LA Photo Trip

Here is a photo-based story of my recent week in LA where I squeezed in the following: historic sites of Fender (guitars and amplifiers) , Native American Pow-Wows, Joshua Tree Park, Iconic 70s Music Venues featuring bands of today, Venice Beach (skateboard, basketball etc), a building used in the filming of Blade Runner (1) and some other things I hope you find it interesting, informative and at times amusing! 

107 South Harbor Blvd, Fullerton LA. The front of Leo Fender’s former workshop which he used from 1944 until 1951. It was from here that he repaired amplifiers, installed Car Stereo systems and started to build and repair guitars

107 South Harbor Blvd, Fullerton LA. The front of Leo Fender’s former workshop which he used from 1944 until 1951. It was from here that he repaired amplifiers, installed Car Stereo systems and started to build and repair guitars

The rear of Leo Fenders workshop in Fullerton. A mosaic has been added as a tribute to Fender.

The rear of Leo Fenders workshop in Fullerton. A mosaic has been added as a tribute to Fender.

500 South Raymond Avenue, CA. Here is the site where Fender made guitars and amplifiers from 1954 to 1985

500 South Raymond Avenue, CA. Here is the site where Fender made guitars and amplifiers from 1954 to 1985

Pow-wow event. This was also a ‘Veteran day’ event as many Native Americans served in US Forces during WW1/2, Vietnam , Iraq etc. 

Pow-wow event. This was also a ‘Veteran day’ event as many Native Americans served in US Forces during WW1/2, Vietnam , Iraq etc. 

It was a total honour to meet Native Americans. The man here has ancestory going back to Standing Rock.

It was a total honour to meet Native Americans. The man here has ancestory going back to Standing Rock.

I was very surprised to find a Dave from Birmingham UK amongst the dancers! He told me there are groups in the UK who are dedicated to Native American culture and history.  Dave is a brilliant dancer and is now a US resident.

I was very surprised to find a Dave from Birmingham UK amongst the dancers! He told me there are groups in the UK who are dedicated to Native American culture and history.  Dave is a brilliant dancer and is now a US resident.

Walking around the outside of the building I saw this flag behind some window grids and thought it was a very symbolic image of the Native American status.

Walking around the outside of the building I saw this flag behind some window grids and thought it was a very symbolic image of the Native American status.

At the 2nd Pow Wow I attended, the dancing was more energetic and ritualistic. 

At the 2nd Pow Wow I attended, the dancing was more energetic and ritualistic. 

A taste of history

A taste of history

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Having trouble acclimatising to the 8 hour time difference, I wandered out at 3am to paint some light on this vintage bus using my iPhone torch, with my camera on a very long exposure. Can you see me darting around shining the light on different parts? No? The passing night time lorry drivers did and wondered what on earth...

Having trouble acclimatising to the 8 hour time difference, I wandered out at 3am to paint some light on this vintage bus using my iPhone torch, with my camera on a very long exposure. Can you see me darting around shining the light on different parts? No? The passing night time lorry drivers did and wondered what on earth...

Joshua Tree Park. 429,690 acres of protected land, where Native Americans and Gold Diggers once lived/wandered. Amazing scenery, haunting and requiring a healthy respect for potential dangers such as Flash Floods, heat exhaustion by day, hypothermia by night. Rattle Snakes, scorpions, Californian Mountain Lions and occasionally the 'California Black Bear'. People still die here and there is NO mobile coverage. If you are bitten by a Rattler (I heard plenty but we mutually agreed not to meet) you ideally need to be seen within 30 mins. That could go horribly wrong if you are lost. 

Joshua Tree Park. 429,690 acres of protected land, where Native Americans and Gold Diggers once lived/wandered. Amazing scenery, haunting and requiring a healthy respect for potential dangers such as Flash Floods, heat exhaustion by day, hypothermia by night. Rattle Snakes, scorpions, Californian Mountain Lions and occasionally the 'California Black Bear'. People still die here and there is NO mobile coverage. If you are bitten by a Rattler (I heard plenty but we mutually agreed not to meet) you ideally need to be seen within 30 mins. That could go horribly wrong if you are lost. 

Pushing my luck I saw this looming and waited. Maybe a bit longer than I should have as it soon got dark and I had to get back to my car swiftly.

Pushing my luck I saw this looming and waited. Maybe a bit longer than I should have as it soon got dark and I had to get back to my car swiftly.

Firstly, the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), is not a tree. Nor a cactus. It’s a member of the agave family. Secondly the album cover for U2's album of the same name was not taken at Joshua Tree Park, but 200 miles away near Death Valley. Sadly Dutch music-venue manager Guus Van Hove and his German wife Helena Nuellett, died in Joshua Tree Park from heat exhaustion - looking for the album cover tree.

Firstly, the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), is not a tree. Nor a cactus. It’s a member of the agave family.
Secondly the album cover for U2's album of the same name was not taken at Joshua Tree Park, but 200 miles away near Death Valley. Sadly Dutch music-venue manager Guus Van Hove and his German wife Helena Nuellett, died in Joshua Tree Park from heat exhaustion - looking for the album cover tree.

Barker Dam, was created in the park by early cattlemen, including CO Barker, in 1900. Stolen Cattle were often herded into this wilderness until sold in the towns.

Barker Dam, was created in the park by early cattlemen, including CO Barker, in 1900. Stolen Cattle were often herded into this wilderness until sold in the towns.

Another view of the dam.

Another view of the dam.

