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.

Contact the Editor

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

Thursday, 13 April 2006
Mythological Beasts in Hollywood
Topic: Oddities

Mythological Beasts in Hollywood

Griffin at Edmon Stone Galleries, Melrose Avenue, Los AngelesLos Angeles can be a tad hallucinatory at times. You think you see something, then you decide you really didn't see that, but, if you have a camera with you take a shot and you have your evidence. The griffin (also spelled gryphon and, less commonly, gryphen, griffon, griffen, or gryphin) is "a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. Often, griffins are depicted with a pair of prominent ears, traditionally termed 'ass' ears.' Since the lion was considered the 'King of the Beasts' and the eagle the 'King of the Air,' the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Some traditions say that only female griffins have wings. The griffin is generally represented with four legs, wings and a beak, with eagle-like talons in place of a lion's forelegs and equine ears jutting from its skull. Some writers describe the tail as a serpent."

Here's one or two at Edmon Stone Galleries, down on Melrose Avenue. This is an odd, block-long business, specializing in hand carved wood and cast stone mantles designed to customer specifications - for the mansions in Beverly Hills and for movies sets. It's a niche business, but they do very, very well. And their building features griffins.

Griffins at Edmon Stone Galleries, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Griffin at Edmon Stone Galleries, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

All day long they stare at this ...

The Hollywood Sign as seen from Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Griffin at Edmon Stone Galleries, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Photographed Thursday, April 13, 2006

Posted by Alan at 5:46 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006 6:04 PM PDT
Wednesday, 12 April 2006
The Geometry of Palms
Topic: Light and Shadow

The Geometry of Palms

The Geometry of Palms

The Geometry of Palms

The Geometry of Palms

Posted by Alan at 6:32 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Tuesday, 11 April 2006
Squirrel's Foot Fern (Davallia trichomanoides)
Topic: Color Studies

Squirrel's Foot Fern (Davallia trichomanoides)

Squirrel's Foot Fern (Davallia trichomanoides), new growth
A sign of spring Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - a frond developing on the balcony. Squirrel's Foot Fern (Davallia trichomanoides) should not be confused with Rabbit's Foot Fern (Davillia fejeensis). The later have gray-white rhizomes, those hairy growths that resemble and feel like a bit like a rabbit's foot. On Squirrel's Foot Fern the rhizomes are brown. On both they sort of crawl down the side of the pots. Some find them a bit creepy.

This specimen of Squirrel's Foot has been on the shady balcony here for the last fifteen years, cut back to the root each March. There are new fronds by mid-April, and an umbrella of wide full fronds by June. Harriet-the-Cat likes to lie under them on the cool concrete in the summer, with narrowed eyes, waiting for the real squirrels to drop by, as the sometimes do.

The Rabbit's Foot Fern (Davillia fejeensis) just below the other.

Rabbit's Foot Fern (Davillia fejeensis)

Rabbit's Foot Fern (Davillia fejeensis>

By June you'll see things like this, snapped June 19, 2005 in Carlsbad California. Mimosa - but Mimosa is a genus of about four hundred species of herbs and shrubs, in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the legume family Fabaceae, and all have evenly bipinnate leaves. So which is this?

Botanical Color Study - mixed textures and colors

Posted by Alan at 6:36 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006 6:15 PM PDT
Monday, 10 April 2006
Diversions: France
Topic: Travel

Diversions: France

Eiffel Tower from the Pont des Arts: Paris rooftops
A slow afternoon in Hollywood, and thinking it may be time for another visit to catch up with Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis - haven't chatted with him face to face in a few years. But on the right is not April in Paris. It's a December day in 2001, from the Pont des Arts, walking back to the hotel in Saint Germain, glancing up to the southwest. Rooftops and that strange tower. It's not Hollywood, or even Paris Las Vegas.

Later, from the hotel window, light in the heart of the left bank - l'église St-Germain-des-Prés in the afternoon traffic, and in the second chapel of this church a stone marks the spot where philosopher Rene Descartes is buried. The abbey here was founded in 558. It was rebuilt between 990 and 1021, and restored again from 1819 to 1823, thanks to Victor Hugo (see a history here and the current website here). To the left is Les Deux Magots - Fréquenté par de nombreux artistes illustres parmi lesquels Elsa Triolet, André Gide, Jean Giraudoux, Picasso, Fernand Léger, Prévert, Hemingway, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, pour ne citer qu'eux, il accueillit les surréalistes sous l'égide d'André Breton, bien avant les existentialistes qui firent les belles nuits des caves du quartier. Jim Morrison of The Doors frequented this same café it's said - Morrison was buried in Paris of course. This intersection, Boulevard St-Germain at rue Bonaparte, is a good place to be. Drop a line for details - a good jazz club, odd shops, goodies in the Buci market a few blocks to the right.

Light in the heart of the left bank - l'église St-Germain-des-Prés in the afternoon traffic

That's Paris. But a pleasant train ride north, just an hour or two, is Rouen, in the heart of Normandy. It's old in a different way. This was June afternoon, six years ago. Sip some calvados. Good place.

Rouen, in the heart of Normandy

Way south. Everyone associates Arles with Van Gogh, of course. But drive down from Avignon, through St-Remy (visit the asylum where Van Gogh spent some time after he cut off his ear), through Les Baux (a mountain fortress town that has an odd history having to do with Richelieu and the Huguenots, and metallurgy, as aluminum ore, bauxite, is named for the place), and you finally get to Arles. It's old in a different way - Roman. This is the old coliseum, the same summer. They use it now for French bullfights, the kind where the bull lives. You get good light and shadows there, and that means it's been in a few movies, as right here John Frankenheimer filmed that shoot-out in Ronin - so if you're not into art, or bullfighting, or Roman history, there's always the Hollywood angle, as Robert De Niro was here too.

The old Roman coliseum in Arles

Posted by Alan at 7:01 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006 7:27 AM PDT
Sunday, 9 April 2006
Easy on the Eyes
Topic: Light and Shadow

Easy on the Eyes

Thursday, April 6, 2006 - Hollywood Forever Memorial Park - just trying to get the ripples right -

Goose in lake, Hollywood Forever Memorial Park

Goose in lake, Hollywood Forever Memorial Park

Goose in lake, Hollywood Forever Memorial Park

Posted by Alan at 8:25 AM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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