A South Bay Sandblaster

The South Bay part of LA, Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo beaches and Torrance can have annoyingly nice weather. The 72 and sunny thing happens quite often. So when a big storm comes it, that’s one thing that makes my local photo spots worth another visit. And the wind and sand storm that swung through the bay a week ago definitely got my creative juices going.

This was just after a big El Nino storm. The rain had moved on but the wind was blasting at 30-40 mph at the beach. I went down to Pier Avenue, the bar-lined square that leads out to Hermosa Pier.

Hermosa Pier, sandstorm

Hermosa Pier

The pier itself was closed. With the waves, blasting wind, the city didn’t want to hassle with security. Plus anyone with half a brain was avoiding the beach. Except for those at loose ends and a few photographers.

Being so close to the beach, even the bar area here was a battle zone. It wasn’t so bad if your back was to the beach, just sand getting into all your pockets. But walk towards the pier and you have to protect the eyes. The wind was thick with stinging sand.

In the Sandblaster, Hermosa Beach

In the Sandblaster, Hermosa Beach

There was a strange beauty at the pier. The blowing sand was thick as fog and the beach had lost it’s contours under what looked like powdery beige snow. There was a thick color all around the sun with all the sand catching light. Plus the sea mist coated any lens in seconds, giving the pictures a gauzy effect.

Sand Dune and Manhattan Beach Pier

Sand Dune and Manhattan Beach Pier

But away from the sun, colors were more muted.

Lifeguard Stand in the Sandstorm

Lifeguard Stand in the Sandstorm

Storm Blowing Over the Redondo Breakwater

Storm Waves Blowing Over the Redondo Breakwater

Closer to the water, the sandblaster lost steam. But the wind was just as bad.

Any time a storm’s coming through, I like to try out one of my favorite spots or another. And the three South Bay piers are always a safe bet.

Hermosa Pier, Storm Blowing Over

Hermosa Pier, Storm Blowing Over

 

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