Santa Monica California

It’s a hot summer day in July, the beginning of a rare heat wave for the Los Angeles area and it’s about 80 degrees outside. This being the 5th of July it seems lots of people are off from work and enjoying the beach in hopes of cooling down from the heat. The world-famous Santa Monica Pier is packed with people waiting to get into partaking in the activities available on the pier.

As I walk down the pier looking for the best spot to take pictures a few things catch my eye. First I see a sign for the famous Route 66. I learned that the Santa Monica Pier was the “End of the Trail” for this road that once was a major artery of the United States running from Chicago all the way to Santa Monica.

Route 66 - End of the Trail
Route 66 – End of the Trail on the Santa Monica Pier

The Entertainment

Also while on the pier lots of entertainment was to be found. I found this Chiwawa all dressed up for Breast Cancer Awareness and several musicians and one-man bands. The pier really is the heart of the vibrant bustling suburb of Los Angeles. I snapped a few pictures of these activities before and after the sunset, all while looking for the perfect place to take pictures of the sunset.

Sweet Chiwawa representing Breast Cancer awareness.
Sweet Chiwawa representing Breast Cancer awareness.
Just a one-man band playing music on the Santa Monica Pier
Just a one-man band playing music on the Santa Monica Pier

Capturing the Santa Monica Pier

I finally decide the best place to capture an image of the sunset is from the south side (left as you walk onto the pier). Thinking that the roller coaster and the Ferris wheel make the perfect foreground to the sunset. I set up my tripod and grab a few pictures, I’m happy with the results and keep going.

The amazing Santa Monica Pier viewed with the sun setting through the roller coaster
The amazing Santa Monica Pier viewed with the sun setting through the roller coaster

Capturing the day

Knowing the sun couldn’t be seen from the south side of the pier, I grab my camera and start walking. I get to under the pier and see all of the people playing in the water, while I’m surrounded by the darkness under the pier itself. I take a few more steps forward to get the perfect framing of the pier making a natural border for my image. With all of the people and the sun just barely peeking over the Californian Hills I snap several pictures. When I get to look at the pictures, I cannot believe how amazing this one turned out. It really did an amazing job of capturing the day, the atmosphere, and spirit of Santa Monica.

Watching the people playing in the surf from under the Santa Monica pier at sunset
Watching the people playing in the surf from under the Santa Monica pier at sunset

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