Not So Secret Locations


To many people, Ventura County is a place to enjoy the beach, work, and raise a family. To the students at Brooks Institute, Ventura County is one big photo shoot. There are many obvious places to photograph around the city of Ventura such as the Ventura Pier, downtown Ventura, and Grant Park, but there are some not so obvious places all around the county.

Ventura County is home to many interesting cities, but three provide good potential for photographers.

Ojai is a 30- to 40- minute drive from Ventura and is full of beautiful nature. Rose Valley Falls is a beautiful location to shoot nature photographs. It is a little under 40 minutes north of the Brooks campus. It is a very easy hike to the falls, so carrying gear should not be a problem. At the end of the hike, you reach a beautiful, green waterfall. The water that falls is very light, so it is safe to get right next to the falls with your camera to take close up photographs. There are a wide variety of bugs that fly around, so make sure to bring some bug spray!

Camarillo is the home of California State University, Channel Islands, which was once the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. Across from the university, there is an abandoned dairy farm called Scary Dairy, where the patients at the mental hospital would gain work experience. Scary Dairy is an interesting location to photograph due to all of the old, abandoned buildings. It is open to the public during the day, but not open at night because it can potentially be dangerous. It provides lively backdrops for photoshoots and casts interesting shadows. Police often patrol the area to look out for large groups of people.

Back in 1970, a ship that went by the name of La Jenelle crashed and sank at a beach in Oxnard, Calif. The beach, now known as “La Jenelle Park” has old, rusty ship parts that are connected to the jetties. A combination of the beach, jetties,  old ship parts, and walls that are filled with art makes a great place for a variety of photographs.

Start exploring!