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Southern California Gothic by Celeste Mookherjee
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The Villa Riviera, built in 1929 and renovated in 2009, is a Long Beach, California landmark that is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally a hotel, it is now a condominium building and overlooks Alamitos Beach. On this particular afternoon, fog began rolling in from the ocean (to the right in this image), a somewhat unusual event at that time of day. You can see fog in the sky and also the hazy brightness it causes around the roof and some of the upper right side of the building. (Olympus E-510 & Zuiko 9-18mm zoom at 16mm [32mm in full-frame 35mm equivalent], 1/500 sec., f/7.1, ISO 100, handheld; black and white conversion done in Topaz B&W Effects.)

Featured in RedBubble Explore, 7 Day Popular Art, Design & Photography (September 2013)

Featured in International Women’s Photography (24 September 2013)

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Passionate about photography, especially nature subjects!

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My work is NOT in the Public Domain. My work is protected under U.S. and International Copyright and may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced, edited, altered, published, distributed, or transmitted via any medium without my express written permission IN ADVANCE. Please do NOT pin my work on Pinterest. All images are copyright ©2004-2014, Celeste Mookherjee, all rights reserved.

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Comments

  • Celeste Mookherjee
    Celeste Mookhe...over 1 year ago

    The Villa Riviera, built in 1929 and renovated in 2009, is a Long Beach, California landmark that is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally a hotel, it is now a condominium building and overlooks Alamitos Beach. On this particular afternoon, fog began rolling in from the ocean (to the right in this image), a somewhat unusual event at that time of day. You can see fog in the sky and also the hazy brightness it causes around the roof and some of the upper right side of the building.

  • Joy Watson
    Joy Watsonover 1 year ago

    Excellent use of the sign. Great tone and work.

  • Thanks very much, Joy. I took some with the sign and some without and ended up liking the extra sense of depth it added.

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • fauselr
    fauselrover 1 year ago

    beautiful

  • Many thanks, Ray!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • Teresa Pople
    Teresa Popleover 1 year ago

    Love this in b/w . . if you changed this cars this could be straight out of the 1930’s. Beautifully composed with that traffic light pole bringing such a dynamic aspect to the shot . . Brilliant work . .x

  • I really appreciate your detailed and thoughtful comment, Teresa. I like your idea of changing the cars, but the traffic light pole would also have to go. I will have to look at the other photos I have in this series to see if I could do the car replacement with one of them. Not all of them include the light pole.

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • CarolM
    CarolMover 1 year ago

    I recognized this landmark right away. It’s such an impressive building. You picked a good day to photograph it with the fog in the background. I love your point of view with the street sign included and it makes a fine black and white. Really well done.

  • Ah, so you know the Villa Riviera. This is close to home for me, as I live one street east of this intersection and a block north of Ocean Blvd. It’s a grand building to photograph because the architecture is so interesting (complete with gargoyles near the top). I’m not sure what inspired me to try this angle with the sign above, but I knew it was a good one as soon as I looked through the viewfinder. Thank you, Carol!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • Thomas Eggert
    Thomas Eggertover 1 year ago

    Quite the building……Love the POV and in B&W :)))

  • Thanks very much, Thomas. It’s a most wonderful building and even has gargoyles (seriously!) near the top.

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • Susan Werby
    Susan Werbyover 1 year ago

    Ooooo, Celeste!!! I do love the Gothic look here with the extra-long light arm that almost reaches the old apartment structure… I expect that a horror film could be filmed in the uppermost part of that structure… Fave for creativity and great tonal quality!!!

  • Thank you very much, Susan. They could indeed set a horror film in the upper portion, as there are gargoyles there. However, I haven’t found references to filming of any kind there, although lots of filming is done in Long Beach (the Dexter TV series, for example). Silent film star Narma Talmadge and her ex-husband owned the building for a time.

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • kristijohnson
    kristijohnsonover 1 year ago

    I love the placement of the sign. This is a wonderful image!!

  • Thank you for that wonderful comment, Kristi!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • paintingsheep
    paintingsheepover 1 year ago

    Love the History…and way cool composition…Excellent work, Celeste!!!

  • Thank you, Gena! This place is definitely steeped in history.

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • RickDavis
    RickDavisover 1 year ago

    Celeste,,,this makes me think of a scene you might see in a movie. You captured it so well and I love it in b/w. Also enjoyed the write-up about it.

    Rick

  • Thank you very much, Rick! I know you appreciate history and old things, so I can understand why you might like this wonderful old historic building.

    – Celeste Mookherjee

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