HuntingtonBeach-1The view out the front window of the bus in Huntington Beach.

In my last post, we were wrapping up a five-day class with the Light Workshops near Morro Bay, CA. Since then, we’ve started to meander south toward San Diego. The first two days were pretty quiet. We stayed in Ventura, CA, spending a lot of time getting work done and preparing for the holidays.

We then headed toward Huntington Beach, but not without a few stops on the way. First off, we got to meet with my good friend Eric Magnusson, who lives in the greater LA area. I hadn’t seen Eric in years, so it was great to meet for breakfast and talk about color management (his speciality). After breakfast, we headed south a bit and then met with fellow photographer Ed Freeman, who has a gallery in the Chinatown area of LA. Two friends within three hours … not bad!

When we arrived at our RV park in Huntington Beach, we were delighted. The view was gorgeous. Not only were we right on the beach with a perfect view of the ocean, but we were also a 2-minute walk from the Huntington Beach Pier. Since we dont have a car right now (the new one should arrive mid-Jan) this spot was perfect in that it was a 5-minute walk to town.

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Me and Russell Brown at the Digital Darkroom event.

It turns out, we arrived in the area with perfect timing! Adobe’s Russell Brown clued me in to an event that was going on called the Digital Darkroom, in the Annenberg Space for Photography. It’s a gallery that features a wide array of digital artists… everything from compositing to 3D imaging. The whole thing was inspired by Jerry Uelsmann, who was creating incredible composites in the darkroom long before digital photography came about. The event was actually a pre-opening, so we were really lucky to get in. The work was excellent, and they did a great job of presenting it all. After the gallery event, we met up with my friend Jeff Dunas, who now runs the Palm Springs Photo Festival. I’ll most likely be teaching there this spring.

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Me and Lee Varis at Huntington Beach after breakfast.

So let’s just tally things up here. I had been in Huntington Beach for about 24 hours and I had already met up with three friends, plus the whole gang at the Digital Darkroom event. As if this weren’t enough, there were more friends to meet. My great friend and fellow photographer Lee Varis met us for breakfast one morning. We ate at the diner located on the very end of the pier and had a perfect view of the ocean. Not bad! Later that evening, our friends and fellow RVers, Sam and Tracy, rolled in to our RV park. They were in town for a SantaCon event, and stopped by to see us on the way. The fun part about this was that I didn’t even tell Karen they were coming, so it was a total surprise when they showed up! We had dinner at a place called 25 Degrees. They specialize in burgers, and I think I had the best burger of my life there. I kid you not!

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A [bad] iPhone shot of me and Craig Dorsey working out the interior of the vintage bus.

The next day was full of vintage bus planning. In case you dont know of the project, in addition to the bus we currently live in, I own a vintage bus that is currently in Ft Worth getting the engine and transmission work done. After that part is done, the bus will move to Craig Dorsey’s place in Nova Scotia, where the interior will be done. Craig just happened to be in the LA area this month, so he was able to stop by the bus to go over some of the interior design and planning. We spent nearly eight hours talking about the project!

Before we left Huntington Beach, we met with Colin Smith, of Photoshop Cafe, for dinner. It was nice meeting him out of the tradeshow realm. He showed us a bit of the old town in Orange County… a place Karen and I would both love to revisit.

After we left Huntington Beach, we headed south toward San Diego, stopping at Stone Brewery on the way. Stone is one of our favorite places in the San Diego area, and they have easy parking for the bus. While we were there, my friend Robin Bjorklund, who I grew up with in Minneapolis, stopped by the brewery. He and his family just moved to the SD area and have started to grow an affinity for Stone as well.

As of right now, Karen is getting ready to fly out to NJ, and I will follow in a few days. We’ll spend the holidays there with her family and then fly back to winter in San Diego. More to come…