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 -

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

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

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

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

Friday, 16 June 2006
The Hollywood Tourist
Topic: Landmarks

The Hollywood Tourist

Film crew on Hollywood Boulevard
The weekend begins on Hollywood Boulevard - some shots from Friday afternoon, June 16, 2006.

What is this crew doing across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theater? They didn't want to be bothered. They were busy. It's Hollywood. And it's a classic candid shot.

And here's some weekend tourist stuff.

See below. Grauman's is famous for the collection of handprints, footprints, and autographs in the theater's courtyard - two hundred movie folk have put their hands or feet or whatever in the cement there. As for whatever, you can find the imprint of Harold Lloyd's glasses, the cigar-print of the cigars of Groucho Marx and of George Burns - and Betty Grable's legs, John Wayne's fist, and Al Jolson's knees. There are two nose prints - Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope. William S. Hart and Roy Rogers left imprints of their guns, and there are hoof prints - Tom Mix's "Tony," Gene Autry's "Champion," and of course Roy Rodgers' "Trigger." It's a very odd place. But Sid Grauman was a showman.

This has been going on since 1927, and, should you be in town, this might be useful - a clickable map of the courtyard so you can find what interests you, if any this does.

And you might also remember the end of Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles -
Hedley Lamarr is driven to Grauman's Chinese where the marquee flashes the current film "Blazing Saddles." To hide and escape from Bart, he pays for one full admission to the film after failing to convince the attendant that he is a student. A female tourist remarks to her husband as she tries out the footprints of actress Hedy Lamarr - "Look, Herman, I'm in Hedy Lamarr's shoes!" - Hedley corrects her as he passes by: "Hedley." In the lobby of the theatre are noisy, bleating cattle as he purchases Raisinettes at the candy counter.

As the film begins to play with the familiar opening song, Lamarr suddenly realizes that he is going to be viewing "Blazing Saddles" and he exits in disgust. Outside, he is outdrawn in a gunfight with Bart and shot in the groin. As Lamarr falls and dies in front of the theatre, he studies the cement imprints (hand and feet) of Douglas Fairbanks - "How did he do such fantastic stunts with such little feet?"

He lands in fresh cement - before he expires, he scratches out his own name followed by a dollar sign in the wet cement for his own epitaph. Bart and the Waco Kid enter the theatre to see the end of the film, both wishing for a happy ending.
Yeah, it's sort of an inside joke, a Hollywood thing.

Check out these.

Grauman's Chinese Theater - hand and footprints - Humphrey Bogart

Grauman's Chinese Theater - hand and footprints - Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe

And for what's playing at the Chinese this weekend, it's certainly not "Blazing Saddles" - and it's not Chinese. But it is Asian, sort of. One of the cars from the film was on display in the courtyard, the front bumper just above Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. But you couldn't get near it with all the thirteen-year-old boys checking it out. Ah well. Times change.

Grauman's Chinese Theater - wall detail

Posted by Alan at 6:46 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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