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.

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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

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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.

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 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.

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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.