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Southern California Photography by Alan Pavlik, editor and publisher of Just Above Sunset
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Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

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Visitors from February 28, 2006, 10:00 am Pacific Time to date -


Sunday, 26 February 2006
The Industry: Very Local Organizations
Topic: Insider Stuff

The Industry: Very Local Organizations

A block south and one block west is the Directors Guild of America (DGA) an impressive Sunset Boulevard building (photos here). It's a place - if you can manage it - to see major Hollywood movies before they're released. I seem to recall seeing "Braveheart" there some weeks before its release, with short Mel Gibson answering questions after the lights came up. And there's the annual City of Lights thing there each spring - a screening the year's top French films (attended this one - the late director John Frankenheimer gave a short talk in awful French). Then there was that prerelease screening of Serendipity, where the lead, John Cusack, after the film, told us all it would be a big hit. It wasn't. In any event, the DGA isn't exactly a tourist destination. It's a fancy union hall. People in "the industry" hang out there, and hangers on. But there's a good car wash across the street. They do nice work.

Where the industry folks also hang out is another union hall a few doors east - the International Cinematographers Guild (7755 Sunset Boulevard). This is their national headquarters - for six thousand cinematographers the camera crews, and the still photographers and the publicists - the folks who work on studio and independent films, television, commercials, documentaries, music videos and broadcast news. It's a union for the "below the line" folks.

The building was redone and they moved into it in 2003 - Ron Howard gave a speech and all that (see this). It's a cool building - palm trees, reflective glass.

International Cinematographers Guild, 7755 Sunset Boulevard
























































And across the street is Bug Music with the logo (see the shot below) that makes you think they're in the same business that made Tom DeLay wealthy enough to be able to run for congress. But they don't do pest control. They do something else - administering and collecting royalties on behalf of independent publishers, songwriters, and artists - they track down and collect royalties for their clients, like the Dixie Chicks, Iggy Pop, and the estates of the late Johnny Cash and Janis Ian. They're lawyers, administering publishing catalogs and anything that has an income-earning copyright. They "bug" people.

It all started when they were asked to administer the Del Shannon catalog - "There was a dispute over the copyrights of Del's songs, but when we got the copyrights back for him, we also started to pitch his songs for cover records. We had a big breakthrough, when Bonnie Raitt recorded Del's hit, 'Runaway,' and it became a cover hit. We got a taste for that cover success, and we started aggressively promoting our catalogs."

And it took off. They're international now. You have a copyright and aren't getting paid? They'll get your money for you, and take a cut of it for themselves. And now they work in movies, where many use pop and indie tunes for a soundtrack. They'll work out the licensing and all that - legal consultation. Seen Kill Bill 2, with all those odd songs in the background? They worked out the copyright details.

It's another below-the-line industry insider place. That's the neighborhood here.

And they have a cool bug.

Bug Music, 7750 Sunset Boulevard


Posted by Alan at 6:42 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Sunday, 26 February 2006 6:46 PM PST
Saturday, 25 February 2006
Winter at the Beach
Topic: Light and Shadow

Winter at the Beach

Saturday, late February - sunny and in the seventies, with high thin clouds hinting at the rain on the way by Monday. Still air and diffused bright light, the kind of light that the cinematographers love. No doubt someone is shooting something today somewhere around here.

Good light means good shots. This is the beach at Encinitas, California, on the coast north of San Diego.

Beach, Encinitas, California 25 December 2005


Posted by Alan at 1:46 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Sunday, 26 February 2006 4:57 PM PST
Friday, 24 February 2006
Color Study
Topic: Color Studies

Color Study

A simple color study. Green. Deep blue. Papyrus lower left. Odd geometrics.
Selma Avenue at Laurel Canyon Boulevard, the base of the Hollywood Hills.
September 28, 2005



Posted by Alan at 9:37 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Thursday, 23 February 2006
Times Change: The Old Queen Mary Meets the New Queen Mary
Topic: Unusual Events

Times Change: The Old Queen Mary Meets the New Queen Mary
Thursday, February 23, 2006 - the historic first meeting of "two of the world's great ocean liners." The recently launched Queen Mary 2, the new giantess, sailed into Long Beach Harbor, up beside the original Queen Mary, permanently docked out here. The old Queen Mary is in financial trouble - its operating company is owned by a business that filed for bankruptcy last March and owes the city millions in back rent. The hotel and museum are still open, for now. The Queen Mary 2 is part of Carnival Cruise Lines, as they bought the Cunard Line, and the Queen Mary name, in 1998. They operate Cunard as a two-ship subsidiary. Times change.

Thousands of people turned out to see these two together - the roads were jammed and the skies filled with news helicopters and there were skydivers and such things. An unusual event, and a good photo-op, of course.

You will find a new photo album of the event here, thirty-five shots, mostly at high shutter speed with the telephoto lens.

The Los Angeles Times write-up of the event is here and there's more background form the Times here. In 1936 the first-class cabin round trip in the Queen Mary from New York to England and back cost $536. The Queen Mary 2 is charging from $7,749 to $79,349, per person, double occupancy, for its thirty-six day South America cruise from Los Angeles.

Here are a few shots from the album. More will appear in high-resolution in the next issue of Just Above Sunset. And here you will find the Just Above Sunset page of aerial views of Long Beach and the Queen Mary from August 2005.

The new Queen Mary 2 with mixed shipping -


































You have to love the flourishes –




Posted by Alan at 10:44 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Wednesday, 22 February 2006
Westwood Tower and...
Topic: West of Hollywood

Westwood Tower and…

Westwood Village is the commercial center of Westwood, sort of its downtown, at the south edge of the UCLA campus, about seven miles west of Hollywood. The place is filled with old Mediterranean-revival architecture (specially designed by the founders of Westwood, the Janns brothers, to complement UCLA's Romanesque buildings), all converted and reconverted many times into other uses.

Here's one. It now houses a dentist's office on the main floor. The three kinds of verticals are amusing.












































There aren't a whole lot of people of color in the area, so no one seems offended by the sign above the dentist's door. UCLA has not adopted this as its school motto.


























Westwood: Mixed Mode - see this page (PDF format) from a recently amended city planning document, a list of the many "Locally Significant Historic Resources" - addresses of interesting buildings with architectural style and date of construction. Then look at this and see city planning at work.



Posted by Alan at 10:58 AM PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006 9:17 AM PST

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