Ballona Plastic

I often ride my bike along Ballona Creek which has a wonderful bike path that takes you down to the beach at Playa Del Rey. If I am lucky I will see a Great Blue Heron or an Egret along its banks. At certain spots, you can watch Brown Pelicans trying their luck as they dive for fish at places where the salt water from the sea finds its way a bit inland. There are many things about Ballona that remind you it is still a creek even though its natural shores have been replaced by concrete ones.

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Woolsey Wildfire

The Woolsey wildfire started on November 8, 2018 and has burned over 98,000 acres of land, destroyed an estimated 1,100 structures and killed 3 people in Los Angeles and Ventura counties especially in the hard hit area of Malibu.

I had a chance to visit the area last Friday to witness the massive destruction. The first thing I came across was a bridge that spanned a creek over Mulholland Highway near Kanan Road. The steel beams had actually melted from the extreme heat and workers were pretty amazed at the sight as they attempted to formulate a plan to resurrect it.

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First Annual LACP Faculty, Member and Alumni Exhibition

I hope you can join me this Friday at the First Annual Faculty, Member and Alumni Exhibition at Los Angeles Center of Photography. It will be held from 7-10PM and is a collection of photography honoring the organization’s faculty, members and student alumni. 33 artists will be exhibiting their work, with a total of roughly 60 images on display. The exhibition will show at LACP April 13 – May 18, 2018. The FMA will be an annual exhibition in the Spring of each year.

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Annenberg MOPLA artist’s talk

On Saturday, January 28, as part of MOPLA (Month of Photography LA), myself and my cohorts will be doing an artist’s talk about our show, Los Angeles: Detailed, currently hanging at the Annenberg Community Beach House through February 19th. Los Angeles: Detailed is an exhibition featuring photographic works by nine diverse local photographers and which seeks the connection between the details in the artists' minds and the quotidian details of the unique landscape that is Los Angeles. That’s the official description, but it really is a cool show with some great work.

Tickets are free, but it is advised you RSVP to hold your place as space is limited. Hope to see you there. Get tickets here

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LA River Photo Adventure

Every year I lead a photo tour of the LA River, and every year there is something that has transformed or disappeared, that’s how fast things are changing along the river. One of my favorites was an old auto scrap yard and its ancient metal fence that ran along East Cesar Chavez Ave. Gone but not forgotten. The next tour is coming up in a couple of weeks. Sign up here - https://lacphoto.org/events/the-los-angeles-river-photo-adventure-with-peter-bennett-oct-2016/

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LA River prints in the State Capitol

Proud to have two of my LA River prints hanging in the new California Speaker of the House, Anthony Rendon’s State Capitol office. Speaker Rendon represents LA’s 63rd district, which includes southern portions of the LA River, and is a great river advocate. His Assembly Bill 530, which authorizes the creation of a local working group to develop a Lower River revitalization plan was signed by Gov. Brown in 2015.

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The LA River is alive and very well

One of the things I love about photographing the LA River is how often I go down there and get to see and photograph some thing, some event, some place for the first time. The LA River is undergoing a tremendous transformation and certainly some of the most dramatic changes, at least from a visual sense, has occurred because of the implementation of the Los Angeles River Recreation Zone project two years ago.

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La Gran Limpieza – 2015

If you’ve never had the chance to take part in the annual FoLAR La Gran Limpieza river clean up, you are going to have a chance over the next three weekends: April 11, 18 and 25th. You might say, “well gee Peter, make this sound good why dontcha!” OK, here goes. (A), it is actually fun. Tons of poeple show up for the chance to help out: young, old, families, couples and plenty of single folks all come out for a few hours and lend a hand cleaning up the river. Last Summer I watched as our Mayor traipsed around the thik underbrush, plucking plastic bags and other assorted trash out of the trees as he went along.

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When the Tap Runs Dry

Sometimes your life can change with a clunk! Last spring, Donna Johnson, 72, of East Porterville, a small community at the eastern edge of the Central Valley, ran out of water. She hoped it was a problem with the pump or something a few feet of digging would fix, “it’s a hard issue to admit to yourself that your well has gone dry” Donna told me. She brought out someone to look at the well, but when the pipes went down and Donna heard that clunk, she knew the awful truth.

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A Day at the Races - from LA River Pix

I have witnessed and participated in many events along the LA River, but covering and photographing the 1st Annual LA River Boat Race this last Saturday was pretty special. It was historic, it was also loads of fun – the broad grins and/or determined looks on the competitor’s faces as they splashed and shot through the small whitewater rapids would attest to that.

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A Day of Mayors - from LA River Pix

Photographing political events and photos ops are pretty strange. It is always a challenge to try to distinguish the “op” from the real, and more often than not there ain’t much real. Last Saturday I found myself down at Marsh Park along the Elysian Valley surrounded by a large fuzzy Lion, a cadre of cheerleaders, a bunch of political handlers all buzzing about along with various groups of helpful citizens there for a river clean-up.

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Sunday on the River with a Kayak - from LA River Pix

I’ve been wanting to go kayaking down the LA River since about 2008. That was the year I stood on the shore of the river along the Sepulveda Basin and watched as kayaker George Wolfe emerged from upstream and the dense foliage and shore his craft just in front of me.

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Two Faces of the LA River - from LA River Pix

If you have spent any time exploring even a bit of the LA River, you have no doubt seen its many different landscapes and incarnations, I have found and stumbled upon many of these in my journeys to photograph it. Last week I was shooting for a client who needed some printed photos of the Sepulveda Basin to display in a nearby housing development. Most of the river throughout the Basin is pretty calm and flat-watered as it runs a fairly straight course to the Dam at the southeastern end of the Recreation area.

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