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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Graham

Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach: the waves of 12/18/18

When the winter comes, and the ocean waves get really crazy and dramatic, what’s a photographer to do?

Jump out of his or her chair, throw a memory card into the camera and run down to the beach to capture them, right?

We got some really large, aggressive waves in the South Bay this week, unusually heftier than usual. So on 12/18/18, I got down to Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach to document them.

Manhattan Beach crashing waves by Jefferson Graham

Photos are fun, but please enjoy the video as well, where the crashes seem way more stunning.

As longtime readers of this blog know, I’m a Manhattan Beach based photographer/writer and tend to photograph the beach a few mornings a week. Dawn is my favorite time for photography, because of the soft light, and the thrill of watching the night slowly turn into day before my very eyes.

For this series, I left my comfort zone and tried shooting a little later in the day, when the waves could potentially be even more dramatic. The video above was shot at 11:45 on Tuesday, and the shots below were between 4 p.m. and sunset at 4:45 p.m.

The Manhattan Beach Pier on 12/18/18

That’s the Manhattan Beach Pier, as viewed 3 miles away from the Hermosa Beach Pier, with Santa Monica in the background. Shot at 600mm on the Sony RX10IV camera. Them’s some waves, eh?

The Hermosa Beach Pier by Jefferson Graham

Above: the Hermosa Beach Pier, same time, but the waves down south aren’t as active. They got more so after the sun went down.

The Manhattan Beach Pier

Under the Manhattan Beach Pier, the most iconic of South Bay shots. Here you can see the waves hitting the poles of the Pier and crashing away. Shot by Jefferson Graham for the Photowalks series.

Hermosa Beach sunset

Sunset in Hermosa Beach, with the waves seemingly calmer, but not really. Shot by Jefferson Graham for the Photowalks series.

Have you caught my Photowalks series on YouTube?. Each week (or as often as I can) I take you to some great place, usually in Southern California, and show the top spots of the area, through photos and videos, with tips on how to get postcard (Instagram) worthy images. Our most recent is DTLA (downtown Los Angeles,), we did Los Angeles in 1 Day (Venice, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and the Griffith Observatory) and down below, one of our all-time favorites, Manhattan Beach.

Please watch and let me know what you think.

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