In 2018, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) launched a contest to find the cover of the next Santa Monica Official Visitors Guide and Map – a photograph that embodied the spirit of Santa Monica, Los Angeles’ Beach City. After receiving over one hundred submissions, a winner was selected and what a beautiful photograph it is (pictured in header)!
Meet the photographer, Ed Burns (pictured below), a Santa Monica Community Service Officer, and learn a little about what he loves most about Santa Monica.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Pasadena, but lived in Peru (where my parents are from) for a little over a year when I was still a baby. After we returned to the United States, my parents settled down in La Crescenta, California. During my freshman year in high school, we moved to Redondo Beach and I’ve stayed in the South Bay area ever since.
What/where are your favorite things to photograph in Santa Monica?
I’ve loved watching sunsets since I moved to the beach as a kid, and then started photographing them in the early 1990s after I took my first photography class in 1991. Over the past 2 1/2 decades, I’ve constantly watched the sky to see what type of cloud patterns are forming, and I would usually take a drive down to the beach if I believed we’d get a colorful sunset. I never felt a single frame could adequately capture the amazing beauty of a good sunset though, so I learned how to shoot panoramic photos and starting shooting most of my sunsets in that format.
But, probably more enjoyable than that is photographing the men and women I work with; as well as the firefighters and EMT crews that work beside us during emergency situations. I’ve met and known some amazing first responders over the years, but Santa Monica has (in my humble opinion) some of the finest law enforcement personnel I’ve ever known.
For anyone looking at the Santa Monica Official Visitor Guide/Map and considering a trip to Santa Monica – what is one “insider tip” you would give to them?
For sight-seeing, check out Tongva Park and then, take a stroll up and down Palisades Park to catch the sunset. If you want to photograph the pier during sunset, some of the best angles are from the south side, around lifeguard towers 16 through 20. The Third Street Promenade is great for shopping and entertainment, and Main Street is good for nightlife. If you’re looking for something a little more peaceful and quiet, check out Douglas Park or Clover Park on the east side of the city. Also, check out the shops on Montana Avenue and near the southern end of Main Street for some unique options.