Photography locations in vicinity of Marina del Rey, CA

Discussion in 'Travel' started by greg_karnaze, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. I'm going to be attending a meeting in Marina del Rey from Oct 31st - Nov 2nd. On Friday the 31st I'm arriving early and would have from
    about 9 AM until sunset for photography. I'll have a rental car. Suggestions? Landscape/nature preferred.

    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  2. To clarify, Marina del Rey (MDR) is essentially "L.A.", where you always have a long traffic jam to fight before arriving
    at any meaninful landscape or nature destination.

    You could, however, try some sunset shots by the beach; at this time of the year the smog can produce some
    interesting tones. You can do this right in MDR, and you might try renting a bike and riding along the coast, either
    south towards the Palos Verdes penninsula (that's a nice haul) or north towards Malibu (but that trip is not bike path
    the whole way...you ultimately wind up on the 1 highway [PCH]).

    With a short drive, you can arrive to a number of hikes in the "foothills" between the L.A. basin (Santa Monica, West
    LA) and "the valley" (SF Valley), with trails such as Temescal, Will Rogers, Mandeville, Boney Ridge, etc etc. Of
    these, Temescal offers probably the best views...but again, usually pretty smoggy (lately, lots of fog in the mornings)
    and not purely "landscape".

    At .5 to 1.5 hours in a car (depending on traffic--the 405 is a constant jam--REALLY bad), you might come down to
    Palos Verdes or Laguna (with a lot of crap inbetween) for quasi nature. Don't bother with San Diego.

    For longer trips (a few to several hours each way), you have the chance to see some of California's natural greatness.
    It is too much to elaborate on here, but here is my shortlist, limited to what is really valuable at this time of year (vs.
    Spring): Joshua Tree, San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, Mt. Whitney, Death Valley, Yosemite. See my portfolio here on
    PN for examples.

    In short, the further you travel, the better it gets, and north is by far better than south. East can be good. But since
    your trip is so short, I would recommend the bike ride along the coast and next time allow more time for a proper
    California landscape exploration--do this in Spring.
     
  3. Where are you flying in to? LAX is quite close to Marina del Rey, with potential for Palos Verdes or even Bolsa Chica to the south. There is also the potential for going into the Malibu and Santa Monica Mountains areas. I live quite a ways to the east so cant tell you what you might find seasonally. There is a state park area at the mouth of the Malibu Creek which is signed as wildlife viewing - may be some waterfowl, maybe migrants and locals. Flying in via Burbank isn't too, too far from the Marina area and as you would be coming from the San Fernando Valley area, then some of the Santa Monica Mountain areas might be worth considering. Bolsa Chica and Palos Verdes would be less convenient. If coming into Orange County or Ontario, then other suggestion might be worthwhile. Friday traffic can be brutal, with Halloween, there may be more intense later afternoon traffic.
     
  4. Ah yes, that's Friday...DEFINITELY don't waste your time in a car at any hour that day...stay on foot or bike by the beach.
    You will literally travel faster by bike than by car unless perhaps you are out of physical condition--this is NOT an
    exaggeration.
     
  5. Google Map

    If you could get a bike, you can bike alittle north to Venice Beach and do some street photography. Go a little farther and you'll be at Santa Monica Pier.

    If you are into film, A & I is in the area.
     
  6. I'm not sure what the facilities or level of activity is at the Ballona Wetlands for birding. That's essentially between
    Marina del Rey and LAX. Malibu is a short drive past Santa Monica. Driving back south in the late afternoon
    wouldn't be too awful. Driving north back from Bolsa Chica could be. The 405 and 10 get very heavy in both
    directions. "Rush" hour on either is best avoided so you don't want to get too far out. West Hollywood is a major
    Halloween destination and surface street traffic in the area can be bad as well as freeways.

    You might want to consider the Getty Museum in Pacific Palisades if something other than pure landscapes/nature
    is an option. Stunning architecture, good views, interesting exhibits and gardens.

    One thing that can be a problem if you go up too far on PCH into Malibu or into the Santa Monica Mountains area is
    it's still fire season. Any kind of incident might radically change road conditions and close PCH or any of the canyon
    roads.
     
  7. Get out of the city. Go north along highway one to Pt Dume, getting good views of the coast along the way. Then go up into the Santa Monica Mountains. But if it's the city you want, you'll be very close to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, & West Hollywood. Either way, there's a lot of variety close to Marina del Rey.
     

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