G’day, friends! I’ve blogged before about visiting the Santa Monica pier here. During my last visit I indulged in experiencing all of the novelty the pier has to offer to visitors – the sweet, tasty (and very messy) cotton candy, entertaining people watching, riding on the Ferris wheel and enjoying the picture-perfect coastline views, and even renting bikes from the bike shop at the end of the pier and cruising to Venice Beach and back. Looking back on it, this day was one of my favorites from Summer 2015, my first summer living in Los Angeles.
This most recent visit to the Santa Monica Pier was to practice photography, or “shoot” as we like to call it, with two of my talented photographer friends Michael Zikry and Kjrstin Berg. Golden hour (the hour right after sunrise or the hour before sunset, also commonly referred to as “magic hour”) is my favorite time of the day to shoot as the lighting is softest during this time than when the sun is higher in the sky. This light makes for incredible pictures, as it doesn’t create harsh shadows or over-exposed images. The warm, golden glow of the sun during “Golden Hour” is especially helpful for newbie photographers like myself, because the light helps create some incredibly beautiful shots with minimal effort on our part. Landscape photography is my favorite type of photography, so shooting beautiful scenes at golden hour and even at sunset makes me very, very happy, and I love reviewing my "art" the day after a great shoot.
My photog friends & I chose the Santa Monica pier to shoot on this particular occasion for a few reasons. First, not much can compare to the beauty of the sunset along the coast of Southern California, especially when the clouds are doin' some awesome things (like was the case on this day). Second, I think the Santa Monica pier is often thought of as busy/touristy/chaotic/loud/etc. Which, yes, the introvert in me agrees with and sometimes prefers to avoid. But what some people may not realize, though, is that if you take a step back from the action on the pier and enjoy the beach directly alongside it, you'll see just how peaceful and quiet (and even romantic) this space can be. The Santa Monica Pier is the most visited attraction in Santa Monica, or coastal Los Angeles for that matter, and is walking distance from the Third Street Promenade (think bars, restaurants, shopping, events, etc.). This is one of LA's premier beach destinations for both visitors and locals, and hundreds of thousands of people visit annually. I liked shooting this location in particular because the images I captured, to me, represented Los Angeles lifestyle in a unique way. As much as this city has a "go-go-go" mentality, there's also a much softer side to it. The images below that I captured ignite feelings in me like self-reflection, finding peace in the midst of chaos, and not being afraid of the darkness.
Now that you know a little more about my favorite time of the day to shoot, more information about the often-visited Santa Monica Pier, and the emotions I was trying to capture in these images, I hope you enjoy the pictures below of my most recent visit to this beautiful location.
EXPLORE YOUR HEART OUT
L.A. is an amazing and diverse city full of culture, history, art, nature, museums, and attractions - which results in countless things to do & see - no matter your budget. Time after time I find that when you seek new adventure, you will find it!
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