Essential California: Cleaning up Santa Barbara's oil spill
Southern California Moments Your photos from around the Southland and beyond

Rooftopping. It’s a thing. Probably not your thing, but it’s definitely a thing for Michael Escobedo.

A couple years ago, Escobedo picked up a camera. He likes to photograph a range of topics, but found that he was mostly drawn to cityscapes. He also quickly discovered that in a city like Los Angeles, where the visually creative talent is abundant, he wanted to set himself apart. He and his friends started what is called “rooftopping.”

As he explains it, “I try to get myself onto whatever roof possible to capture a new, fresh perspective of my city.”

This picture is stunning on multiple levels. The composition is breathtaking and bold. It is not a picture most of us can or are willing to make and the fact that it’s a self-portrait makes such an image even bolder. Escobedo set his Canon 70D camera, with self-timer, on a tripod as he sat himself on the edge. The result created a mood that is transcending.

Take a look at Escobedo’s feed on Instagram and you’ll notice that his style evokes...

Read more
Palm tree trilogy

Cruise along Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake, and it's hard to miss the abandoned hotel, billboard and palm trees that have been covered in a glossy whitewash. 

It's all part of an art project called "Projection," a temporary installation by Vincent Lamouroux that attempts to revive the long-vacant Sunset Pacific Motel -- known locally as the Bates Motel -- into public art.

Reader Andrew Oxenham visited "Projection" with friends for the installation's public opening on April 26.

"I was really taken with the two different types of palm trees against the blue California sky," he said. "It was very stark, and I liked it."

Though the photo looks simple, its composition required some thought. He carefully angled his shot in a way that captured the trees in descending order. 

The Bates Motel will eventually be demolished to make way for new apartment buildings. "I think it's important that cities allow creative things to happen to the architecture and vegetation of their city," Oxenham said. "Cookie-cutter...

Read more
Baby red fox in San Pedro

Wendy Miller shared this photo of a red fox kit living in San Pedro.

"I just wanted people to see what kind of fantastic wildlife is right in their own backyards."

Miller said she thinks the mother fox started out with six kits, but only three have been seen lately.

"There is also a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the bluff right near the foxes," she said. "The falcons are not happy about the foxes being there."

Miller used a Nikon D7100 to make the image.

Follow Sean Greene on Twitter.

Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California and California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our Flickr page or tag your photos with #socalmoments or #californiamoments on Instagram and Twitter. Follow us on Twitter or visit for more on this photo series.

Read more
California culture

Street photographer Nema Etebar is somewhat of a nomad. Traveling the world, he makes friends wherever he goes, often collaborating creatively with like-minded, free-spirited people.

Last month, Etebar found himself in the City of Angels.

"@JoelJoel (right) and I connected on Instagram and spoke about creating together while I was in L.A., documenting 'California Culture.' He expressed his appreciation of my portraits, and I was intrigued by his tattoo selections, ink history, freedom of expression.

We decided to walk the streets looking for random pockets of light. Once we met downtown, Joel mentioned having a friend "Richie the Barber," a tattooed clown who cuts hair at Bolt Barbers nearby. Joel made a call to Richie, and the three of us connected for a short introduction and easy conversation. We laughed and snapped shots on random sidewalks for a quick 10 minutes.

Joel, an extremely respectful veteran paired with Richie's high energy and positivity led to great shots showing their...

Read more
Through the fog

There are just some places that beg to be photographed. One of these places is Mt. Davidson in San Francisco, where a 103-foot-tall concrete cross is situated. It is a very popular place to make pictures. So, how do you give it a fresh look? 

If you're Zhiwei Wang, from Tianjin, China, you put yourself in the picture. Wang currently lives in San Francisco as he studies Web design and new media at the Academy of Art University. He said he often treks Mt. Davidson in his free time and thought of how he could uniquely interpret the place.

“Mt. Davison became kind of hot spot of Instagram, so I wanna pull it out in a special way and use a special perspective to present it. And I personally am quite into California culture, that's why I am wearing the Compton jacket,”  he said.

The elements came together in this nicely framed composition, and with the ubiquitous San Francisco fog rolling in, the mood is just prime. And the jacket, well, that was a good touch, visually and as part of the narrative.  


Read more
Golden hour at the Hollywood sign

Deb Fort visited Griffith Observatory with a group of photographer friends on April 30. Twenty minutes before sunset, she photographed the Hollywood sign.

Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California and California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our Flickr page or tag your photos with #socalmoments or #californiamoments on Instagram and Twitter. Follow us on Twitter or visit for more on this photo series.

Read more