Friday, July 29, 2011

Quest for Postcards

My adventure fund has been running dangerously low lately....three dollars and twenty-five cents to be exact.
I had to find a way of making a bit of extra cash without spending too much of my time....yard work? too labor? too far....pimping? not likely....Lucky for me an opportunity arose soon afterward. My mom's friend who owns a shop down at ports o'call village offered me a gig taking San Pedro landscape shots for postcards-perfect...just my kind of thing. Only one problem....I had no idea where to go, how to start, or what kind of pictures I should take.

Ports O' Call village San Pedro....A rather nice place to come and visit

So I did some research....looked up some postcards from the area, and before I knew it I was getting my camera (I got a new one-had to return my old one) ready and packing snacks for the day. By 5:30 I was out of the house, and I arrived at my first destination just before 6:00am.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *     *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The first stop on my list was Point Fermin.....a spot I knew well, and where I was certain I could get some decent shots. The main problem I realized when I got there was that it was overcast.....damn it. I woke up at 4:30 in the morning hoping to get good pictures of the scenery illuminated by the sweet hues of the morning light. Oh well....I had to make due with what I had.

as you can's pretty damn cloudy

The Friendship Bell
Korean Bell in bad light on a cloudy day....lovely

Point Fermin lighthouse (roof could use a bit of work)

Brown Pelicans in flight

several gulls flying by

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 

Well that was about all I could do around Point Fermin, Now it was time to move on to my second destination: Cabrillo Beach.

Cloudy days have their advantages (taken on my way to cabrillo)

Cabrillo Beach

Beautiful Lighting


If you look'll see the fat guy in a speedo

Those wires got in my way, and by the time I got there the cloud cover was back

By now I was already 3 hours into my picture taking ordeal, and the sun was beginning to come out (about time). So I decided to start making my way to my last destination for the first half of the day.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
 Fast forward an hour or so to the point where the 246 (metro) dropped me off right next to knoll hill, which was just about as close as I could get to the board walk. However before I got there I decided It would be nice to get some pictures of the bridge and city from the top of the hill, but I was not about to take the long way up there (that’s for sure). Five minutes later I was up at the top, after scrambling up some pretty steep sides and sliding under a fence.

The Vincent Thomas Bridge and Port

The more industrial side of Pedro

There wasn’t much else to photograph from the top of the hill, so now I started to make my way to the boardwalk to get some pictures of some of the more notable San Pedro landmarks.'s a cruise terminal

A pretty cool statue...guy could use some pants though
Fire House

you heard the man, go help preserve the "Ralph J. Scott" fireboat

I guess there was a fire somewhere....

A pretty cool museum with alot of miniature ship models

So far so good, light could be a bit better, but I was satisfied. It was time to go home and rest (mainly just to avoid the midday heat, but also because of poor lighting). However I still had some other landscape shots in mind that would come out best when taken at sunset, so that wasn’t the end of my quest for postcards, not by a long shot.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 
So I made my way out of my house around 7:00P.M., well rested and ready for more action. I waited for the 246 at my familiar bus stop, it arrived right on time. I sat down in my seat and got comfortable, I got off at the last stop so I didn’t really have to focus on my surroundings and worry about pulling the string to signal the bus to stop at the right time. About halfway through the ride, as I was deleting pictures in my camera to make room for more shots, the bus came to a stop and everyone got off. This wasn’t the right stop. I asked the bus driver if he went all the way to point fermin, he said no. Apparently not only did they cancel several bus lines, but they also shortened some of them. The 246 only went halfway to point fermin after a certain time of day. I got off the bus dazed and confused. I was no where near where I was supposed to be, at least an hours walk from point fermin. I decided to head back home, I could catch the local line just a mile down. My best bet was to just walk towards the beach until I found a bus stop, however about halfway there I realized that I was at the Marina, a cool place where I could take some pictures.

great blue heron

Unfortunately the lighting was worse than before and the boats there were blocking all of the good shots. This great blue Heron was just about the only decent shot I got there. Rather disappointed I decided to make my way back to the boardwalk to get pictures of the fountains, however as I was walking I realized that the bus I was going to take stopped running half an hour ago. I would have to walk two miles to get there, not too bad, but somewhat unnecessary and tiresome. However, just a few minutes later I ran into the little red electric trolley type thing that at ran through the area. I’ve seen it plenty of time before….but I’ve never actually seen it as a valid transportation method. Oh what the hell….It was worth a try. The little trolley was about to leave so I called out to the driver to hold on a second and sprinted down to the little stop. I had no money left (I spent my last few dollars on a day pass) and I had no clue how much the ride would be. I explained my situation to the driver and he gave me a free ride, awesome. I got off at my stop just a few minutes before dark and thanked the driver for the ride. Now it was time to get pictures of the fountains.

Pretty sweet ride, eh?

Fountain photography is alot more difficult than it sounds....

Free fountain shows every night....

....go check it out!

I got the timing just right on this one.....

