Tag Archives: southern california

A Year of Beach Culture Photography

[If you’d like to grab this video, you can get it at YouTube]

Every region has it’s own special culture and atmosphere, just waiting to be experienced. The Southern California beach towns are no exception! It’s been one year since I moved to San Diego, and I’ve been captivated by the beach towns that lie along the Pacific Coastline. As a photographer, I’ve made it a point to explore and document these towns, in hopes that I’ll eventually be able to share something greater than individual photos.

What I’m sharing today isn’t a finished product — it’s still in the making. The video above and the slideshow below are just a sample of what I hope to achieve some day. I’m lucky to be able to live in such a great place, and I don’t know how long I’ll have that ability. Prior to living here, I lived in New Jersey and I got to experience the East Coast culture and New York City culture. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in full swing with my photography and I missed a great opportunity to document an amazing region. I don’t plan on making that mistake again.

And to help me finish this project, I’d like to get your help. For the next year of my existence in Southern California, I’ll be photographing with this project in mind. Based on what you’ve seen here, give me some feedback. What’s working? What’s not? What’s missing? What’s overdone? What places or things can I photograph to better capture the culture? When you think of Southern California beach towns, what comes to mind? I’d love to get some feedback from all of you.

Simply Religious

Simply Religious

Brian Auer | 02/09/2008 | La Jolla, CA | 75mm * f/2.0 * 1/8000s * ISO100
[Print Pricing] [Contact for Signed Prints] [See it at Flickr]

This church in La Jolla, California caught my eye for its stunning white simplicity. The clear blue sky also helped to compliment the building and its elegance. I was on a photowalk, and we had just started down the road toward the beach and everybody was excited to get shooting. And so, I framed the building to include mostly sky while leaving a good portion of the church (and its surroundings) left to the imagination. I took two shots with different compositions of this church top, and this one turned out best.

Simply Religious Post-Processing

  1. Unprocessed RAW
    This one turned out a little overexposed. I shot it at f/2 with my 50mm lens and it pushed my shutter speed up to 1/8000, maxing it out. I probably should have set the f-number to at least f/2.8.
  2. Processed RAW
    Mainly I just recovered the highlights and darkened the overall image, getting it ready for Photoshop.
  3. LAB Saturation
    I saw that the blues were a little muddy, so I ran it through my LAB Saturation Photoshop Action and brought out the color while adding a bit of contrast.
  4. Clone & Sharpen
    Somehow I sort of forgot to deal with the little bit of brickwork on the bottom edge, so I took that out with the patch tool. Then I sharpened it up a bit.
  5. Curves Adjustment
    I wasn’t totally happy with the tones and colors, so I added a curves adjustment to bring up the highlights and push the shadows down. I left the blending mode to “Normal” so the blues would get a little punch too.

Enjoy!

Laguna Beach Photowalk: March 30

I had such a great time at the last photowalk in La Jolla that some of us decided we should put on another one in Orange County (which is kind of a midway point between Los Angeles and San Diego). Hopefully we can get a decent turnout again, so if you’re in the Southern California area, here are the details:

WHERE: Laguna Beach, California


View Larger Map

WHEN: March 30th, 2PM

I set it up for after lunch so we don’t have to try finding food for under $20 per person. But if you’re into food, you might want to show up early and hit one of the many restaurants down near the water.

WHY?

Because photowalks are where it’s at! If you’ve never been to one, you don’t know what you’re missing. I always meet a ton of great people and I walk away with lots of interesting photos. It’s part social event, part photo shoot. Here’s my write-up for the Upcoming.org event:

Join us in Orange County’s Laguna Beach for an afternoon of photowalking. We’ll begin our walk at the Festival of Arts building on Broadway, walk all the way down Broadway until we hit the Pacific Coast Highway, then we’ll turn our attention to some of the more active streets in Laguna Beach — Ocean Avenue and Forest Avenue. When we’re done with the busy street scene, we’ll head down to the beach and walk along the boardwalk. For those who want to do a little more beach photography, we’ll then head over to the rocky shoreline to see what we can find.

There’s a large parking lot available across the street from our meeting place, and parking will cost $3 for the day. Bring a few extra dollars in case you need to park in a different lot, prices will vary between $3 and $10.

Laguna Beach is fairly simple to reach from the major freeways. Just hop on the Laguna Freeway 133 (also known as Laguna Canyon Road) from the 73, I-405, or I-5. The canyon road will take you all the way down to our meeting spot and into Laguna Beach. Or for those coming from a nearby beach town, you can take the Pacific Coast Highway into Laguna Beach.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate with us that day… but hey, it’s Southern California. There’s a 99% chance it’ll be sunny and warm. And if all of this isn’t enough to persuade you to come hang out for the afternoon, it’s my birthday (on the 31st) so you owe it to me!

Laguna shore
Creative Commons License photo credit: timotale

Sim City
Creative Commons License photo credit: Kevin Labianco

Cue Hilary Duff
Creative Commons License photo credit: shawdm

La Jolla Photowalk Reminder

Remember folks, we’ve got a Southern California photowalk happening on Saturday, February 9th. So if you’re in the greater Los Angeles or San Diego area, stop by for a while and take some photos with us.

It should be a good turnout — Bryan Villarin and I will be there along with John Watson from Photodoto. I’m still working on Ryan Goodman from CameraPorn, and I had Nate Ritter asking me about it earlier today. Looks like it’s going to end up being a blogger convention!