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 -

Sunday, 19 November 2006
Marketing Using Dislocation
Topic: Oddities
Marketing Using Dislocation
French poster, Hollywood BoulevardThe French have this thing with Hollywood. It's not for no reason the most popular chewing gum over there is "Hollywood." At this site you can get back issues of the trash pin-up magazine Paris Hollywood (Beauté de Paris Hollywood and Les Folies de Paris et Hollywood). That was published bi-monthly over there from 1947 through 1973. Here's a cover from 1950. The book on that is Paris-Hollywood: Serge Jacques. At this site you can buy French posters for American Movies, like this one (of course). There used to be a junk jewelry store on Rue des Rennes call Sunset Boulevard - perhaps it's still there. The place that sells "California clothes" in the little square on Boulevard St-Germain across from the centuries-old church where Descartes is buried may be gone. But casually mentioning you're visiting from Hollywood works wonders in Paris.

But we don't have much use for the French. We quite regularly remake their movies (see Encore Hollywood: Remaking French Cinema), but the cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys meme has overwhelmed things. We're supposed to be mad at them all. Hollywood's Johnny Depp may be a wonderful actor, but he married that Frenchwoman, Vanessa Paradis, and settled in the hills east of Avignon to raise his kids and relax. He's seldom at his home here, just down Sunset, at Sweetzer, just above the boulevard. How odd of him.

Now, as you can see with this poster on Hollywood Boulevard, in the middle of all the souvenir shops, tattoo parlors and general junk, the French are coming here to Hollywood. Préparez vous ça va déchirer! Get ready for what? That would be these folks (you might want turn off your speakers). We're talking "urban fashion." It seems the young French who dress like scruffy barely-employed American twenty-somethings to make some sort of point in Paris will be selling their version of our own crap here, to us. Go figure.

The poster is sure to confuse the tourists visiting here from Iowa. They may worry this is something political. We worry about the French. We should, of course.

Posted by Alan at 6:26 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink

Saturday, 18 November 2006
At Work on Saturday
Topic: Nature and Botanicals
At Work on Saturday
Someone out here in Hollywood is working on Saturday morning…

Close-Up of common bee…

Posted by Alan at 2:24 PM PST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Friday, 17 November 2006
How We Know What We Know
Topic: Insider Stuff
How We Know What We Know
What passes for epistemology on Hollywood Boulevard -

Fortune Teller Booth, Ripley's Odditorium, Hollywood Boulevard




















Psychic, Hollywood Boulevard

Posted by Alan at 7:10 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink

Thursday, 16 November 2006
Autumn Light
Topic: Light and Shadow
Autumn Light
Even at noon, the autumn light is long - the sun isn't right overhead at this time of year. You get good shadows and odd backlighting. Below, Manhattan Beach, just south of LAX, late October -

 Manhattan Beach (Los Angeles) late October




















 Manhattan Beach Pier (Los Angeles) late October

Posted by Alan at 5:53 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, 15 November 2006
Topic: Architectural Notes

Frieze detailing, Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Boulevard, 1929, architect Leland A. BryantMid-November in Los Angeles is, often, when you get those incredibly clear days - the deep blue skies and warm, relentless sun, and a light breeze. And you get long shadows by mid-afternoon. The sun is low in the sky. Winter is on the way, the kind we have out here. It may be eighty a few hours after noon, but Orion will work his way up over the Hollywood Sign after midnight, and night is desert cold.

You can see why the movie industry ended up here. The light is good. It's better than good.

The shadows here are on the frieze detailing of the Sunset Tower Hotel, the Zigzag Moderne icon smack in the middle of the Sunset Strip (8358 Sunset Boulevard) - 1929, architect Leland A. Bryant. It's very famous, in a good number of films, and once home to Howard Hughes, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard, Zasu Pitts, and that famous gangster with the great name, Bugsy Siegel. It seems everyone lived there. The link will tell you more.

I've photographed this building before, as in these recent long shots. Earlier, less polished shots were posted here and here. There may be more. At night the thing is floodlighted and looks like a wedding cake. Photographing that will be a challenge - all evening the Strip is jammed with club goers and kids from all over cruising in their cars, with police everywhere. Walking down with the camera bag and tripod and setting up would be a asking for trouble. This is the "winter series."

In any event, these images provide a sense of how the world was in Hollywood's Golden Age, just before the market crash and the Depression. The world was full of wonder. Then it wasn't.




Frieze detailing, Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Boulevard, 1929, architect Leland A. Bryant














Frieze detailing, Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Boulevard, 1929, architect Leland A. Bryant














Frieze detailing, Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Boulevard, 1929, architect Leland A. Bryant














Frieze detailing, Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Boulevard, 1929, architect Leland A. Bryant

















Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Boulevard, 1929, architect Leland A. Bryant

Posted by Alan at 6:57 PM PST | Post Comment | Permalink

Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006 7:05 PM PST

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