West Coast Aerial Photography Blog

 

The Breeders Cup Horse Races were held at the Santa Anita Race Track last weekend. We were there and managed to photograph one of the races. Turns out that it was the Juvenile race won by Shanghai Bobby, ridden by Rosie Napravnik who is only the second female jockey to win a Breeders Cup race. These aerial photographs show both the start of the race and just as they cross the finish line. It was pretty exciting to see, even from the airplane.

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NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour made it's final flight over Los Angeles yesterday.  It departed from Edwards AFB , flying over the Lockeed Martin's Skunk works in Palmdale, where we were waiting to photograph it.  After flying over the Bay Area it came into Los Angeles flying over all the landmarks before landing at LAX.  Most of the airspace was off limites for any other airplanes, except over the Port of Long Beach, which put us in a good postion to see the Endeavour flying over the Queen Mary and the USS Iowa.  What an impressive sight from the air.  Here are some photographs over Palmdale and Long Beach.

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Space Shuttle Endeavour over the ocean in Long Beach, CA.

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California is the ideal place to fly, with great weather and beautiful scenery.  Within a few hours you have the divrsity of the ocean, the mountains, rivers and lakes, the desert and sand dunes.   Over the years I have collected of group of images that look more like paintings and modern art then photographs.  Here is the gallery of my "Aerial Art".  This first photograph from the San Luis Reservoir in Central California.

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Saturday was a beautiful day with hugh crowds and good surf for the "US Open of Surfing" in Huntington Beach.  Also happening on the sand was the "Converse Coastal Carnage"  pro/am skateboarding competition.   Here are some aerial photographs of the events and of the incredible beaches we have in Southern California.

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Most of my aerial photography work is in California, but last week I was fortunate to be working in Oahu, Hawaii.  I rented an airplane out of Honolulu and flew around the island while on the way to my photo site.  The first thing you fly over is Waikiki with all the high rise hotels and traffic.  However, once you pass Diamond Head and go up to the North Shore, the true beauty of the island appears.  The clear blue ocean and white sand beaches against the lush green mountains is an incredible view. We ended the flight over Pearl Harbor with the Arizona Memorial, and just before the 4th of July, it was a sobering, but proud, experience.  To recover from all this hard work, the next day was spent in the ocean.  Here are some aerial photographs of Hawaii with this first one  of the North West corner of Oahu only accesible by dirt roads.

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The LA King's win in the Stanley Cup was celebrated with a big parade in Downtown Los Angeles, which ended at the Staples Center.  There were a lot of fans out celebrating with the team.  You can see one of the LA Kings holding the Stanley Cup on the semi truck in the second picture. 

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The weather for Memorial Day was spectacular and it looked like many people took advantage of it.  The cemeteries were packed with people paying their respects to fallen soldiers.  There is a powerful tribute right next to the Santa Monica pier, called Arlington West.  It is composed of crosses for soldiers that have died during the recent wars.  Here is a gallery of  aerial photographs from the National Cemetery in West Los Angeles and from the Santa Monica beach.

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The Amgen Tour of California is one of the most important professional bike races in the United States. This year it started up in Santa Rosa, through Central California and the finish was at the Staples Center, LA Live after 5 laps around downtown. It is a lot of fun following the cyclists around all the downtown buildings and they look really fast even from the air!!! Here are a few pictures during the last few laps of the race.

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There is something very magical about flying over Los Angeles at night. With so many colorful lights, it's hard not to fly around and explore. This first picture and gallery are of night operations at the Port of Los Angeles. The next picture is looking at the activity at LAX and the gallery has other nighttime city pictures..

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Yesterday was opening day for the Dodgers, which was on the 50th Anniversary of Major League Baseball being played at Dodger Stadium. With new owners for the Dodgers, including Magic Johnson, this should be an exciting season. Here is an aerial view of 2 F-18 flying over just after the National Anthem performed by the Beach Boys.

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