2013

River Rapids

Looking out over the "beautiful" Santa Ana River in Anaheim Hills, August 2012

Holga 120N 60mm Plastic Lens + x2 Wide Angle Attachment, f11, 1/125, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Bridge To Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere trail is a well known trail in the San Gabriel Mountains. I first heard about it in passing several years ago and I've been thinking about making the trek since becoming a photographer.

I have never been on a real long hike before so I didn't really know what I was getting myself into when I started my drive up into the mountains. The most important points to remember are to bring water and to bring something to eat when you reach the bridge. In order to park at the trail head, you'll need an Adventure Pass which, i guess you can buy at Big 5 or on the way at Stop and Go Liquor store on the corner of Azusa and Sierra Madre. It's only 10 bucks or 30 bucks for a whole year, if you want to go again. If you don't get the pass you will get a fat ticket. I also read about getting some type of permit for crossing into a mountain sheep reserve and that you pick one up at the trailhead, but I never saw anything there and nobody else got one either.

The green area in the picture below is a cool little campgrounds right at the actual beginning of the trail head. In that same spot there is another trail for Heaton Flats, which starts by the last restroom before the trail starts.

Below is the last bathroom before either of the trails. I suggest you do whatever you need to do before you go. It took me at least six hours in total. Don't be alarmed, but the toilets here are indeed holes in the ground. Watch out for any flys flying up your butt and bring a roll of paper with you for a little extra comfort.

The story of this trail, I found to be very interesting. Back in the 1930's, an alternate road was being built to the high desert. This area tends to have rock slides quite frequently, especially with the long term closure of Highway 39. There was a flash rainstorm that washed out most of the road going to the bridge which led to it not being completed. Several places along the trail, you can still see pieces of the asphalt road. mostly on the east side of the river.

You have to cross the river/stream at least 6 times. People have tried helping by adding rocks to cross the water as dry as possible, but sometimes you have to just take the soaker and live with it. I found that out twice. Thank god I didn't slip and fall in it completely.

You never know what you will find on this trail. Who even knows how long that jacket has been there.

Just like with the stream crossings, it looked like people added rocks to the side of the trail so it would be very simple to find the trail. With the stream crossings, there was some difficulty finding where the trail was exactly.

I saw several of these along the trail and I could think of only two reasons for them, at one point there were electrical lines going across or they are for hawks and other birds to perch on. I'm going with the latter. 

o.0 almost there!

Would any of you jump? I'm to big of a chicken shit to even consider it.

Here is a view of the river below the bridge.

Hard for me to believe that this was built in the late 30's. This was one of the best views of the whole trail. Worth the two and a half hours to get there.

These were really fun to cross over. I had always seen it done in the movies and they are easier to cross that they look. Just don't slip!

I think this was one of the trail maintenance guys. He was digging rocks out of the river. He was very helpful in giving us directions to reach the bridge.

This little waterfall was apparently a runoff from a mine that was located further up into the hills. It had concrete on both sides of it and drained into the river below.

One last interesting tidbit that I forgot add above, you might have noticed in the first picture, there are several miners along the river. I had read about them when doing some research, but never imagined seeing them. I wonder what kinds of stuff they find or if they find any silver in the runoff. 

All in all, the hike is about 10 miles long. I wasn't tired when I got to the bridge, but I was starting to feel it after I had rested for a bit and then a short time into the hike back to the parking lot. If you don't like long walks or being challenged, this one aint for you. I'm a walking machine, so I thought it was a wonderful trip.

Some last bits of advice, get there early, 6AM-7AM in the summertime and late spring/early fall or around 8 in the wintertime. Don't start after 12 noon because you might not finish before the sun goes down. Take lots of water, some food to eat, a towel, some board shorts/swim gear in case you want to go down to the river when you get to the bridge and cool off. I also had a bandanna that I wet down and tied around my neck to cool me down and to prevent sunburn. Wear a hat and sunscreen as well. Hope you all can try this one. Have fun!

I only picked about 20+ pictures for this post, but you can see the rest of my trip here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Foggy Night

Disneyland Hotel, New Years Eve 2011 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 50mm f1.8,  Fujicolor Superia 400

How are you supposed to see the fireworks if it is foggier than hell out. It was thick as pea soup. You couldn't see them from the front and I would bet that you couldn't see them unless you were directly beneath.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Alpine Shopping

Alpine Village January 2012 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 50mm f1.8,  Fujicolor Superia 400

Monday, March 11, 2013


Union Station, Los Angeles, September 2012
Holga 120N 60mm Plastic Lens, f8, 1/125, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thunder Falls

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disneyland 2012 - Shot with Canon Rebel XT, Canon 50mm f1.8,  Fujicolor Superia 400

Where I shot this also happens to be the creepiest spot I've ever been, at night and after the park was closed. Haunted for sure.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Griffith Park Zoo

Not many people remember that the current LA Zoo is not the original location. When I was looking up hikes in my local area, I actually found that out. I'm only 30, so I wouldn't know it being anywhere different. The only zoos I knew of were the current LA Zoo, the Santa Ana Zoo, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

Aparently, some of these "ancient" (does 50 years count as ancient?) exhibits were used in the film Anchorman for the scene at the end where everybody was gathered waiting for the panda to give birth.

This hike kinda creeped me out a bit. I've gone to places where I can keep an eye on my surroundings to protect myself from trouble. Its one reason why I keep coming back to Downtown LA and Hollywood. There was graffiti on most of the ruins, which further developed my concern, and the darkend interior didn't help either. After I took the shot above, my fears subsided, but I remained ever vigilant.

When I first looked up the location, I was under the impression that the former zoo was closed in the early 30s, but they were closed in the mid 60s because of a public outcry of not enough space in the exhibits. The zoo was then moved to its current location, right off the 5 freeway where it intersects the 134 freeway. 

I was completely astounded while walking past the cages. They were still intact to the point where they looked usable even today! I saw some little kids playing inside a couple of the cages. They looked like they belonged. Little bastards......

The old zoo is a part of a couple of trails in Griffith Park. They both come together just above the carousel. The upper trail begain at the fence above. Just a few yards from the end of the lower exhibits.  

This trail did not lack in views. Let me tell ya. There were several vantage points that could impress anybody. On the way up the beginning of the trail, you follow what used to be a stream of some sort, The pipe above went underneath the main trail so you didn't have to walk through any water. The view below is an excellent sight of Glendale. Several cities are in that direction, but the tall buildings are in Glendale.

This trail is walked quite frequently. Many people made their own trails in several different spots. It didn't look like it mattered how safe it was either.

Below is a view of the lower trail. I took that one back to the zoo so I could check out some of the upper level exhibits that were closed off to the public. Somebody cut the fence. If you get out there, watch your step. Its blocked off for a reason. I have no problem trespassing though.

I was very reluctant to take pictures of any actual graffitti. I don't want to spread the haterade which is the whole point of the game. The pink and green used kinda threw me for a loop and I tossed all reason out the door. Well.... If there had been a door out there I most definitely would have tossed it out one.

I think the building below was the old Ape building. At least thats what it looked like to me. It was ALL tagged up.

This last picture is of the end point of a different trail called Bee Rock. I have several different shots from different spots. This one happened to be the best. I'm planning to walk that trail next time.

The Old Zoo trail is an easy walk for anybody. not many stairs to the exhibits and it is a must see!

For more information, check out the info over on Hikes Peak,

To view the rest of the photos from my trip, Visit my Smugmug page.