Santa Monica Pier
Route 66 crosses the country from Chicago to Los Angeles where it ends at Santa Monica on the coast. The pavement ends at the end of the Santa Monica Pier. The pier is wide enough to hold an amusement park. For a great vantage point for a panoramic photo stretching from Malibu to Venice Beach, take a ride on their ferris wheel, The world’s only solar-powered ferris wheel. It stands next to a roller coaster and a carousel with 44 wooden horses under the cover of the historic Hippodrome.
Visit southern California in the winter and you can find famous surfing beaches, wildlife refuges, state parks, county parks, city parks, and lighthouses without the crowds. Rent a bike and ride the paved 22-mile trail along the edge of the sea. Read my issue #121 - California's Southern Coast, from Santa Maria to San Diego, for all the details photographers need.
Just west of Cody, Wyoming, is one of my favorite locations for photographing Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. In early November all the bighorns in the mountains around Yellowstone National Park come down from the deep snow in the Absaroka/Beartooth Wilderness area. With care, you can approach them as they graze along the Shoshone River. Drive scenic Highway 291 along the South Fork into the foothills to photograph scenic winter scenes, large groups of bighorn sheep and bison.
Photograph America Newsletter issue #108 - Wyoming Bighorn in Winter includes a list of hotels in Cody and recommends the necessary winter gear for this trip.
Filbert Street, San Francisco
Two blocks south of Lombard St., San Francisco’s crookedest street in the world, is the steepest street in San Francisco. In the district called Russian Hill, on a tourist-crowded weekend in summer, all the camera-people are busy trying to come up with a new and creative way to capture the corkscrew of Lombard Street. Walk 2 blocks south and turn left onto Filbert Street, too steep for an easy stroll, but worth the effort to find a new image. Half-way down the steep sidewalk, it came to me. What would happen if I tilted my camera?
California, and especially San Francisco, needs the support of tourism. Any time of year you’ll find the right weather for those iconic images you are always looking for. Take the cable-car and get off at Filbert Street to find these leaning buildings.
Photograph America Newsletter issue #109 - San Francisco in the Rain is about photographing SF in the rain. Several sunny days in January spoiled my theme so I walked the streets to find some unusual images.
Apalachicola, Florida, is 75 miles southwest of Tallahachee, Florida, the Capitol of Florida, and the perfect place to fly in for a one-week photo exploration of my favorite part of this state. This river town is near the tip of a peninsula in the Big Bend where the Florida Coast turns west. This coastal village has an interesting mix of Florida and Cape Cod architecture. Weathered ruins of old buildings are scattered among beautifully-restored examples of classic Florida coastal architecture. Walk the scenic streets near the harbor then drive out to the Indian Peninsula where hotels, motels and cafes are plentiful. I stayed overnight at the Boss Oyster, near the river’s edge where oyster boats tie up along Water Street. I wanted to be out at sunrise but thick fog gave me a different image of shrimp boats on the waterfront.
Issue #122 - Florida's Panhandle Coast covers all the great spots for photographers from Tallahassee to Pensacola. You can drive Interstate Ten in 3 hours or take a week to follow Hwy 98 and explore the edge of Florida’s Panhandle Coast.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.