48 Hours in the Southern California Desert

    48 Hours in the Southern California Desert

    During a few free days that I had between my old and new job, I headed out to the desert around Palm Springs, Calif. with friend and fellow photographer Stuart Palley. Our only goal was to get out of Los Angeles, have a bit of an adventure and take lots of photos. We spent the […]

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    Bubble Man Attempts Run to Catalina Island

    Bubble Man Attempts Run to Catalina Island

    Reza Baluchi attempted to be the first person in history to “run” the 28 miles from the California mainland to Catalina Island… As in run across water inside a giant bubble he custom designed. To train, he lived in Death Valley for two years and ran an average of 30 miles per day in the […]

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    2013 Long Beach Grand Prix

    2013 Long Beach Grand Prix

    Last Sunday was the first time I have ever shot any sort of serious motorsport race and I quickly realized that motorsports photography is a whole different beast. I spent the day shooting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which is one of the stops on the IndyCar circuit. It takes place on a […]

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    Space Shuttle Endeavour's Journey Through Los Angeles

    Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Journey Through Los Angeles

    When I said in my last blog post that photographing Endeavour’s fly over of Los Angeles was one of the coolest assignments ever, I take it back. This was the coolest assignment ever and probably one of the most unique things I will ever photograph. I started following it as it rolled off of LAX […]

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    Photographing Carmageddon II

    Photographing Carmageddon II

    Last weekend, all 10 lanes of the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles shut down for construction work for the second time in a little more than a year. This 10-mile stretch of highway is one of the nation’s busiest with an average 250,000 cars passing through it each day. So, when […]

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    Space Shuttle Endeavour Los Angeles Fly Over

    Space Shuttle Endeavour Los Angeles Fly Over

    I was very lucky to witness history last Friday as Space Shuttle Endeavour, strapped to the back of a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, performed low-altitude fly overs of L.A. landmarks before finally landing at LAX. It was the last time the world would ever seen a NASA space shuttle in any form of flight. […]

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    48 Hours in the Southern California Desert

    During a few free days that I had between my old and new job, I headed out to the desert around Palm Springs, Calif. with friend and fellow photographer Stuart Palley. Our only goal was to get out of Los Angeles, have a bit of an adventure and take lots of photos. We spent the better part of two days exploring the desert around Joshua Tree National Park north of Palm Springs as well as the Salton Sea south of Palm Springs.

    The following photos are just some of the people, places and random desert findings that we encountered along the way:

    Upside down Joshua Tree art in the desert of Yucca Valley California

    Art in the desert in Yucca Valley California

    Interior of Salvation Mountain near Slab City California

    Salvation Mountain with stars at night, Slab City California

    Moon and stars above truck at Salvation Mountain Slab City California

    Pool tables at Pappy and Harriets bar in Yucca Valley California.

    Bombay Beach, Salton Sea resident Deno

    Bombay Beach, Salton Sea resident Deno

    Bombay Beach, Salton Sea resident Deno“People think there is no life in the desert,” said longtime Bombay Beach resident Deno, who lives next to the Salton Sea. “There is plenty of life in the desert.”

    Winding road highway 74 above Palm Desert California

    Bubble Man Attempts Run to Catalina Island

    Reza Baluchi attempted to be the first person in history to “run” the 28 miles from the California mainland to Catalina Island… As in run across water inside a giant bubble he custom designed. To train, he lived in Death Valley for two years and ran an average of 30 miles per day in the heat. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it this time, but will attempt it again in a few weeks. Here are some of my images from his first attempt and you can read my full article here.

    Reza Baluchi Bubbleman Catalina Run

    Reza Baluchi Bubbleman Catalina Run

    Reza Baluchi Bubbleman Catalina Run

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    Reza Baluchi Bubbleman Catalina Run

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    2013 Long Beach Grand Prix

    Last Sunday was the first time I have ever shot any sort of serious motorsport race and I quickly realized that motorsports photography is a whole different beast. I spent the day shooting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which is one of the stops on the IndyCar circuit. It takes place on a track that weaves through the city streets of Long Beach which makes it even more interesting.

