Just Above Sunset
June 25, 2006 - Surf City, USA

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Forty miles south of Los Angeles there's Huntington Beach, down in Orange County - south of Seal Beach and before you get too far south and end up in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach. This is known around the world as "Surf City, USA" and the city's website (here) shows the - it's official, or legally the secondary name, or whatever. If any other place decides to call itself "Surf City, USA" they just might sue. Santa Cruz up north had decided to call itself "Surf City, USA" - and Huntington Beach cried foul. A ruling by the Patent and Trademark Office released on May 12, 2006, awarded the trademark to Huntington Beach. So be careful.

Huntington Beach does have eight miles of accessible beachfront - "the largest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront on the West Coast" - and the largest public pier too. And this is the site of the world surfing championships, held each summer, even if there was that riot in 1985 with police cars overturned and set on fire. That doesn't happen any more. Anyway, Huntington Beach was mentioned in the Beach Boys song "Surfin' Safari." It must be Surf City.

And a technical note - the surf here is good because of the edge-diffraction of ocean swells by the island of Catalina - think of it as an amplifier for what gets generated out in the Pacific. And then too, because of the curve of the coastline at Huntington Beach, the beach actually faces southwest, not west like all the others. This is good - in summer any southwest-facing beach will get especially strong surf from major storms off the Mexican coast, as was the case with these shots from Wednesday, June 21, 2006, the final day of a three-day high surf advisory. It's been nasty down Acapulco way, and the surf is up in Surf City, USA.

Surfing at Huntington Beach, Surf City, USA

Surfing at Huntington Beach, Surf City, USA

Surfing at Huntington Beach, Surf City, USA

Surfing at Huntington Beach, Surf City, USA

Surfer at Huntington Beach, Surf City, USA

The pier…

Huntington Beach pier...

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

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