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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 -


Saturday, 24 June 2006
The Unexpected
Topic: Color Studies

The Unexpected

The banana is an herb, in the genus Musa, which, because of its size and structure, is often mistaken for a tree. It's often mistaken for many things. It's just an odd plant, and in most large gardens in Southern California. Here are some odd views, a specimen in Will Rogers Park on Sunset Boulevard, right in the middle of Beverly Hills.

Banana, Will Rogers Park on Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills




Banana, Will Rogers Park on Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills


Posted by Alan at 4:00 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Friday, 23 June 2006
Studies in Blue...
Topic: Color Studies

Studies in Blue...

From Wednesday, 21 June, 2006 - as seen from the hill at The Korean Bell of Friendship and Bell Pavilion, Angels Gate Park, San Pedro, a gull in flight, and the Pacific below.

Gull in flight, above the Korean Bell of Friendship and Bell Pavilion, Angels Gate Park, San Pedro



View of the Pacific from the Korean Bell of Friendship and Bell Pavilion, Angels Gate Park, San Pedro


Posted by Alan at 7:15 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Thursday, 22 June 2006
Folk Art (Transportation Division)
Topic: Oddities

Folk Art (Transportation Division)

A steep hill street, Hancock, in West Hollywood, just south of the Sunset Strip, is full of amazing little craftsman cottages. Photos of those later, but the whole thing is explained here - "The American Craftsman Style or the American Arts and Crafts Movement is an American domestic architectural and interior design style popular from the 1900's to the early 1930's. The style incorporated locally handcrafted wood-, glass-, and metal-work which is both simple and elegant. A reaction to Victorian opulence and the increasingly common mass produced housing elements, the style incorporated aspects of clean lines, sturdy structure, natural materials. The name comes from a popular magazine published in the early 1900's by furniture maker Gustav Stickley called The Craftsman, which featured original house and furniture designs by Harvey Ellis, the Greene brothers, and others. The designs were influenced by the British Arts and Crafts Movement, as well as American Shaker and Mission styles. During this time also emerged the related Prairie School of architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright."

Yeah, well, indigenous folk art is where you find it. This truck was sitting on Hancock in front of one of the cottages being restored, at noon, Wednesday June 21, at noon.

Odd truck door, Hancock Avenue, West Hollywood




Posted by Alan at 7:02 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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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

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