Have you played Grand Theft Auto? have you walked around and noticed a random Pier, crazy amount of people and an amazing looking beach? well yep that's Santa Monica/Venice Beach and it is exactly as it looks..Well you just can't drive that car along the beach!
Either of these two locations are a photographers dream, if I had enough time I could have focused on a few portraits - the characters alongside the beach, the streets and in town. Otherwise any sunset or sunrise, winter or summer is a eyesight never to forget.
Id advise you to not bring any large camera equipment and just enjoy every second of it, try some film - my 35mm got lost during airport trips!! if only I had that
Go an enjoy the local BBALL on display, grab a large pizza and take some time away - because Yosemite is 10hours away, Palm Springs is 4hours away and of course Disneyland is only 45mins away! enjoy the time off and watch the sky go from pink and blue
Where did we stay? Little AIRBNB down the road, only about 10-20min drive from Santa Monica Pier. Spent most of the time around LA, for those seeking the typical GTA5 experience? well Santa Monica and Venice is basically the main part of that
Did you ride a bike? Hell yeah! go do that shit - enjoy every second of it - unless you go in Winter and you wear crocs...dont wear Crocs!!!
Did you take your drone? Dont make me sad! if only I could take a Phantom 4 Pro on the flight, if it fit - yes! I would have but no, sadly I did not. However Santa Monica and Venice Beach are no fly zone as there are about 2 Airports and a few Helipads near by (being only minutes away from LAX and of course Hollywood) few other tourists and locals did fly the drone, and we did watch local police hunt down for the Mavic Pro that flew past. So if you do take your drone! be smart, grab the shot and runnnnnnnn forest run!!!
What did we eat? Some of the finest pasta I have ever had! but defiantly some cheap as Burritos near by
Crowd Control? if youre not a fan of busy locations, avoid Venice Beach - and I mean avoid. A total safe area, and of course as any local will say. LA is sketchy AF! Venice Beach can get a little touchy, had a random guy yell in my face for walking...as you do sir!
Best View? Sunset or sunrise near the Santa Monica Pier! watch as Malibu and the surrounding mountain ranges turn pink as the sun rises or sets! or sunset while watching the skaters in Venice Beach
Morning or Night? If you want the pink sky? defintely the afternoon, if you want the non busy beaches go in the morning but watch out for the homeless as they do take refuge on the sand at night. Within 2-5hours the entire beach is covered in tourists! seek alternative route
What gear did you have on you? as always Canon 1DX MKII / Canon 50mm 1.2 / Canon 24-70mm 2.8 / Canon 70-200mm 2.8 / Rolleiflex - kind of wish I had a smaller camera in LA, felt safer in NYC!