So that was the end of my quest for postcards, and soon after I got home I realized I could just use some of the other pictures I’ve taken in the past and give those to him instead (duh). However I did learn a few things that day….like look both ways before crossing the street and not to talk with your mouth full. Besides that I learned a bit about the different realms of photography and how different occasions and setting calls for different modes of emphasis (not to mention always to check bus routes before hand). All in all in was a rather successful day, and even if things didn’t turn out right at first, things eventually got better and It turned out to be a great day for postcards.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Welcome to my world. This is just a brief compilation of some of my favorite (or just notable) places that I like to visit.

First of all I'll just introduce you to my school.....Banning High School in Wilmington, it may not be the best school, but it sure as hell isn't the worst. At least I can make a name for myself here instead of being stuck at some prissy private school.

Notice anything odd about this mural?

Next up is the South Coast Botanic Gardens.....I usually just go in through a hole in the fence rather than pay admission...LOL
South coast botanic garden.....a pretty cool place
<> </>
A nice little quiet spot...away from everyone else


Next up are places that I've visited along with my photographer/birder friends.
I usually ride in the back with all the equipment

I believe this was at three sisters

pssshhhhh....BRING IT ON!

This was a really cool day......fog was rolling out

putting up a bluebird box
at eastview park
Other random places.....

An awesome day in Pedro

Harbor night, on a rainy day
Sunrise at Alondra Park
Falconry is awesome!

rainy days....

Cabrillo Beach
Wild Birds Unlimited

White faced ibis at el dorado park
So yeah....these are basically some of my favorite places. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

80 Miles....1 Day.....10 dollars....

Go Metro! I started off the day with $10, two bottles of water, half a bag of chex mix, an apple, my binoculars, field guide, and a pocket knife. That's really just about all you need for a birding adventure. I left my house at 5:00am with only a general idea of where I was going (I didn't exactly do my research this time). The main goal of this trip was to reach Franklin Canyon Park in Beverly Hills (a photographer friend of mines recommended the place) only using a metro day pass($6). It was 5:30am and I was waiting for my second bus in near darkness, this bus was heading towards west Hollywood (that's close to beverly hills right?). Finally I got on and shortly after a talkative hobo got on and picked the seat right across from me, and he talked nonstop for the hour long bus ride. Man was I glad to get off that bus. Two buses and a fair amount of confusion later I was at the base of beverly hills drive. One bad thing about Beverly Hills......there are hardly any buses. I was kind of lost at first, so I asked a taxi driver where Franklin Canyon Park was. He told me it was all the way up beverly hills drive and that he could drive me for $40. I told him I was walking *laughter* and he wished me luck.
a weird thing i apples when
I'm lost

made it!

So i began that grueling six mile hike up beverly hill drive.....and it's not really the fact that the hills are kind of steep that bugs me, or even the six miles. The thing that really bugged me was the lack of sidewalks, the HUGE houses, and just feeling completely out of place, not to mention the confusing streets....
silver fire hydrants? I'm definitely not
in Kansas anymore......
modern sculpture thing in a park...
its pretty cool i guess

So yeah....halfway through this thing I run into this little park next to a preschool. Why this park called my attention? First thing I saw was a white winged dove fly onto a streetlight-a new bird for me. I mean...i guess it's normal for the area, but at the moment I was freaking out. I decided to stick around and see what else I could find. 
spotted towhee
dark eyed junco (Oregon)
lesser goldfinch
Only the junco and the dove were new to me, and this was the first time I've seen a towhee out in the open. It was time to get moving. Just as I was starting to lose hope (it was a LONG walk), I finally saw the sign. I was finally there.


I'm Here!

Now that I was here....I wasn't exactly sure where to go. My friend gave me a list of birds that I could find here, but the place was HUGE, and I had no idea where to start. The first trail I went on was incredibly steep and ended up nowhere. I decided to head back, but on my way down I heard some weird noises....

First and last quail (California)
I saw that day....
So I eventually decided to take the main trails instead of risking getting lost. I eventually found this small lake and saw some pretty cool things there.

male wood duck

california thrasher

acorn woodpecker

Also seen around this area was a mnt. Chickadee, which was basically the reason why I came here In the first place. It was a pretty awesome day and I decided to go for a nice hike away from the main trail.
trying not to get lost.....
red tails flying overhead

beautiful day in February
So yeah...that's basically Franklin Canyon Park to you. It was getting kind of late (1pm lol) and I decided to head back in case I got lost on my way back.....
and lost I became -_-
I ended up spending the last of my money on a vanilla bean frappuccino at some Starbucks, near some airport, in the middle of nowhere. I eventually asked some guy to see if he could find directions for me on his laptop. He told me to take the metro green line south, and get off at harbor freeway station. I thanked him, and went on my way. Only one problem...I had no idea how to take a metro rail. I was freaking out every little step of the way and almost took the rail in the wrong direction.

it felt so weird being up there....
I finally made it home just before dark, just an hour after i boarded the first rail, and I was tired! Then the exact moment i lied down on my bed I received a phone call. It was my best friend inviting me to the beach. I said....and I quote,"FUCK YEAH I WANNA GO TO THE BEACH!"
even the graffiti in beverly hills is nice.....