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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Graham

The 12 top #Photowalk moments of 2018

This year we kicked off the #Photowalks series, traipsing around with multiple cameras on our neck, looking for the definitive shot, where, how and when to get them.

We were mostly in the #SoCal area in 2018, from Los Angeles to Venice Beach, Huntington Beach and Manhattan Beach, as well as more out of the way exotic locales like Tokyo, Port Townsend, Washington, San Francisco and our favorite home away from home, Pismo Beach.

Los Angeles #Photowalk

Griffith Observatory, from Los Angeles in 1 Day #Photowalk, part of the #SoCalPhotowalks series. Shot just after sunset on a Sony RX10IV at 600mm. Our L.A. in 1 Day Photowalk began at LAX and continued onto Venice, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Griffith Park, home of the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory. To get the shot above, I tried walking up the hill, as far as I could get to nab a good overhead shot, but there was too much shrubbery in the way, so I took the hike that extends around the Observatory. I kept going and going, until I finally wrapped around enough to get a good clear shot, without distractions. I shot this HDR style–three photos, at different exposures, and sandwiched them together in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Hollywood Walk of Fame Photowalk

The Hollywood Walk of Fame. This is where we began the Photowalks series in February, as we wondered why so many millions of people came to this spot every year to see an old movie theater, stars they mostly hadn’t heard of in cement and a place to buy Oscar replicas. Because it’s #Hollywood, that’s why, the best spot to come to for us to pick up some of the glitz and glamour of the old town–even if the surrounding area is pretty sleazy. Here you see a woman posing on the sleazier side of Hollywood Blvd., south of Highland, where most of the stores specialize in wigs and trinkets. Our cameras also take you to the “nice” section, north of Highland, home to the big Hollywood and Highland mall, the Dolby Theater (home of the Oscars), the TCL Chinese Theater and the vintage Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. Weirdly, even though the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce would like you to believe that you can view the Hollywood Sign here, from the mall, it’s not much of a view. You’ll need to drive over to Beachwood Canyon and up the road for that. I show how in this video:

Manhattan Beach Photowalk

Under the Manhattan Beach Pier, my hometown, iconic shot. This is considered the definitive photo from Manhattan Beach, under the Pier. We spent a lot of time in our favorite beach city in 2018–after all, we live here. Our Photowalk cameras also spread to Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo and Palos Verdes. The Pier here was photographed with an iPhone 8 Plus, in Live mode, using the “Long Exposure,” iOS trick.

Tokyo Photowalk

Photographing the Shibuya Scramble in Tokyo. This is the symbol of Japan’s largest city, home to the five-way, crazy crosswalk where people have 45 seconds to get across. Tourists and locals usually “scramble” by making a mad dash to make the light before it’s too late. Photographed on a Sony RX10IV at 600mm in mid-afternoon.

Pismo Beach Photowalks

A huge pelican flies over Pismo Beach looking for lunch. If you haven’t been to Pismo, it’s Central California at its best, a small, funky beach town that happens to be home to a beloved local restaurant, the Splash Cafe, and hundreds of large pelicans. The Splash is known for its clam chowder, which is ironic, since clams have been non-existent in Pismo for years. The Splash has them trucked in from Seattle.

Venice Beach Photowalks

The iconic Venice Beach sign, shot with a low shutter speed to accentuate the moving cars and people. Venice is the symbol of L.A. beach life, where everybody is in show business, it seems. The guy who dons a guitar and roller blades around town, the street performers who dance and move for tips, the woman who will put your name on rice for $8. Watch the above video to see all the definitive Venice Beach shots.

Surf City Huntington Beach Photowalk

Loving every minute of the waves in Huntington Beach. The iconic beach town is known as Surf City by locals, thanks to Jan and Dean, who immortalized the community with their 1963 hit song. You know, “two girls for every boy,” and “there’s always a party growin.” It’s also a fun place to visit–and photograph.

Palos Verdes Photowalk

Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach and the south coastline. Our favorite L.A. hideway, no question, is Palos Verdes, a collection of communities known as Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. PV, as locals call it, extends up the hill from Redondo Beach or Torrance and is home to killer views and rural seclusion. This shot was taken from the way top of the hill, looking out at Redondo, Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Yes, that’s the downtown skyline back there too.

Port Townsend Photowalk

Birds, birds, birds, by the shore in Port Townsend, Washington. This magic little victorian small town is at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, about 90 minutes from Seattle by car. It’s chock full of historic, Victorian turn of the century homes that were built at a time that boosters thought Port Townsend was poised to be major shipping port of the Northwest. Then the railroad had another ideas, and built up Seattle. But the small town continues to exist, and cherishes its past. On the water, I captured this collection of birds flying away, at top speed.

Newport Beach Balboa Island Photowalk

Early morning on Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Balboa is considered a subset of Newport, a small, tiny island. You could walk the entire island in an hour or so. There’s a cute downtown, home to Balboa Bars and frozen bananas that was immortalized in the “Arrested Development,” TV show and an amusement park across the street, Balboa Peninsula. This shot of early morning boaters was taken at 6 a.m., just after sunrise.

San Francisco Photowalk

North Beach San Francisco, Gino and Carlo restaurant, Grant and Green streets. The North Beach area is the “Little Italy” section of San Francisco, with more great Italian restaurants in one place than any other place I’ve ever been. San Francisco was founded by Italians, the section of the city is over 100 years old, and a photographer’s dream for people shots, great scenics and views. But the area is changing, as more and more veteran establishments close up shop. We show in the North Beach Photowalk the top photo highlights – before its too late. This shot was taken just after sunset, in HDR mode, on the Sony RX10IV.

Los Angeles #Photowalk

DTLA skyline, downtown Los Angeles, part of the #SoCalPhotowalks series. History, culture and great food highlight downtown Los Angeles, or DTLA as it’s called, home to the Grand Central Market, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Broad, MOCA,. Grand Central Library, Philippe’s the Original, the Original Pantry, Union Station, Staples Center, L.A. Live and more. This shot of DTLA’s skyline was taken in Baldwin Hills on Thanksgiving evening, at 5 p.m.

Thanks for reading this blog in 2018, watching the YouTube #Photowalk videos, following me on Facebook and Twitter, keeping up with me in USA TODAY, listening to my #TalkingTech podcast and saying hi on the street. Happy new year everyone!


ICYMI: Be sure to check out our #Photowalks from:

A Photowalk in Hermosa Beach

Kauai Photowalk

Photowalk Palm Springs

Photowalk Cannon Beach

Photowalk Los Angeles Arts District

Photowalk Beverly Hills 90210

Photowalk Santa Cruz

Artwalk San Francisco
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