Singer Amy May at Santa Monica 3rd St. Promenade

Santa Monica 3rd St Promenade

Amy May singing for the public at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Promenade on 3rd Street is lined with shops, restaurants and some very talented people. Amy May is one of those street performers that always draws a large crowd.

I don’t head out to Santa Monica too often, most of the photos taken in this area for SoCalDailyPhoto is Nacho, but not this time! With my camera in hand, I was ready to capture something cool.

But wait I wasn’t alone, Nacho met up with me after he got off work and we went on a short photo walk that included the park along Ocean Ave and the famous Santa Monica Pier.

The crowds were unusually large, not sure if it was the nice weather or due to spring break. Not only was the pier packed, so was the beach itself.

The highlight of the day was listening to Amy May. I’ve added a second photo below. Can you guess why I didn’t add it as the main photo? Yup, the eyes were closed. It seemed she likes singing with her eyes closed, most of the photos I took of her were this way. Oh well, maybe next time.
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Seagulls at Huntington Beach Pier Love To People Watch

Huntington Beach

Seagull doing a little people watching at the Huntington Beach Pier

Seagulls are a dime a dozen in Huntington Beach, as are pelicans. Most would think they’re out looking for food, which is probably true. But when they’re not, it’s all about keeping an eye on the people walking around.

Most people overlook them as they fly by or sit on a rail. Yet, I’m sure they are well aware of us. This one had his/her eye on me for a while. As far as seagulls go, this one looked pretty good, unlike one I shared two years ago. That one hopped around in one leg!

Although a few people do like the larger birds, as I shared earlier this year here and here.

Now for the photo specs. I shot this photo at f/5, 1/2000 sec, ISO-200 and a focal length of 120mm. I was using my Nikon D7000 and 80-200mm 2.8 AF-D lens. Some of you might wonder why I didn’t shoot wide open at 2.8, well in this situation I really didn’t need it. The background was so far away that at f/5 I was still able to blur it out. At 2.8 it’s overkill.

Here’s a tip, when shooting any type of bird in daylight, flying or standing still, use a high shutter speed. If you have a long lens and the subject is very far away then use a shutter speed at least 3x the focal length. I went much more than 3x, but that was only because I had enough available light to do so, otherwise 1/1000 of sec would have been ok.

Kite Party returned to Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach

2013 Kite Party 11 in Huntington Beach

Once again the Kite Connection store in Huntington Beach hosted a very large Kite Party on the south side of the pier. I was there for a few hours watching several of the kite pro’s perform their routines and it was so incredible. Like the large kite above, I was left in awe!

Every year the Kite Party keeps getting more and more popular. Kite pros and teams from around the country would choreograph shows synchronized to music. All this took place in special cornered off sections of the beach. Then everywhere else, you could see regular beach visitors flying their own kites. It was a cool scene.

I know I normally only post one photo, but today I’ll be sharing several pictures from the Kite Party. I didn’t get the names of the teams, sorry. But I did manage to capture a short video of one of the teams performing a routine.(See end of article)

With so much wind, capturing the event on video is a little challenging. There is wind noise towards the end of the video.

Plus I was hand holding my Nikon D7000, which of course wouldn’t make it very stable. But I did the best I could at the time. It was still some really fun stuff to watch!

If you have a fast connection, view the Kite Party 2013 video in full screen and at the highest resolution. I only uploaded the 720p version, but it should still look nice on your monitor. And turn up the volume to hear the music!

Man uses jacket to create outdoor office in Long Beach

Funny laptop viewing setup

Man uses jacket to create his own outdoor “office” in Long Beach!

I was taking a walk along Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach when I noticed this man sitting with a brown jacket draped over his head. Initially, I thought it was part of some act or a movie/photo shoot. Nope, it was a guy using it so he could view his laptop outdoors. Yes, that’s a laptop under there!

This area is a tourist spot, located next to the Aquarium, so there were lots of people walking by puzzled at what he was doing. I walked away and 20 minutes later when I passed him again, yes, he was still there.

I wonder what was so important to see on that laptop? I have a few theories:

  • He won the lottery and was trying to hide it from his family?
  • He misunderstood his boss when told to work “out on the field”.
  • He was a spy from another country and this was a technique taught at “Covert Operations 101”.
  • He was updating his Facebook account.
  • He was writing a blog post on how to create your own office outdoors.

Whatever he was doing, it was important enough for him to forget his left sock. I just hope he wasn’t using it as a sock puppet with his left hand, I’d be upset at myself for not waiting longer to take a picture of that!

Sometimes people do the funniest things.

It’s a beach cruiser type of day in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach

At 77 degrees, it’s a beach cruiser type of a day in Huntington Beach

Beach cruisers are a dime a dozen in Huntington Beach. People riding, parking and yes someone taking pictures of them (me!). This one was locked up to the rails on the south facing side of the pier. It caught my attention because it had the same color combination as our SoCalDailyPhoto logo!

Summer has come a little early to southern California, it was 80 degrees yesterday and today expected to be at least 77 at the beach. It’s not the high season yet, so parking is plentiful, but in the summer you really need one of these. Often most of the parking is taken by the early mornings or you’ll need to walk far to reach the beach. These bike cruisers are just part of life in Huntington Beach.

If you’re a tourist and visiting the area, just rent one of them. There’s a place just north of the pier called Zack’s. Then take your time and ride the full span of the beach. But don’t ride it on the pier, bike riding (along with dogs and skateboarding) are not allowed on the pier.

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