As a Photo Group member, you are welcome to join our field trips! All our field trips support all our photo group members, from the very experienced to the novice. Our more experienced members are glad to help beginners with all aspects of cameras and photography on our field trips.
Our trip experiences have consistently lead to award winning photographs at club meetings and local competitions.
Past field trips have included locations such as the Civil War Reenactment, LA Metro, Camarillo Airport Air Show, Underwood Family Farms, Huntington Gardens, Descanso Gardens, California Poppy Preserve, Anacapa & Santa Cruz Islands, Farmer’s Market, Hollywood Boulevard, the Getty Museum, the Getty Villa, San Pedro, Downtown Los Angeles, Lompoc, the Santa Barbara Zoo, Death Valley, Las Vegas and the Eastern Sierras.
Finally, we conduct training/critiquing field trips. In the morning, we go to a nearby location and shoot with experienced member/leaders. In the afternoon, we review and critique the images taken that morning.
To participate in any TOPG sponsored field trip, you must be an active TOPG member and register for each sponsored event. Find out more about specific field trips at our Meetup page.
Our past trips include:
- Owens Valley (Overnight Trip)
- Sepulveda Wildlife Basin
- Renaissance Faire
- Long Beach Aquarium – Photographer’s Night
- Photographic Historic LA Downtown
- Wings Over over Camarillo — Airshow
- Getty Center
- The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
- Santa Anita Race Track
- Renaissance Fair
- Descanso Gardens
Bird Photography at Rancho Simi Community Park
February 22, 2020, 7:00 AM
This is a local venue that offers an excellent opportunity to photograph wild and domestic waterfowl. The Field Trip will be led by Paul Abravaya.
Paul Abravaya, one of best bird photographers, will be on hand to provide pointers and instruction to those who need a bit of a brush-up or are new to bird photography. Since the sunrise is not so great at this venue, we don't have to meet quite so early. The Duck Pond at Rancho Simi Community Park was completely renovated during the summer 2016 and offers a local spot to shoot birds.
We suggest that you bring an extra pair of shoes that you don't want to bring into house after shooting. We are not responsible for you getting in trouble for messing up your house!
Ranch Simi Community Park is located at 1765 Royal Ave, Simi Valley CA 93065. There is NO admission fee. For more information about the park, see the Rancho Simi Community Park web page and the Acon article published on June 24, 2016.
LA Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
March 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM (approximate timinig)
Note: NEW Event Date*
Photography at the LA Arboretum and Botanical Gardens will be an excellent opportunity to practice your skills of plant and flower photography.
Our field trip to the LA Arboretum and Botanical Gardens gives us an opportunity to photograph 127 acres of plants, peacocks, and peahens, natural wildlife, and historic buildings. On the site of Rancho Santa Anita, Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin built “Baldwin’s Belvedere,” today known as the Queen Anne Cottage and other buildings. Today, there are theme gardens, water features including lakes and waterfalls, and way too many peafowl. It is an excellent place to photograph.
We will meet a little before 9 AM at arboretum entrance. The admission fee is $9 for adults and $6 for seniors 65 and up. We will shoot pictures in the morning and meet for lunch at the Peacock Cafe which has burgers, sandwiches, soups, and salads.
*This Field Trip was originally scheduled for February 22, 2020. The date has been changed to accomodate other activities occuring on that date.
Anacapa Island Field Trip
March 21 via Island Packers
Boat Departs at 9:30 AM (be ther at least 45 minutes early)
Once again the TOPG will try to go to Anacapa Island to photograph the birds, flowers and amazing seascapes. We have tried this the past two years and have been thwarted by bad weather. Hopefully, our third time out will work just fine! Our trip leader, Pete Scifres, has put together a very detailed description about the trip including cost and departure information. Rather that repeat all that information here, please refer to Pete's Anacapa Field Trip Description.
Island Packers has put together some points which you should also think about when planning your expedition. They are included below:
To prepare for the best day possible you will need to:
- Pack food and water for your time on the island. A small cooler with a single handle or a back pack will help to protect your food from the birds that populate the island year round. There are no shops or restaurants on the island. Be prepared to hike out all your trash.
- Anacapa Island has little shade, so sun screen and a hat will help to protect you from UV that is present even on overcast days.
- Weather conditions can change rapidly in the Santa Barbara Channel and it is always best to dress in layers and bring a jacket along (even in the summer months).
- Flat shoes with rubber soles are best for both the boat and the island. We recommend hiking sandals or sneakers. We suggest that you do not wear loose or leather soles sandals or flip flops on your island adventure.
- Camera and binoculars will add to your trip and this island offers some spectacular photo opportunities.
- Please arrive at your harbor of departure 45 minutes before your schedule mainland departure.
Friday, April 3 at 8:45 AM
To avoid large crowds on the weekend, the photography club will go on Friday, April 3, 2020 to the Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge. Descanso Gardens was once a private estate which became a public botanical garden which includes a Camelia Forest, a Lilac Forest, Japanese Gardens, a 5-acre Rose Garden, an Oak Woodland which is a restored 7-acre habitat for native plants and animals, an Ancient Forest, an Oak Grove, and a Mulberry Pond. We expect to see the lovely tulips, which will still be in season.
You can download a map of Descanso Gardens if you go online to https://www.descansogardens.org/. The Gardens are located at the intersection of the 210 and 2 Freeways at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge, CA 910ll. There is limited free parking so plan to get there by 8:45 even though the Gardens do not open until 9. You line up to buy tickets and lines can be long. Descanso Gardens has fairly lenient photography rules. If you want to review them see https://www.descansogardens.org/visit/garden-etiquette-and-practices/ and https://www.descansogardens.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Photography-Policy-1.pdf.
Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for seniors. If you go online to https://www.descansogardens.org/tickets/ you can buy tickets online and avoid the lines to buy tickets when you get there.
Time Traveler Day at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire
April 18, Time TBD
Travel back in time and travel through time to Time Traveler Day at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Lots of opportunity to get great shots for human interest, pomp and color. The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is always a great place to photograph. For details and advanced ticket purchases see the Renaissance Pleasure Faire website.
Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest
Despite the fire that destroyed Western Town, the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest lives on!
May 17, 2020 at 9:00 AM
The Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest will take place at Paramount Ranch, 2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, CA 91301, on May 20, 2020 from 9AM to 6PM. There will be bands, contests, dancing, and plenty of opportunities to take pictures. Tickets at the gate cost $25. Purchse tickets online at the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest website. See our Meetup Site for details.