NOTE: This post was originally published on my previous blog, Recovering Shopaholic.
It’s been almost two months since I published my last “photography interlude,” so it’s high time for another one. Back in April, I shared one of my favorite places to walk, Shelter Island, which is less than a mile down the road from where I live. Today, I want to share another beloved walking locale, La Playa, which is also very close to my home.
About La Playa
La Playa, Spanish for “the beach,” is a Bayfront neighborhood in the Point Loma community of San Diego that is bordered by the San Diego Bay and across a channel from Shelter Island. Naval Base Point Loma is located at the south end of La Playa. The La Playa neighborhood includes some of the most expensive homes in San Diego, as well as San Diego Yacht Club and Southwestern Yacht Club. Some of the Bayfront homes have private piers for docking small boats.
You can read about the area where I walk – and view a map – on this site if you’re interested in learning more. Now I’d like to share some of my favorite photos from my many, many walks along La Playa. It was difficult for me to select the photos for this post because I have taken hundreds of them in just this past year. I tried to choose the ones I feel best represent the gorgeous sights in the area. I sometimes see various birds on my walk including my favorite, the Great Blue Heron. You can see photos of some of these birds in my March post dedicated to beach birds.
On Photo Storage and Organization
I have not yet solved the photo storage dilemma I mentioned in my last photo post, which is really more of a photo organization problem. What I’ve started to do, however, is isolate my best photos from each of my regular shooting locations. These photography interlude posts offer a good opportunity for me to go through my photos and select my favorites, so I won’t wait so long before I do the next one. If you’re looking for ways to store and organize your photos, readers suggested Google Drive, Dropbox, and Passport external drives.
Scenes from La Playa
Below are some of my most loved La Playa photos with notes interspersed about them. I have done my best to display the photos in the order in which I see the depicted scenes on my walks. The photos were taken at various times of the year and at different times of day. There’s never an ugly day at La Playa but in my opinion, the most picturesque views are at sunset and twilight and when there are lots of big, white, fluffy clouds in the sky.
The photo at the top of this post is the view from the beginning of my La Playa walk. It was taken last Thanksgiving in the afternoon between the few showers we experienced that day. Set back a bit from that view is a bench where I like to sit either before I start my walk or after it’s over. It’s always a great place to rest and reflect and take in the beautiful scenery.
This next photo was taken just a bit farther down the path on the same day as the one above. There are lots of lovely plants along the way and they make a nice frame for the water and boats in the distance.
Below are some of the homes along the water in La Playa. You can see the path I walk on in the second photo and a close-up of one of the homes in the third photo. If you look very closely, you’ll see a black cat at the top of the steps in the last image.
The beach on La Playa is a nice place to play with dogs or to do a little fishing. I’m not sure what types of fish are caught there, but I would imagine it’s the same as on Shelter Island. The website for Shelter Island Pier mentions that the fish commonly caught there include Pacific mackerel, yellowfin croaker, kelp and sand bass, halibut, bonito, and various types of sharks.
I try to time my walks with the sunset as much as possible so I can see and photograph the orange, yellow, pink, and purple tones in the sky. Here are a few of my favorite photos from that time of day:
I love to capture reflections in the water of clouds, trees, and boats, as shown in this next group of images. The first photo is the view looking back towards the beginning of the path and the other two are looking out at the water from the end of the path.
The sign in the photo above mentions “La Playa Yacht Club,” but it doesn’t look like much of a yacht club to passersby. It appears to be just a small pier with a single boat on it, but I learned that it is a true yacht club with a membership of more than 200 families. The purpose of the club is to foster interest in yachting and to maintain the historical pier shown below at twilight.
Just down the road from the above pier is the Southwestern Yacht Club, which is a much larger operation. This yacht club was formed in 1925 and now includes nearly 750 members. The photo below shows its state-of-the-art clubhouse and a glimpse of some of the docks.
Beyond the main La Playa trail and down a few blocks, it’s possible to walk farther down the beach if it’s not high tide. The homes below have a much more private beach area, as not too many people walk down that way.
