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to photograph the diversity of the Southland

November 07, 1985|MICHELE GRIMM and TOM GRIMM | Laguna Beach photographers and writers Michele and Tom Grimm travel throughout Southern California for their "Trip of the Week" column in The Times Travel section. They are the authors of "The Basic Book of Photography" and "Away for the Weekend--Great Getaways from Los Angeles." and

Mountains, deserts, city scenes, back-country roads and coastlines--the Southland offers them all in a canvas of colors and designs.

There is also a variety of cultures, historic sites and intriguing places within a day's outing to entice even the novice photographer to try to capture an engaging shot.

Much of what you photograph in Southern California depends upon your interest. And because our interests are so varied, it was difficult to select just 10 favorite places to photograph. However, we offer our comments about the following as destination locations. And, who knows, along the way you may get that shot of a lifetime.

Catalina Island--"Avalon, with its horseshoe-shaped bay, is so post card pretty that it's difficult not to get a nice shot. The hillside town looks like a village somewhere on the Mediterranean, especially when it's sparkling in the early-morning sunlight."

San Diego Zoo--"If you want animal and bird close-ups in a natural environment, this is the place to go. We shoot with a telephoto lens and wide lens opening to fill up the film frame and to blur any foreground or background."

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park--"The variety of desert shots seems endless in the largest state park in the continental United States. We've photographed everything from stark badlands to a lush oasis of palm trees. Long time exposures of the stars at night make some spectacular pictures too."

Santa Ynez Valley--"A pastoral place of lush, rolling hills that always entices us to take landscape pictures. The valley especially beckons photographers in the spring when wildflowers are in bloom and newborn colts frolic in the fields."

State and Los Angeles County Arboretum--"If you like to photograph nature as much as we do, this vast public garden in Arcadia is filled with flowers, shrubs and trees of all types. The peacocks and other birds that inhabit the park also make attractive subjects."

Calico Ghost Town--"You'll think you're back in the Old West at this 1880s mining camp, where there's plenty of action to photograph (especially on weekends). Mock shoot-outs on the main street, melodramas in the playhouse and a vintage steam train are just a few of the subjects."

San Bernardino Mountains--"For wintertime scenics and skiing pictures, we head to Big Bear. Besides action on Snow Summit and other slopes, there's the still-life beauty of evergreens decorated with freshly fallen snow."

Newport Harbor--"More than 10,000 sailboats and other pleasure craft offer an ongoing parade of eye-catching subjects. To capture the colorful spinnakers, we stand along the breakwater. At night it's fun to photograph the Balboa Pavilion that's outlined with light bulbs."

Top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway--"The vistas are great from the aerial tramway's mountain station in Mt. San Jacinto State Park. We photograph the desert below and the forest wilderness above. In winter there's action provided by cross-country skiers and sled-dog racing."

Back roads of San Luis Obispo County--"Wooden fences, old barns, meandering streams, winding roads and plenty of peace and quiet give you inspiration to compose scenic views that would win a spot on any picture calendar of rural America. One of our favorite drives is Cypress Mountain Road/Santa Rosa Creek Road (off California 46) to Cambria."

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