My Sunday night trip the beach included a camera a few lenses and a sturdy tripod. My goal for my night shoot was to capture the ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier with pedestrians in the foreground while keeping all my subjects not looking like ants. I was not getting the results I have intended, so I decided to change my strategy. My new plan was to shoot the upper portion of the ferris wheel while leaving most of the frame open with sky.
Sunset over Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif on Sunday, September 18, 2011.
The ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier illuminating in the night sky on Sunday, September 18, 2011.
Pedestrians walking on the boardwalk in Santa Monica, Calif on Sunday, September 18, 2011. This image was captured before setting up to photograph the ferris wheel.
My work last week had a holiday party and we had a “white elephant gift exchange.” Our guidelines were to spend a max of ten dollars. Thinking of a gift most people would enjoy I thought about giving a few prints of them away. Not knowing who would take home from prints I thought I would print 20 4×6 prints of all subject matter to appease their taste.
I went through my catalog of photos found some gems I passed up years ago and printed them to give away. The prints were well received.
Here are two photos I brought out of the photo vault.
Last Thursday I pulled up to Pico Blvd to make a a right to head west and to my giant surprised there is a ferris wheel a block to my left. My first thought was ferris wheel don’t belong in the middle of the street. Second thoughts was they must be filming a movie or tv show. I made my right turn and forgot about it. On my way home from Santa Monica I ran into the ferris wheel again to my surprise. I parked my car and spoke with a LAPD officer regarding the ferris wheel. He told its for a raiser for LAPD youth programs and build relationships with community and will be around all weekend. I told him I’ll be back!
Sunday turned around and I headed out to the carnival with my good friend Jenny. Jenny and I played a few games to win stuffed animals but walked away empty handed. I did purchase some fries. They tasted similar to In-N-Out fries which I am not a fan of. After over an hour being at the carnival Jenny called it a night but I stayed a little longer to capture more pictures.
The derby race was a $1 to play but so different to master. No stuffed animal for me.
Not so tasty french fries.
An overview of the carnival
A Santa Monica, CA icon is the Santa Monica Pier. A must stop for all tourist and locals. Approaching three years of living in Los Angeles, I still never get bored with the “visit” to the pier every few months. There is always something going on and a great place to people watch. The pier has so many layers to photograph as well.
In January 2009, I took twice to the beach with camera and tripod in hand. The goal was to photograph the “new” Ferris wheel on the pier. The Ferris Wheel was replaced in the second half of 2008 with a new one that has 15,000 LED lights. The new wheel can produce so many more colors and displace themes compared to the old one.
When shooting at a tourist location or local landmark like the Ferris Wheel, you need a new way to shoot your subject to make it stand out. Don’t settle for the same look you see everyone else is taking. First suggestion is to find a unique angle. Walk around and seek out a unusual perspective. Get high or low. Lay down on your stomach (ants’ viewpoint) to snap the picture. Be different so your picture will be different from the masses.
Helpful Tip: if you shoot on sand be ever so careful. Sand gets everywhere, it finds the smallest places and hides out there. When you get home make sure you do a good cleaning of your equipment.