Travel: PhotowalksTV Best of 2022

Von Cannon
Hermosa Beach beachcomber Von Cannon with his collection of sand dollars. Photographed by Sam Graham for the Easy Reader

We went to lots of fabulous places in 2022 for PhotowalksTV, my streaming travel photography series that’s seen on YouTube, Tubi and the Roku Channel. Photo moments, of course, stand out, but equally special are some of the cool people I met on the road.

The joy of traveling and making videos is meeting fascinating people, and in my annual end of the year highlight reel, I’d like to shine a spotlight on a few of them. Two of them are even right here in the South Bay, both in Hermosa Beach. 

We met Nicholas Gauthier in Paris for PhotowalksTV

Nico Gauthier is the country manager for the social magazine app Flipboard. When we met him in Paris, he showcased the classic dry French wit, telling me of a mythical smartphone app that would freeze if it saw one trying to take a picture of the Eiffel Tower, “because it’s been done a billion times.”

In Bandon, Oregon, an out of the way, but oh so magical place in southern Oregon, the photographer Susan Dimmock told me I needed more than just a camera by my side to capture the rock formations. “Don’t forget the boots.” You need to get wet if you take photos in Bandon. 

In Pismo Beach, people stand on line for hours to get first crack at the Old West Cinnamon Rolls shop on Dolliver Street. I wanted something a little more–I wanted to see how these beauties were made. Owner Cindy Parkhurst told me if I returned the next morning at 6 a.m. I’d be able to film it. She also asked me “Have you seen our sunsets here?” and made a sigh. Yes, they’re very special. Sometimes even more so than the South Bay. 

Out on the San Francisco Bay, Mike McCue had invited me to join him on a “Photosail” to get a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge from another angle–his boat! He was right, it was extraordinary. I tried flying my drone from out there, but it couldn’t fly as fast as the boat could sail. In fact, it got lost at sea. Mike turned the boat around and caught it in mid-air, handing it back to the owner. 

Von Cannon and his periwinkle shells by Sam Graham for the Easy Reader

Then were two extra memorable assignments for the Easy Reader. 

Publisher Kevin Cody asked me to check out the seashell collection of Hermosa Beach’s Von Cannon, who after we met, I dubbed the Seashell Millionaire. He has millions of them, in a tiny little house. Hopefully one day he turns it into a museum!

He has traditional shells, periwinkles, sand dollars and moonstones, sea glass and tiles, even dead starfish that he’s painted over. And that’s not at all. He’s also a finder of lost beach stuff. He collects what’s left behind and takes it home for display. That includes odd flip-flops, cigarette lighters, broken sunglasses, flip phones, GoPro cameras, iPhones and other things dumped in the sand. 

“I just love the ocean,” he says. “It’s therapy for me.”

And for the third year in a row, I did a video episode with Surfing Santa. This year was extra special, as we watched local chiropractor Derek Levy transform himself into the Surfman and then hit the water, which was a lot of fun. 

Derek Levy as Surfing Santa. Photo by Ray Vidal

Thanks for watching the videos this year, Happy Holidays and new year everyone!



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