Midway through the week, I moved down to a different hostel on Hermosa Beach. In planning, I'd decided that maybe splitting my time between the inner city and the beach would be a good idea as it would minimize travel time for what I wanted to shoot. In hindsight, this was more true than I realized. Having a hostel literally a stone's throw from the beach meant I could shoot past dark and before sunrise with minimal inconvenience, something that would've been a lot harder (and probably more costly) had I stayed downtown.
That being said, there's still people and I got a handful of street shots. They're all black and white, as usual. *shrugs*
The last morning I had in L.A., I got up about an hour before sunrise. It was two days away from a full moon, and moonset was about 5:15 a.m. I wanted to shoot the moon setting on the ocean, and then be up to shoot sunrise on the beach. I really love shooting at sunrise; I'm almost never disappointed with the shots I get. But it's tough to get up for. I'm not a morning person, and it's harder when you're in a dorm room and your room mates didn't come back from partying until about three in the morning. Typically I aim to be up for about three sunrises a week, but in reality, I'm lucky if I'm motivated enough when the alarm goes off to just get one.
It was tricky to shoot, and I ended up with some unexpected atmospheric diffraction, and I really wish I had an extender or a longer lens with me, but lessons learned for next time. Sunrise was worth it anyway.
The number of times I got soaked by an unexpected wave is a little bit embarrassing to admit. My 70-200mm lens (which was only used in the last 24 hours I shot; everything else on this trip was taken on my Sigma 35mm) got a nice dousing. My tripod ended up soaked from the top leg segment down on multiple occasions. I somehow managed to get my tripod head wet enough that when I hadn't noticed until a week later, there was enough salt residue to jam the quick-release mechanism. There's a nice white crusting of dried ocean water on my gear backpack. In short: I take terrible care of my gear. But I got some shots, and really, everything is still performing as I need it to. Shoutout to quality gear that can take a beating. The black and white shot below shows my retreating footprints from where I had been shooting closer to the water's edge.
Roughly ten minutes before sunrise + Sigma 35mm Art + 1.5 minutes + Lee 10 Stop ND + BW conversion and tweaks and we get:
(Post title credit again to 30 Seconds To Mars - City of Angels)
(Also I'll probably throw up a bonus part with some of my film stuff from this trip once it's processed, so stay tuned!)