Back to Riverside

Oranges, great hikes, fun downtown and the craziest Mexican restaurant ever

We’re back to Riverside on the newest #Photowalk video, episode #58, where I’m joined by fellow photographer Steve Brazill and behind the scenes by long-time pal Scott Heath.

Riverside, to those who don’t know, is a Los Angeles bedroom community in-between Downtown Los Angeles and Palm Springs, with more affordable housing, desert lifestyle, great hikes, snow capped mountains, a cool downtown and four main selling points:

-—The historic Mission Inn, the hotel that, as you probably recall, is home to the great free annual Christmas light show, which we told you about a few weeks ago.

—The Fox Theater, where “Gone with the Wind” first screened back in 1939.

—The birthplace of the Navel Orange, celebrated with a local citrus park, and streets named after various citrus.

Tio’s Tacos, simply the craziest Mexican restaurant anywhere, with folk and junk art in every nook and cranny. It’s photography eye candy at its finest—and home to some fine fajitas too!

Steve, who is a local rock and roll photographer, shot some great portraits of me in a Riverside alley, with a Fender Telecaster strapped around my neck. I, in turn, dragged him (and Scott) up to Mount Rubidoux, where I got a killer scenic of the area.

Steve hosts a podcast called Behind the Shot, in which he interviews photographers about specific photos. I’m a guest on this week’s edition, talkin’ Mount Rubidoux. Please watch and listen!

Tweet of the Week

People on social media seemed to be enamored this week with my close encounters with pelicans in Redondo Beach. I met up with the fascinating bird during my #Photowalk of Redondo with my mom, Judy.

It’s a very special episode, currently being finished, and will debut next week. How many of you have done walking photo tours with your mom?


Don’t miss it.

Guitar Heaven!

I’m in Anaheim today at the NAMM Show, which stands for the National Association of Musical Merchandisers, a.k.a, music shops. For me, it’s the world’s biggest music store. If you’re there too, seek me out. Let’s jam!

I can’t wait to see all those guitars!

So on that note (the cliche works here!) I’ve gotta run and head off to Anaheim.

Thanks again everyone for watching, reading and listening.

Don’t forget to share the newsletter with everyone you know, tell your friends, click the HEART button and/or reply and let me know what’s on your mind.


Waking up early is worth it for color

A huge difference in just one hour

My friend Elaine thinks I’m crazy.

“Don’t you ever sleep in?” she asks.

Others have posed similar questions and continued to question my sanity.

To them, I think the following pictures explain it all.

The colors that pop up pre-sunrise are magical, and all happen so fast. Who needs sleep when the world’s great free light show is outside, just awaiting your eyes? (You can sleep when you’re dead, right?)

Spurred on by my friend Chris MacAskill, I set out this morning to show the difference 15 minute increments can make. I surprised even myself by the results. Here’s the moon, sky and Redondo Beach Pier in California, at 6:30, 6:45, 7 and 7:15 am. What do you think?

I shot a timelapse of this sequence which I will share soon when the Redondo Beach Photowalk video is edited and posted. Promo pitch: you not only see great colors appear from the sky, but also get to watch the moon fall over the Pier.

Meanwhile, what happened in Redondo wasn’t an out of the ordinary happening. Look at Pasadena City Hall, 15 minutes apart, on a recent timelapse morning.

I invite you to watch colors in real time on our Pasadena timelapse video below.

And finally, look at the difference between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. at the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Believe it now? Who’s up for waking up and getting out the door at the crack of dawn? Come join me!

Tweets of the week

I was a little getting out my Auld Lang Syne. Will you forgive me? Thanks Anthony Quintano for visiting and getting a less static shot than usual!

Gibson guitars has a new “Gibson TV” YouTube channel where notables show off their first Gibson guitar. I watched this week a wonderfully produced video with comedian Jeff Garlin showing his beautiful J-45 acoustic, but the video has one huge, mega problem. Garlin never plays a note. Or a chord.

Gibson, just letting you know, I’ve been a proud owner since the teen years, with my beloved ES-175, which pre-dates the wife, son, journalism career. And as everyone knows, I will gladly play it for you. Any time, any place!

