My childhood fascination with trains has led me on many photographic adventures. In Southern California, there are many opportunities to see and experience the wonders of railroads, whether by taking a Metrolink or Amtrak train ride or visiting any number of local tourist destinations and museums. Through some searching online I discovered the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA. This fantastic museum offers a range of activities and sights for the railroad enthusiast, and the avid photographer. With this group of shots I’m focusing on a less than obvious side of railroad equipment I saw at the museum. I’m speaking of the infinite array of textures presented by the range of locomotives and rolling stock on display at the museum. It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed by the big things around you that you might sometimes miss the smaller things right in front of you. In this case I realized that many of the old freight cars around the museum grounds offered some fascinating textures to explore photographically. These images are a few of the results.
A couple years ago I was on an exploratory trip down to the Palos Verdes area. I drove down there as a random photo trip to see what could be seen. Eventually while driving on Palos Verdes drive I ran into Point Vicente Lighthouse. Adjacent to this lighthouse was a reception area for weddings and events, and a nice path that went right along the cliff. This is where I headed to take pictures.
What struck me first about this location was the weather that was happening. A prime motivation for going on this photo trip was the fact that we were getting some clouds and weather in the LA area that day. The lack of weather here can sometimes make photographing the surrounding landscape a bit dull. Looking out over the Pacific this day yielded a dramatic scene. In Visual Effects, we generally refer to the beams of light shining down like such as these as “god rays.” In fact there are plugins for software that can generate them. With my photography however, I keep everything real. These god rays were right there before my eyes and captured in camera.
After taking a few pictures I realized a time lapse sequence would be really cool. Here is the result with one frame taken every 10 seconds:
I wish I would have done one frame every 2 seconds, and that I had let it go longer. Here is an iPhone pic of the camera taking the time lapse:
It’s a neat area that I hope to return to again.
After a long week, I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and add a few more photos from the Station Fire shoot last weekend. Fortunately the fire no longer threatens any homes. Thinking about the fire I have realized that the station fire has burned through areas I hiked just a few months back. I have several GPS tagged photographs from various parts of Josephine Peak, Strawberry Peak, and Colby Canyon. Perhaps when the area is made accessible again I can return and take “after” photographs of the burn area, matching location, lens and views of my earlier photographs. I expect the result will be incredibly dramatic. I have no idea if the area will be reopened for hiking anytime soon.
In the meantime though, here are a few more photos from the Station fire.
The next post will focus on some less destructive images.
Day two of fire chasing kept me far away from the actual flames. Instead I headed over to the new Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City to do some time lapse photography on the smoke movement. I set up in a shady spot and let the camera go for some 40 minutes. Here is the result:
Parking there is the rather steep $8. Having paid that I decided to wait it out till sunset which was about two hours away. I discreetly shot a few pictures of the people around the overlook as well as views away from the fire.
I set up for another timelapse, this time as the sun set:
Once it became dark I finished up a few shots and called it a day. I hope the fire gets contained soon. I can’t recall ever seeing such a massive fire here. Best of luck to the firefighters.
This weekend I headed out around town to take pictures of the “Station Fire” near La Cañada Flintridge. This is an area that I became familiar with earlier in the year with several hiking trips including the summit of Josephine Peak and Strawberry Peak. The landscape will be dramatically different when I next return there, as these peaks are within the fire area.
My photographic mission started Friday night as I headed to Pasadena to see what I could find. The results were surreal.