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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 -


Wednesday, 21 June 2006
Surf City, USA
Topic: South of Hollywood

Surf City, USA

Surfers, Huntington Beach, California - Surf City, USA
Forty miles south of Los Angeles there's Huntington Beach, down in Orange County - south of Seal Beach and before you get too far south and end up in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach. This is known around the world as "Surf City" and the city's website (here) shows the ® - it's official, or legally the secondary name, or whatever. If any other place decides to call itself "Surf City" they just might sue. Santa Cruz up north had decided to call itself "Surf City, USA" - and Huntington Beach cried foul. A ruling by the Patent and Trademark Office released on May 12, 2006, awarded the trademark to Huntington Beach. So be careful.

Huntington Beach does have eight miles of accessible beachfront - "the largest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront on the West Coast" - and the largest public pier too. And this is the site of the world surfing championships, held each summer, even if there was that riot in 1985 with police cars overturned and set on fire. That doesn't happen any more. Anyway, Huntington Beach was mentioned in the Beach Boys song "Surfin' Safari." It must be Surf City.

And a technical note - the surf here is good because of the edge-diffraction of ocean swells by the island of Catalina - think of it as an amplifier for what gets generated out in the Pacific. And then too, because of the curve of the coastline at Huntington Beach, the beach actually faces southwest, not west like all the others. This is good - in summer any southwest-facing beach will get especially strong surf from major storms off the Mexican coast, as was the case with these shots from Wednesday, June 21, 2006, the final day of a three-day high surf advisory. It's been nasty down Acapulco way, and the surf is up in Surf City, USA.

Surfers, Huntington Beach, California - Surf City, USA



Surfers, Huntington Beach, California - Surf City, USA



Surfers, Huntington Beach, California - Surf City, USA



Surfers, Huntington Beach, California - Surf City, USA



Surfer, Huntington Beach, California - Surf City, USA




Posted by Alan at 9:31 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006 9:41 PM PDT
Tuesday, 20 June 2006
A Little Bit of the Old South in Hollywood
Topic: Light and Shadow

A Little Bit of the Old South in Hollywood

Magnolia Grandiflora - or southern magnolia, or bull bay - in bloom on Laurel Avenue, one block north of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, at sunset, Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Magnolia is a large genus of about two hundred ten flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae.

The name? There's this -
In 1703 Charles Plumier (1646-1704) described a flowering tree from the island of Martinique in his Genera. He gave the species, that was locally known as 'Talauma,' the genus name Magnolia, after Pierre Magnol. The English botanist William Sherard, who studied botany in Paris under Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, a pupil of Magnol, was most probably the first after Plumier to adopt the genus name Magnolia. He was at least responsible for the taxonomic part of Dillenius's Hortus Elthamensis and of Catesby's famous Natural history of Carolina. These were the first works after Plumier's Genera that used the name Magnolia, this time for some species of flowering trees from temperate North America.

Linnaeus, who was familiar with Plumier's Genera, adopted the genus name Magnolia in 1735 in his first edition of Systema naturae, without a description but with a reference to Plumier's work. In 1753, he took up Plumier's Magnolia in the first edition of Species plantarum. As Linnaeus did never see a herbarium specimen (if there has ever been one) of Plumier's Magnolia and had only his description and a rather poor picture at hand, he must have taken it for the same plant as Catesby described in 1731 in his Natural history of Carolina and placed it in the synonymy of Magnolia virginiana var. foetida, the taxon now known as Magnolia grandiflora.

The species that Plumier originally named Magnolia was later described as Annona dodecapetala by Lamarck, and has since been named Magnolia plumieri and Talauma plumieri (and still a number of other names) but is now known as Magnolia dodecapetala.
So now you know.

This is a magnolia grandiflora - or southern magnolia, or bull bay - in bloom on Laurel Avenue, one block north of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, at sunset, Tuesday, June 20, 2006. The tree is native to the southeastern United States, from coastal North Carolina south to central Florida, and west to southeast Texas. Southern magnolia, of course, is the state tree of Mississippi, but they're all over Hollywood. Maybe that has something to do with filming most all of "Gone with the Wind" out here in the late thirties, down at the old MGM studios in Culver City, or maybe not. They provide deep, cool shade, don't seem to mind the dirty air here, don't take much care, and, if you move up close to a bloom, smell pretty good.

Magnolia Grandiflora - or southern magnolia, or bull bay - in bloom on Laurel Avenue, one block north of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, at sunset, Tuesday, June 20, 2006



Posted by Alan at 9:16 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006 9:20 PM PDT
Monday, 19 June 2006
Sunset Light
Topic: Light and Shadow

Sunset Light

Succulents at Sunset on Sunset…
Just some throwaway shots, with the late end-of-day light…

Succulents at Sunset on Sunset...




















Below, pirates hiding in the flowers on Sunset at sunset. Note - when the fellow on the left isn't living in the south of France with his wife, Vanessa Paradis (the French singer and actress) and their two kids, the four of them live in an old mansion just six blocks east of this billboard, just above Sunset, at Sweetzer. It's gated, and behind a lot of trees. No pictures. More on him, and the French business, Monday, June 19, 2006, here.

Pirates of the Caribbean billboard, Sunset Boulevard at Sunset Plaza



Bougainvillea just down the street, on Selma, in the long light...

Bougainvillea, Selma Avenue, Hollywood



Posted by Alan at 7:30 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006 7:31 PM PDT
Sunday, 18 June 2006
All Roads Lead to Hollywood
Topic: Technical Exercises

All Roads Lead to Hollywood

Hollywood Boulevard at Orange, looking south at the entrance of The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
They do?

Hollywood Boulevard at Orange, looking south at the entrance to The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, in deep shadow, in the early afternoon of Friday, June 16, 2006.


Posted by Alan at 6:02 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Saturday, 17 June 2006
Close-Up Color

Close-Up Color

A little preview of tomorrow's Just Above Sunset, two of the botanicals - shots from Saturday, June 17, 2006, at the curb in front of a shabby stucco apartment building on the northwest corner of Hayworth and Norton, West Hollywood.

Botanical close-up



Circus Rose - bud and pine needles


Posted by Alan at 4:07 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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