Still farther down the road is a larger beach area which can get quite crowded on warm summer days. Located just above the beach is what might be the largest home in Point Loma, which was for sale for quite a long time to the tune of many millions of dollars. I’m not sure if the property was sold or not, but it probably was since the sale sign is gone.
The photos below were taken at the end of La Playa and you can see Shelter Island across the channel at the left side of the images. In the last photo, my brave husband practiced his balance skills walking out on a large pipe leading out into the bay. I don’t think I would have chanced falling into the water, but I was happy to stand by with the camera in case he did (I was pretty sure he’d make it, though). At the right in that photo is the passageway out into the Pacific Ocean. Many cargo ships and cruise ships come in and out of San Diego Harbor through that inlet every day, including the cruise ship we took to Alaska from Seattle back in 2005 (you can check out photos from that trip here if you’re interested).
I hope you have enjoyed my La Playa photos. I feel very fortunate to have this lovely place just blocks from where I live and I try to go for walks there at least a couple of times per week. It’s a peaceful oasis that helps me to calm my mind and rejuvenate my spirit. There are two more local walking locations that I plan to share with you very soon, so stay tuned.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more of my photos, check out the rest of my “photography interlude” posts or the photos I’ve posted on Instagram (I don’t post there very often, but there are quite a few past images for you to look at).
12 thoughts on “Photography Interlude – La Playa”
Wowww! So nice pictures!
You make me want to consider moving to the San Diego area, lol. Beautiful!
Thank you for bringing us so much beauty!
ooh, Debbie. These are the best yet. They are photo exhibit quality, marketable too. I am impressed. Your sense of style has covers fashion and photo art. Talent! (Not to mention your writing and empathetic people skills.)
I am a photographer myself, it is something I deeply enjoy. I love seeing your photographs and watching your eye evolve. This time, I just love the color of the sky and its reflection on the water in the first sunset picture. I especially like the compositions of the first two images in the water/reflection section, the historical pier at night, and the final picture of your husband balancing on the pipe.
One reason I value photography because it is a way to express my inner emotions visually and I am wondering if that holds true for you. I am struck by the deep sense of stillness and reflection in your work and some of the reoccurring imagery: docked boats looking out at the ocean, diagonal moving pathways, boats or people or benches separate from others or contemplating large vistas.
I really appreciate all of your kind words! I’m glad these periodic off topic posts are welcomed by many readers. It’s fun for me to put them together and it was nice to see my photography skills evolve over the time since I started taking photos.
Helen, thank you for your compliments on my various skills, including photography. I haven’t thought of selling my photos, but maybe down the line…
cm, I appreciate your insightful comments, especially since you are also a photographer. I’m glad you are seeing my eye evolve. The photo of my husband on the pipe is the more recent image in the group. I agree that photography can be a way to express our inner emotions. I don’t know how long you have been reading my blog, but I did a post about loneliness in which I featured many of my photos on that theme, which you seem to have noticed. Here’s the link: https://fulllifereflections.com/2015/06/02/on-loneliness/
Many of my images do evoke loneliness, but they also convey stillness and reflection, as you observed. I have thought of doing more theme photography posts and your comment has renewed that possibility for me…
Oh, thanks for the link, Debbie. That’s exactly what I was wondering about. I would be interested in seeing themed photography posts!
Putting together a series is so satisfying and challenging. The act of taking time to turn my intuitive or unconscious feelings about images into cogent thoughts and reasoned decisions about what goes together is a really worthwhile exercise, for my art, but also my general well-being.
I hope that you too find satisfaction and personal reward in working with your images- it really seems like you do and that is so, so great! 🙂
I do find satisfaction and personal reward in working with my images, cm, and seeing these published posts of highlights makes me happy. I will have to think about what themes I would like to cover. I may challenge myself to select photos that I’ve already taken as opposed to going out to take more with a particular theme in mind. We’ll see what I might be able to come up with.
Just beautiful, Debbie! You have a good eye for color & contrast~:)
Lovely photo journey. Thank you!
Thank you so much, Sybil and Terra!
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