Where: Santa Monica, CA
Between Meeting: Snow Day
I received an automated call last month that my flights from LA through DC and home to Rochester were cancelled due to weather. The message told me I was re-booked for the same flights the next day, Sunday. I essentially had a West Coast weekend snow day!
I’m in LA a week a month but it’s usually a 7am to 7pm office routine where I don’t see much of Southern California, or enjoy temperatures that can be 50+ degrees warmer than back home. It seems the only time I can enjoy the weather is not having to trudge through ice and snow from my rental car in the parking lot to the lobby. And I smile when I see colleagues getting out of their cars wearing parkas because morning temperatures have dipped below the 60 degree mark, because I used to be one of them.
To the shock of many who think I’m a born and bred New Yorker, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and was sweeping floors for photographers in Hollywood as a teenager. I then went to college in the utopia of Santa Barbara, before heading East to Chicago and eventually New York City.
So with my free day, I gave myself an assignment to shoot something iconic but make it feel like the LA I knew as a kid. Within a few nano-seconds one can tell that I am not a surfer, but like the Beach Boys who also never surfed except for the drummer, I headed to the beach and specifically the Santa Monica pier. While color film was around when I was growing up (I’m not that old but there was no D before SLR in those days) I looked for a scene that would look great split-toned for a feeling of nostalgia. I also forced myself to use a wider focal length vs my usual tight compositions.
Towards the end of the day the wind kicked up and created a hazy silhouette of the people on the beach. Instead of spit-toning, the recently released Analog Efex Pro gave me more control for a look that helped reset the calendar, sans the solar panels in front of the Ferris Wheel.