Photowalking with Friends

Did you catch my guest post this week for Scott Kelby’s blog? I wrote about my favorite subject: Photowalking with pals.

And speaking of friends:

The Riverside Photowalk with Steve Brazill (thanks Scott Heath!) debuts Thursday, along with my appearance on Steve’s Behind the Shot podcast, where we’ll discuss one of my photos from the Riverside shoot.

And then next up: Redondo Beach with Judy Graham, who you all know, is my beloved mom. And to answer the expected question, no, she wasn’t out with me at 6:30 to catch the sunrise, but we did do the sunset! And the Glass Bottom Boat too.

Two great new ones to kick off the new year. I hope you’ll watch!

In the meantime, catch up on ones you may have missed and check out the online galleries!


Photo website:

Twitter/Instagram: @jeffersongraham

Thanks for reading, watching and listening! Don’t forget to let me know if you enjoyed today’s newsletter with a HEART or reply, share with all your friends and I’ll be back to you later in the week.


The last sunset and first one too

Photowalk: goodbye 2019, hello 2020

Hello again, and another happy new year!

One of the joys of living in the Los Angeles area is our winters, which produce the clearest skies and most colorful sunsets of the year. We actually get weather in the winter, with cooler temps and rainclouds. It Makes for dramatic photos.

So after night after night of recent killer sunsets, I was intrigued to head down to the sands of Manhattan Beach and Photowalk the final one of the year, the last sunset of the decade on 12/31/19 between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.

In the above video, you can see the action for yourself. It was one of those magical nights that brought out hundreds of people to witness history. Be sure to catch the cool timelapse of day turning to night from Manhattan Beach at 01:45.

Directly below, a sunset and post sunset shot from 12/31/19. What do you think? (I love seeing the Manhattan Beach Pier Roundhouse lit up with holiday lights. They make such cool water reflections.)

My favorite winter 2019 sunset was actually from mid-December, the shot that’s hanging on my friend Julie’s wall at work.

Meanwhile, what of 1/1/2020? For this afternoon, we were in Redondo Beach, and happened to catch an award-winner, that came in and out within about ten minutes. Sorry 12/31/19, but 1/1/2020 topped it, hands down.

It started just standard, big yellow sun dropping into the water, and then, the clouds took on super-natural colors that engulfed the sky.

Tweet of the week

I’m still plugging my “Friends” edition of the best of 2019 Photowalks videos.

Nice highlight reel below. Thanks again to Josh, Steve, Jan, et. all for Photowalking with me in 2019! If you haven’t caught the video yet, please do me a favor and check it out.

I can’t wait to catch the sunset tonight. How about you? In the South Bay area of Los Angeles, it’s scheduled for 4:56 p.m. See you there?

Thanks again for reading the newsletter. Don’t forget to tell all your friends to subscribe!

See you on the next Photowalk


New Year's Photowalk edition

Making new friends and reuniting with old ones

Happy new year everyone!

As is the custom with many folks at this time of the year, one of my favorite things to do is making a compilation reel of Photowalk highlights from 2019.

I call it the “Friends edition,” because that’s what it is.

The big trend for us in 2019: making new friends and reuniting with old ones on Photowalks. Thank you Josh, Christine, Jan, Jose, Klaus, Kirstin and Kristin, Jessica, Bob and Marla, Tanjareen, Dave, Anthony, Steve, Ginger, Rabbi Kalev, Patricia, Sharon and Christian for joining us on (camera) for these travel photography adventures. Off camera there was Tony, Ruth, Robin, Scott and Sean.

As I note in the video above (please watch!) these Photowalks are a great way to get out of the car and see the world around you.

You notice things when your camera eye is open that you just don’t other times, like big and little details, buildings and people that seem way more interesting than when you’re soaring past at 20 or 30 MPH. And when you get another photographer by your side, instead of your two eyes, you’ve got four of them on the case. The enthusiasm is infectious and just makes for a great day.

Thank you Scott Heath for the amazing photo from Riverside, of myself with Steve Brazill at the end of our recent Photowalk day. This about says it all. (From the next Photowalk video—look for it in mid-January!)