    I found the hardest part of shooting motorsports is getting different angles and not getting stuck in one place on the track. That means running all around the 2-mile circuit spanning multiple city blocks, pushing through crowds, getting lost and finding ways to cross the track,  jousting with the 200 other photographers and learning the sometimes crazy restrictions placed on the photographers. I found myself shooting at one far end of the track and then rushing back to the complete opposite end to shoot celebrations.

    The other challenge was somehow showing that these cars were going 200 mph and not just cruising by. I liked what I got, but hope the tricks I learned Sunday will help shoot next year’s race.

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 2013

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 2013

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    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 2013

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 2013

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    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 2013

     

    Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Journey Through Los Angeles

    When I said in my last blog post that photographing Endeavour’s fly over of Los Angeles was one of the coolest assignments ever, I take it back. This was the coolest assignment ever and probably one of the most unique things I will ever photograph.

    I started following it as it rolled off of LAX property early Friday morning around 2:00 a.m. and didn’t really stop from there. In all, it was about 50 hours of work in 2.5 days when you factor in all the wait time and early arrivals to get ahead of the shuttle to stake out positions. It was exciting and worth it though.

    Space shuttle Endeavour made a tedious 12-mile crawl through city streets this weekend from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center near the USC campus.

    With a 78-foot wing span and a tail height of more than 50 feet, you can imagine how measured and coordinated everything had to be. Trees had to be cut down, utility poles removed, power lines raised and large metal plates placed on the streets to keep the 300,000 pounds of weight from crushing the infrastructure underneath. On the narrowest parts of the route, the shuttle’s wing tips came within a credit card’s width of street poles and trees.

    Yet, despite this, the shuttle arrived at its new home Sunday without a single scratch.

    Officials told us that more than 1 million people turned out at some point during the trek to catch a glimpse of what they called a “once-ever” opportunity. The shuttle was the biggest celebrity in Los Angeles.

    To demonstrate that, at one point along the route, actors Robert De Niro and Luke Wilson were standing about 20 feet from us as the shuttle approached a narrow section along Crenshaw Drive. I looked over to a group of people I was standing with and said, “Hey, isn’t that Robert De Niro?” A few of them looked over for a second, said “ooooh, yeah, it is…” then turned straight back to the shuttle and continued taking photos with their cell phones.

    Tell me another time when no one would care that Robert De Niro was standing in their front yard. That is how amazing the experience was for so many people.

    Photographing Carmageddon II

    Last weekend, all 10 lanes of the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles shut down for construction work for the second time in a little more than a year. This 10-mile stretch of highway is one of the nation’s busiest with an average 250,000 cars passing through it each day. So, when you shut that who highway down, worries arise about deadly traffic jams. Thus, the nickname “Carmgeddon.”

    I spent the whole weekend photographing the spectacle and it thankfully didn’t live up to its name. Because nobody really cared about it this year, it was challenging trying to get unique photos of anything besides workers working on a bridge. The challenge was getting a unique angle on everything and escaping the media viewing platform area. Here is what I came up with:

    Space Shuttle Endeavour Los Angeles Fly Over

    I was very lucky to witness history last Friday as Space Shuttle Endeavour, strapped to the back of a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, performed low-altitude fly overs of L.A. landmarks before finally landing at LAX. It was the last time the world would ever seen a NASA space shuttle in any form of flight. As the wheels touched down at LAX, that was pretty much the end of the shuttle program. Very cool to see, but bittersweet at the same time.

    I got to shoot the shuttle from the tarmac at LAX and arrived at around 4 a.m. to stake out a spot. The shuttle didn’t land until close to 1 p.m., so it was a lot of sitting around waiting, but totally worth it. Here are a few of my favorites: