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Local Treasures: A Photographer’s Guide to San Luis Obispo


• Winner of last week’s photo contest is Arnes Klisura

• Photo shoot scavenger hunt with local photographer, Tina Loveridge

• Google map of our route around SLO

Smart Phone Photo Contest Winner

This winner caused a unique shift in my former contest parameters: not only did the winner take his photo on a brick (not smart) phone, but he did so from another continent!

Grade Moj

Name: Arnes Klisura

Camera: Nokia 7230

Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia

Photo Treasures of SLO

This week, my professional interview was more organic than my previous ones. Tina Loveridge, a local photographer and friend of mine, took me on an adventure around San Luis Obispo to take pictures of her favorite spots to take pictures ( I have put all 8 locales into a Google Map for you to see). Along the way, we took photos and discussed photography.

Stop 1: Johnson Ranch

Tina likes to take families and couples out here for portrait and engagement shots. I can see why. The ranch is gorgeous, secluded, and vibrant with color. “It’s even better in late spring and early summer, because the hills are green instead of brown,” Tina said. “But the contrast between the hills and the blue sky is still awesome.”

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Stop 2: Cerro San Luis (Madonna Mountain)

We took a short jaunt up Lemon Grove Loop, stopping to take pictures of Tina’s favorite landmarks. One was a very mature-looking tree. “I like it because it has good shade- not speckled, but complete shade. And it’s kind of gangly and gnarly; it gives good depth perception when I’m shooting portraits.” Tina said. We walked a bit further up the trail to a small cactus garden. “It makes for a quirky shoot.”

Valerie Mulholland, a local hiker, said that Madonna Mountain is a perfect place for a photo shoot because it’s “such a great backdrop; very scenic.”

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Stop 3: Bishop Peak

The small wood at the base of the peak is wonderful for shooting. We walked up to the near edge of the wood to one particular tree. It reminded me of something out of Lord of The Rings, because it was serenely, almost surreally, beautiful. And with the late afternoon sun sending glowing rays through its branches, I was compelled to think of when I next needed my photos taken…. maybe graudation?

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

“When a photo subject looks to boring or common, shoot high and shoot low. The unique angles will make the photo more interesting.” -Tina Loveridge

On our way back though the wood, Tina stopped to take photos. “When a photo subject looks to boring or common, shoot high and shoot low,” Tina said. “The unique angles will make the photo more interesting.” She stooped, letting her camera graze the leafy ground to get a low angle shot of the path before us.

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Stop 4: Brick Wall on the Corner of Chorro & Palm

Who knew a realty building would be a great photo backdrop? Anderson’s Commercial Real Estate surely is. The faded brick walls, festooned with crisp ivy makes for a textured backdrop. “I’m all about textures,” Tina remarked. “Different textures make a photo more appealing.”

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Stop 5: de Tolosa Mission Garden

By this time, it was near evening and the sun was setting, casting that magical, bronzed layer of light over everything. What a perfect time to be in a luscious, Mediterranean garden. “There are a lot of pockets of scenery that you can use as a backdrop. There’s some uniform-looking trees and a grassy area, and the big trellis that you could use to do something nice with lines and depth of field.”

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Stop 6: San Luis Obispo’s Creek

Everyone from SLO is familiar with the creek between Higuera and Monterrey Street. But whoever thought of it as a great place for portraits? Other than Tina, that is. We rushed through the mission courtyard and over the bridge to make it to the creek while there was enough light. Not only was it bursting with that same Lord of the Rings-esque etherial beauty, but the sound of the bubbling water made it even more enjoyable. Blanca Torres, a local, said, “This would be a great place for a photo shoot because it’s so beautiful… and peaceful.”

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Stop 7: Linnaea’s Cafe

I’m certain that most college students in San Luis Obispo have been in Linnaea’s before. I’m also fairly certain that very few customers have ever considered Linnaea’s to be a great place to take portraits. The great thing about Linnaea’s is that it has a large window at the front of the shop, furnished by a coffee bar. On warm days, the window is usually open and customers can sit, enjoy their coffee, and soak up SLO’s amazing weather. Tina and I ordered Italian sodas and took a couple pictures of the photo-worthy window.

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Stop 8: Meze Wine Cafe & Market

Meze is a relatively new cafe off of Santa Barbara Street. It resides in a renovated brick building that it shares with Yoga Centre and Cygnet Software. “I love that it juxtaposes the old antique-y brick walls with the modern, clean lines of the metal framework,” Tina said. “I usually take my younger, more adventurous subjects here.”

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge

Photo Credit: Tina Loveridge


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