Our top ten most watched Photowalk videos of 2019: 

1. Morro Bay (thank you Ginger)

2. San Pedro

3. Newport, Oregon (thank you Sharon)

4. Silverlake (thank you Christine)

5. Photographing Las Vegas

6. Catalina (thank you locals!)

7. Dana Point (thank you Jan)

8. Griffith Observatory (thank you Robin!)

9. Oahu

10. Marina del Rey (thank you Kirstin.)

This is 2020—where’s next?

Here’s the wish list: completing our empty spots on the classic California beach route, from Manhattan Beach to Dana Point. That would be Long Beach to the south, Malibu and Ventura to the north.

But we’ll begin first with lush Hilo, the garden jewel of the Big Island of Hawaii. which is a given–we’ll be there in mid-January, edit Riverside and get that posted and than explore more of #SoCal.

Where would you like to see us go? I’m all ears. @jeffersongraham on Twitter.

Tweet(s) of the week

We loved checking out the roses at the Fiesta Parade Float facility again, 36 hours before the start of the big parade. And doing a short little guitar tribute to the late, great Broadway composer, Jerry Herman.

Instagram of the week

We’ve got a hole waiting to be filled. Are there are any good New year’s sales perhaps?

This is what I look at while at my desk typing away on the Mac. Makes it hard to concentrate. Which one to play? And how to fill the hole by my side. Shop with me? Strat? Les Paul? Gibson ES-175? Johnny Smith edition? Or all? What say you?
December 28, 2019

Thanks as always for watching, reading and listening in 2019—happy new year everyone! And auld lang syne too!

If you enjoyed today’s edition, please click the HEART button to like it, or reply and tell me directly. Spread the word, subscribe, tell your friends, etc. And have fun watching the big parade!


More from Pasadena: Fiesta floats

Split peas and almonds as well as roses!

Last week we brought you a Photowalk of Pasadena, California. All eyes are set to focus on the L.A. suburb for New Year’s Day and the big Tournament of Roses parade and Rose Bowl football game.

This week, we’re diving head first into the Parade. My friend Stefan Pollack invited me to beautiful Irwindale, California, for a sneak Photowalk peek at the Fiesta Parade Floats facility, to see them as they get built.

Like I would turn that one down?

What I expected: to see tons and tons of roses being assembled onto floats. It is the Rose Parade after all.

Reality check: the roses get put on at the last minute. The floats are made out of wood, and adorned with spices, nuts, seeds, bark, fruits and vegetables. “We wouldn’t want to call it the split pea parade,” I was told during my visit to Fiesta. But the reality is, as you’ll discover in the video, is that a whole lot of other ingredients make up the majority of the floats.

Take a look at the photo directly below, and you’ll see some pretty prominent peas in those eyes. Again, the beauty of a Photowalk. You notice things you never really focused on before. Or at least I do!

At Fiesta, some 11 floats were being assembled, for such sponsors as Chipotle, UPS Store and Northwestern Mutual. All told, there will be 39 floats in the parade.

It’s a little late for volunteering to help assemble the floats, but for next year, here’s a link:

Gallery: More photos here

Blog post: More info.

The parade starts at 8 a.m. PT on January 1, 2020 and will attract thousands of visitors to Pasadena. And speaking of the City of Roses….

ICYMI: Our Photowalk of Pasadena

I’m joined by my pal Dave Basulto, the inventor of the iOgrapher smartphone/tablet mobile filmmaking tool as we embark down the parade route, in search of Pasadena’s top photo spots.

Back to the beach

Our most popular photo on social media this week—it’s the Pier! Again.

What’s different? The rain brought water all the way underneath for a look I hadn’t seen before. After all these years, the magic never ceases!

Good Morning #christmaseve from #Manhattanbeach
December 24, 2019

Tweet of the week

Hello Dolly, so long Jerry Herman. RIP.

That’s a wrap for the latest Photowalk newsletter. Have any special plans for New Year’s? No photographing for me, as it looks like we’ll be camped in front of the TV, looking to finish up watching “The Irishman” on Netflix.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening. If you enjoyed today’s edition, please click the HEART button to like it, or reply to me via e-mail. Tell all your friends to subscribe and spread the word.

Happy new year everyone, and onto the roaring 20s!


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