10 best photography spots in Southern California
Yes, I know California is littered with amazing photo opportunities.
Everywhere you go you are in the company of parks, mountains, and beaches.
Being a Californian I certainly have explored California a lot deal more than visitors might be able to.
So here I am going to share some of the spots where it will be rather difficult for you to take bad pictures.
To do any justice to such large state as California I will have to dedicate this post to Southern California locations only.
Look at 10 best photography spots in North California for NorCal locations.
Below the top 10 list, you will find a google map showing all the locations I mentioned in this post
I hope that this map will save some of your googling time.
Love it or hate it but you got to see that famed Hollywood sign while in California.
You can do a short hike in Griffith Park to see the sign up close, just be aware of private properties and please don't trespass.
If you are in no mood to hunt for that perfect viewpoint then maybe just go up the Griffith Observatory where you can see the sign and also get some pretty neat city views especially at dusk with city lights.
Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles
#2. Santa Monica
One of the most beautiful beaches in Los Angeles is Santa Monica beach. It is mostly crowded so try to get there early and maybe catch a beautiful sunrise.
Or sometimes you might just get lucky and get someone doing Yoga at sunset.
Sunset at Santa Monica beach
#3. LA Beaches
Pacific ocean is warm and inviting here in SoCal unlike the cold waters of San Francisco. So it's hard to imagine you won't head towards one of these lovely beaches at some point of time.
There are a few beaches which are not very well known and as such not much crowded (at least up until this writing).
One such hidden gem, I believe, is El Matador beach. When I went there it was practically empty and it's just amazingly beautiful.
Surfers at El Matador beach
#4. San Diego
When I am talking about SoCal how can I not mention San Diego
Centennial Park in Coronado might just be the perfect spot to admire and take a few shots of that beautiful San Diego skyline.
San Diego skyline
#5. La Jolla
If you are in San Diego then don't miss La Jolla. It has some amazing photo opportunities including some great architecture and of course beach.
My favorite is Children's Pool beach with its seawall and harbor seals.
Children's Pool in La Jolla
#6. Channel Islands
A National Park where you can't drive to and one that even some locals may not know.
Just take a ferry and step into a secluded natural world far away from the city. Be sure to carry your camera as there will be some stunning views waiting for you there.
Kayaks at Channel Islands National Park
#7. Joshua Tree
Another National Park close to LA is Joshua Tree.
You can experience some rugged scenery and desert trees as well as some opportunities to practice rock climbing.
Joshua Tree National Park
#8. Star Trek Rocks
This might be especially appealing to Star Trek fans yet it's a really cool place for anyone willing to venture outside LA city limits.
#9. Palm Springs and beyond
You can have a good time in Palm Springs but for some unique photo opportunities head further south to Salton Sea area.
Salton sea itself is a landscape like no other with decaying fish and dying sea. If you can overcome that then you might just enjoy this adventure.
Close by is this creation by a local artist called "Salvation Mountain" which I can safely say will give you some very neat images even if you don't believe in religion.
Salvation Mountain at Niland near Slab City
#10. Death Valley
Another lesser known gem of National Parks is Death Valley National Park.
Yes it's a long drive and yes it gets so very hot but all that is worth the amazing nature that you will experience and also plenty of landscape photography opportunities.
Death Valley National Park
Sand Dunes at Death Valley National Park
#11. Los Angeles City
Yes, I know I said 10 but believe me you don't want me to skip this one!
There is just so much in this city of Angels that you can safely argue it merits it's own top 10 list.
For now, I will just say that roaming the streets of LA you will find your fill of art no matter what.
Streets of LA
Google Map showing all locations I talked about in North and South California together