Best Picture Winner? Los Angeles!

We give the Oscar to our photogenic home town

Nothing says Los Angeles like the Academy Awards, even if most of the movies in the Sunday race weren’t made in SoCal, right? (Of the eight 2021 “Best Picture” nominees, only 2 were actually filmed in Tinseltown, “Mank” and “Promising Young Woman.”)

In the spirit of the Oscars, as you know, I’ve been roaming all over L.A. for the past several years with my camera, capturing everything from street photography at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to celebrating our iconic buildings, from the stately City Hall and Union Station (what a great setting for the Oscars!) to the new (Walt Disney Concert Hall) the pop art of Beverly Hills and our classic skyline.

I explored Los Angeles for the smartphone crowd in my L.A. Photowalks episode (watch for free on Tubi,) and now, for more serious photographers, may I interest you in “Travel Photography: A Photographer’s Guide to LA,” my first video class for the Kelby One photo training website? (Thanks Scott Kelby for the opportunity!)

I’ve got lots of ideas for “Best Picture” nominees locally!

The one and only Sean Fujiwara joined me on the adventure, as we pointed out great vantage points and shooting tips, everywhere from Angel’s Flight and Echo Park (before it closed temporarily,) Kenneth Hahn Park and Baldwin Park Scenic Overlook to freeways and the surf with noted photographer Brad Jacobson in Manhattan Beach.

I hope you’ll check it out!

For the KelbyOne shoot, we didn’t include Union Station because it was under serious remodeling when we stopped by. However, I’ve got images from previous visits, and can’t wait to see the spruced up masterpiece in person!

For more, here’s a gallery of some of my L.A. favorites.

Apple thoughts

Last week I previewed the Apple spring product reveal event. Now that the announcements are behind us, my thoughts:

New iMacs: Re-designed, more powerful iMac desktop computers in an array of colors, featuring the zippier M1 processing chip. Yay. Sign me up. Love the design and specs.

Fine print: the computers start at a reasonable sounding $1,200. But with only 8 GB or RAM and just two ports. (You might want to hook up a wireless mouse, external hard drives, an external webcam, a flash drive, etc.) So if you need more ports (5) and extra RAM (recommended) the iMacs start at $1,499, plus add another $200 for the RAM boost.

iPad: Faster M1 chip and brighter graphics in the new, pricey Pro edition. They start at $799 and $1,099.

That’s really hard to justify when the entry level iPad model is just $329 and will serve you just fine.

AirTags: For the past several years, the company Tile has sold little bluetooth trackers that help you find lost keys and the like. Now Apple has a clone of that product, selling for $29.99 but with a twist.

Tiles worked, then they didn’t, and got really dirty, in my experience. Apple is a consumer product company, and I’ve got to believe will do this better. The “Find My” app, which offers mapping and audible signals to help find your stuff, works flawlessly, so I can’t wait to get an AirTag. My friend Ed Baig tested them out already. His report:

This week

A huge earnings slog from the biggest names in tech, including Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook and yet another new product reveal from Samsung, promising the “most powerful Galaxy” product ever. (Are you holding your breath?) Samsung’s last event was less than a month ago, when it introduced the 2021 crop of lower-cost Galaxy A series phones.


Tuesday: Google

Wednesday: Samsung event, Apple and Facebook

Thursday: Amazon, Twitter.

Photowalks News

Mark your calendars!

As I edit the next round of Photowalks TV episodes for Tubi (Japan, Zion National Park, Las Vegas and more!) for season 2, I’ve got two live Photowalks coming up in May.

Thursday 5/6: Meet at the Manhattan Beach Pier for an evening Photowalk, starting at 7 p.m. We’re hoping for a great sunset and fun evening taking photos together. As always, the event is free. Please sign up at Eventbrite.

Monday, 5/10. Catalina Photowalk. Will you be on the island on 5/10 per chance? I’ll be there and I’d love to have you join me and others as I showcase some of my favorite photo spots for the island. We’ll meet at the recently remodeled, historic Hotel Atwater, and afterwards, it’s lunchtime by the historic Casino, at the Descanso Beach Club.

Meanwhile, thanks for watching, reading and listening! Did you enjoy today’s newsletter? I’d love to hear from you. Just click reply, and the HEART to let me know you liked it and tell your friends to subscribe.

Have a great week everyone!