A desert water trough

A desert water trough

Gold and Oil attracted settlers towards Californian deserts. Much of their machinery and mine shafts can still be seen strewn across the park.

Gold and Oil attracted settlers towards Californian deserts. Much of their machinery and mine shafts can still be seen strewn across the park.

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Petroglyphs left by Native Americans, were not clear enough for a Hollywood film production team so they coloured them in and added to them. Unforgivable.

Petroglyphs left by Native Americans, were not clear enough for a Hollywood film production team so they coloured them in and added to them. Unforgivable.

Back to LA and ‘Downtown’ (is what they call the city centre). I wonder if you can claim if this fell on you? It’s ok my relations have made sure it is v strong.

Back to LA and ‘Downtown’ (is what they call the city centre). I wonder if you can claim if this fell on you? It’s ok my relations have made sure it is v strong.

From The Bradbury Building below, as used in the filming of Blade Runner (1) through iconic music clubs; featuring great young artists, onto Venice Beach, I will let you scroll on without any more waffle from me, other than this great quote I heard in a local country/blues bar near to my motel.
The singer was telling us about an outback club they played where the manager laid some food on for the band, but only had chicken or beef. One of the band was vegetarian and asked if he had any other food, like salad? He replied:
“That ain’t FOOD, that’s what food EATS!”
As a vegetarian myself, even I laughed out loud too and was tempted to use it on the plane home when I was presented with a tiny bowl of green leaves. But thought better of it!  Yee-Haw!
 

Bexhill Photobomb

Whilst taking some photos of Jo and Paul at Bexhill, some ‘skater boys’ were doing their thing nearby. So invitation offered and accepted!

Bexhill Wedding Photography

Brighton Mod Weekender

'Mods Weekender' - an event where hundreds of Mods descend to their spiritual home to celebrate their fashion, scooters and music. I took photos of their gatherings outside the Volksbar and then got a photo pass for the 'Quadrophenia Experience’ hosted by 'Big Screen’, where the film was shown on a 40 meter wide LED screen on the beach'. Towards the end of the film I walked up to Marine Parade to take some ‘aerial’ shots of the film sequences where the West Pier was featured with the West Pier as a backdrop. 
In attendance were Quadrophenia film stars: Gary Shail, Trevor Laird and the film's leading actor Phil Daniels (+ Park Life and Eastenders), who had never attended a public screening of the film before. They held a Q&A after the film. Bands such as Ska Faces, Who’s Next also performed at the event.
The next day I took photos of a scooter ‘rideout’ to Saltdean,
(please do not reproduce without prior written permission, thanks)

Wedding at Manor House Hotel - Guildford

"What happens if it rains?” is a question I get asked very often by couples.

I have not had many weddings where it has rained all day, so you have to bide your time and get out during the breaks. But when there are no breaks!, as in the case on this day, you just have to deal with it. Umbrella romantic walking shots outside and bring out the extra lighting for indoor shots. These days I carry enough lights to achieve excellent group shots of any size indoors. I don’t know how I coped in my early days of Wedding Photography with just one flash light! 
At this wonderful wedding we even did the confetti throw indoors! The staff were happy to get the brooms out afterwards.

However, to make sure Georgina and Charlie did not lose out , I went the extra mile in the evening drizzle to set up remote triggered lights within the structure of the Pagoda and they were happy to leave the dance floor for 10 minutes whilst I got some wonderful evening shots.

 

Wedding at The Haven Hotel, Sandbanks

Sandbanks, with its sunny beaches and home to the rich and famous, was a wonderful location for the wedding of David & Asser.

As David & Asser came through to meet their guests, they were chaperoned by a British dancer of Indian origin, with a jaw-dropping performance. He was dancing on Sting's 'Desert Rose', a fusion of culture between Arabic and English music. That is how to make an entrance!

The ceremony was held in a sea-facing room which is a fantastic backdrop for such an occasion. Afterwards guests moved out to the terrace for canopies and drinks. After the wedding breakfast, guests danced into the night, and as I drove home with my daughter/assistant Georgia we felt we had been privileged to be a part of this special occasion.

 

Rottingdean Windmill in a storm

Long exposure shots during storm over Brighton just after midnight. The first photo (yellow sky) is what the camera saw with no colour shift post-processing at all. The red sky has had some.... artistic licence!

Essex Wedding

Although I am a Sussex based wedding photographer, I am happy to visit other counties, even countries, if a couple want to book me. On this occasion I travelled to Maldon in Essex for Fiona and Stuart’s wedding at Forrester Park Golf Club. I love the cake-cutting shot as it shows how the guest 'photographers' are all part of the day too!
There was real enthusiasm for catching the bouquet which Fiona launched into the Summer evening air so well. A fun-packed wedding and a lovely couple.

Wedding Photography Selsdon Park Hotel

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The wedding of Leanne and (Professional League One footballer) Jermaine took place at St John’s Church and Selsdon Park Hotel. In a way this wedding closed a circle for me, as I took my very first wedding photograph at St John's when I was about 12 years old! A builder who was demolishing a WW2 shelter in our garden was getting married over the weekend, so without telling him, I took my secondhand 60s Kodak Instamatic and grabbed a photo when the couple exited the church! I was in the Scouts and in the choir at this church, so have always wanted to photograph a wedding at my old local church St John’s, so that box has now been ticked. As you can see from the scanned copy of the print here, it has faded quite a lot over the years!  
What was different about the exit of the church in 2017 is that the wedding party burst into spontaneous dancing in pure joy and celebration. A really fun couple to photograph and working around a very bright sun, we got some wonderful images of their fantastic day.