On Living In A Ridiculously Photogenic Place

I should really call this "On Being Someone Who Enjoys Taking Photographs and Also Lives in a Ridiculously Photogenic Place". It's completely overwhelming in the most wonderful way possible.

Zuma Beach

Every time the sun hits the mountains just the right way, or the rain leaves the air clear and the sky extra blue, or the view from the top of a hill takes my breath away, my photograph anxiety starts to take over. Especially if I don't have my camera; I swear, every time I leave my camera at home, something extra photogenic happens. I always forget that I live here now, so I will get another chance to take a picture of whatever beautiful scenery is in front of me. Even if the exact same cloud isn't hovering over that mountain peak and spewing out rain, I will still be able to take another picture of another cloud doing another equally awesome thing some day in the future. Because Los Angeles is just that photogenic.

Universal City

Those three pictures above are of Universal City, on the other side of the hills from Los Angeles, and were taken from an overlook on Mulholland Drive, which is one route I can take on my way home from work. (The other route is through the main strip of Hollywood, past the walk of fame and all of the people in the crazy costumes. Sure, there are other roads I could take, but why would I do that when these are available to me?) On this particular day, it had been raining since the morning and the clouds were just beginning to break, the sun was shining and hitting the ridges of the mountains on the east side at just the right angle...and I didn't have my camera with me. So I pulled over, took some photos with my cell phone, and frantically called Toby, telling him to grab my camera bag and meet me outside of our apartment in ten minutes so he could drive me back up the hill and I could take some real pictures. When we got there, this is what it looked like. At first I was super disappointed, because man, that sun, and those angles...but then I took a deep breath and reminded myself, "That will happen again. And you will be here for it, because you live here". Besides, that rain pouring out of the dark clouds was a gorgeous event all on its own, and let's be real, rain is a lot more rare than sun here, so in all reality I was getting the better end of the deal.

Mulholland Drive also has some great views of downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign, of which I was completely unaware. Of course, all of the tourist buses (those are more common than cockroaches in our area) took over the parking lot of that overlook and almost boxed our car in, but it was still cool to find another place I could go to take photos after the rain cleared all of the smog away.

Hollywood Sign



You guys, the straight line on the horizon in that last photo is the ocean. When it's a clear day, you can see the sea all the way from the hills in our area. How cool is that? In the middle of the city where we live, it's easy to forget how close we are to the ocean, and I am making it my goal to get to the coast more often - it's been harder to do since I got a job, but it's still very doable.

Speaking of the ocean:

It is nearly impossible to take a bad picture of anything ocean-related. Every sunset, every foggy or sunny day...it's enough to drive a girl crazy.

Santa Monica:

Zuma Beach in Malibu (one of my favorites)

Zuma Beach

I love the way the fog creeps up off the ocean and onto the shore as the sun sinks down on the horizon. It's never just one big blanket - it comes in the form of long, skinny individual fingers, like a hand reaching out of the surface of the water to grab something off the coast. The fog is so thick and fluffy that it looks like you could sink your own fingers into it,  but the closer you get, the more transparent and wispy it becomes. I love me some marine layer. 
My incredibly photogenic boyfriend

Last month, I posted pictures of a gorgeous sunset in Ranchos Palos Verdes. The rocks and the cliffs you can see in those photos are part of Bluff Cove, which is a beautiful rock beach connected to a trail going down the cliff. On a foggy day a week or two ago, Sarah and I decided to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon taking photographs of Bluff Cove, which is super pretty in the sunshine and calm and ethereal on a misty day. The area is a popular place for surfers, but there was hardly any wind when we went, so there was a hushed, still feeling over the whole cove. We only met a few other people out for a walk, and other than that it was just us, the waves, and a few burned out bonfires near the tidepools from the night before (totally illegal, but there were about four bonfire pits total, so apparently not that harshly enforced).

Kelp forest

No one bothered to clean up after their party - there were tons of beer cans everywhere

This bonfire had a great view

Ranchos Palos Verdes

An abandoned towel

The colors of the cove were really cool - lots of oranges, grays, and turquoises

Bluff Cove
This was a memorial set up for a surfer - there were notes engraved and painted on the bench from his family and friends
So...yeah. Need I say more? It's incredible. I wish I could walk around with a camera in my brain, and blink to take a picture, so that I could take everything in free of the stress of capturing every moment and not have to carry any equipment around with me. I am also learning to find the truth in the song 3x5, by John Mayer (bonus: hunky photos of JM are contained within this video...and I'm pretty sure one of them - the one in the screen shot below- is on a bluff in LA):

This song has always been one of my favorites, ever since junior high, but now I can really relate to it. Favorite line: "Didn't have a camera by my side this time/Hoping I would see the world with both my eyes/Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to lose my way with words". That's exactly how I feel. I lose my way with words so often here, because everything is so beautiful. Listen to the whole song, and you will know how I feel every day.

Some things I'm diggin' right now:

:: Nine hilariously distressing letters from kids.

:: Do you like positive quotes? Then you'll like this site.

:: Photos of Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward. Super romantic and cute.

:: Have you ever heard of a murmuration of starlings? I hadn't until yesterday - check the video out. It's like Harry Potter meets something that happens all on its own in nature.

:: An article about what love is actually like, minus all the bells and whistles that our culture tells us should be included.

Happy Sunday!