Sad Sunday

10.16.2016 – A terrible accident took the life of a friend¬†on Sunday. I hadn’t seen her in years but we kept in touch through Facebook. She was so happy to be in California, traveling down¬†the coast with her husband… We were¬†probably going to see¬†each other this coming week when they’d be in Santa Monica. I am¬†so¬†sad…¬†sunset-web_dsc0466

Photoessay: Venice Beach

I have been photographing Venice Beach and its famous¬†Boardwalk ever since I arrived¬†in¬†Los Angeles, four years ago. So, hundreds of shots later, it’s only¬†fitting to publish¬†a photoessay on Venice Beach, its people, its sites.¬†The series is¬†in black and white because, although Venice Beach is a very colorful place, its¬†bohemian soul can also be¬†captured without its many hues.

Venice¬†has long been a spot for artists, surfers, skateboarders, street vendors, and homeless people. During the 80s and 90s it was quite dicey and, until recently, not a¬†safe place to live, unless you didn’t mind gang violence,¬†occasional street shootings, and drug dealers and¬†addicts roaming around.¬†Venice has cleaned up quite a bit lately. It has¬†grown to include not only¬†Google and¬†its five-hundred¬†employees, but more than 40 new tech startups, media companies, consulting firms and investors. These developments (which many call gentrification) have brought sophistication and quality living to Venice, but not enough to take away its bohemian vibe.

The Venice Boardwalk and its surroundings remain edgy and fun, with the¬†usual circus-like environment. Street musicians, artists, vendors, tourists and locals, as well as an ever-growing homeless population, share the space democratically.¬†As you enter the area, the smell of weed hits you like a bullet. It’s part of the experience… There¬†you will encounter very eccentric people who have become fixtures of the place. Some of them are featured here.¬†I’m not sure how much longer the Boardwalk¬†will remain as it is. Real estate prices in the area are sky-high and rent is not as¬†affordable as it used to be so struggling artists are moving out. I have nothing against gentrification –the place was a mess before — but¬†I like the bohemian side of Venice¬†and¬†hope that never¬†goes away.

CEE’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 1

This original¬†vehicle¬†is a fixture on the Board Walk in Venice Beach,¬†Los Angeles. I haven’t figured out who owns it and what’s the deal with it, but I had to shoot a couple of pictures. I think they¬†are good candidates for Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge.

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365/Day 365!!!!

I DID IT! ~~

This is the last day of the year and the last day of¬†my 365 Project. When I decided to take on this project,¬†I knew it would be¬†hard –many abandon it midway– but I wanted to do it because it would keep¬†me engaged in photography and help improve my skills in the process. I was quite surprised at my¬†dedication to the project¬†and¬†what seemed an impossible challenge at first, turned out to be a pleasurable daily task. Much to my satisfaction, there are 365 daily posts on my blog for 2015! A huge thanks to those of you who gave me daily encouragement by checking out,¬†liking, or¬†commenting on my¬†posts. That was so¬†helpful!

Now, having said all that, I do need a break from the daily commitment¬†so I won’t¬†continue¬†the 365 Project. Instead, I will work on¬†other interesting¬†projects, maybe more complex ones, that will help me continue to grow as a photographer and stay disciplined at the same time. More about that later…

So, for my last post of this 2015 365 Project, instead of one new photo, I chose twelve photos with a recurring theme, the sunset, which I captured just about every month of the year. Some photos have been featured in the project, some have not. I hope you enjoy them!

And HAPPY NEW YEAR to All!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

My response to this week’s Photo Challenge,¬†Gathering.

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A daily ritual in Santa Monica: locals and tourists gather to watch the sun go down.

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Turtles have no choice but to gather in the pond. Santa Barbara, CA.

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Venice Beach residents gather on the Ocean Front with their four-legged friends.

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Guys gather for a beer and idle talk in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.