Butterfly Beach Photos

Sunset Surf
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Sunset Surf

My wife and I spent this evening walking on Butterfly Beach. The view was spectacular as always, but this particular sunset coincided nicely with an extremely low tide making for a large beach with lots of rocks to turn over and interesting things to see. And of course plenty of room for every imaginable kind of dog to race after balls stopping only for a second to get a scratch behind the ears from us. (I'm pretty sure they can sense dog people) Since our recent winter storms the surf has been higher than usual, so there was something for everyone tonight. The best part for me was enjoying it all with my best friend!


Walking on the Beach
Monday, January 11, 2016
Walking on the Beach

The rain was amazing last week, but it left our beaches a little less soft and sandy. Still, an amazing place to spend the evening. Fortunately it won't be long before the sand finds it's way back to the beach, and the beautiful hills in the background will be much greener and more alive.


Cypress Twilight
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Cypress Twilight

Last night at Butterfly Beach. One of the nice tradeoffs this time of year for our extremely early evenings are the fantastic sunsets. Of course you have to make sure you get out to see them. But even later in the evening after the sun is gone, the show can last for a surprisingly long time. You just have to slow down and take it all in (and being away from bright lights helps too). As the evening gets darker, the colors in the sky sometimes get richer and more purple. The sky can take on a completely different look well after the actual sunset seems like it has faded and the show can be just amazing!


Butterfly Beach Milky Way
Friday, August 21, 2015
Butterfly Beach Milky Way

Waiting for Perseids out on Butterfly Beach. This was a really fun evening. There were only a few really spectacular meteors, but they were worth the wait. Especially with this view. Even without the camera, once your eyes really adjust it's breathtaking how many stars you can see. Even more amazing to think that the little spots of light are just our local neighbors. Really just a small handful of the stars in our galaxy, the bright swath of stars so numerous they blend together and are largely blocked out by the large clouds of gas and dust in the middle. Standing under the stars always brings out the child-like wonder in me! But then again, exploring most of the world with my camera does that too.


Butterfly Rays
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Butterfly Rays

The sunlight streaming through the ocean mist always puts on a beautiful show. These humid days seem to have a head start, the mist from the waves lingers in the air even longer putting on a colorful show late into the evening.


Cypress and Perseid
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Cypress and Perseid

Last night at Butterfly Beach hanging out under the beautiful Cypress Tree watching the meteors go by. There were some really spectacular displays, this was just a tiny one, but every one was really exciting to see!


Butterfly Bluff
Friday, August 7, 2015
Butterfly Bluff

A beautiful evening walk on Butterfly Beach. I love the last glow of the sunset. After the main show is over, and there is just a hint of color in the sky, everthing takes on a completely different feel. The same scene in the middle of the day is still beautiful, but the steep angle of the remaining light brings out the textures in the cliff and bathes everything in an amazing glow.


Butterfly Catamaran
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Butterfly Catamaran

There is this beautiful spot I love to take a walk at sunset. Sometimes it's more crowded than others, regularly there are weddings and parties and all maner of tourists passing through from drifter types to the executives staying in the very nice hotel across the street. But if you spend more than a couple of nights in a row there you start to recognize the regulars. Being a dog person, the people who are owned by the more recognizable pups are the ones who stand out the most. There are the Weimaraners, the golden labs and one very slow moving but adorable older Dachshund. Lately one of the regulars is this beautiful catamaran that comes for the sunset. Not sure which one it is from the Santa Barbara Harbor, but it usually just stays for the sunset then moves on. Must be a really nice perspective from out on the water.


Gold Coast
Monday, November 24, 2014
Gold Coast

Everyone enjoys the beautiful sunsets here in Santa Barbara. There are always Sandpipers and Seagulls on the beach seeming to watch the sunset with us. But this particular evening there was a comical crow playing chicken with the waves. Sometimes they seem to forget they can fly, and their comical gait makes for quite a show when they're enjoying the beach.


Butterfy Watch
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Butterfy Watch

These beautiful palm trees watch over Butterfly Beach in Montecito. They all seem to be trying to lean out to see the sunset around their friends. And who could blame them? What better place to spend the end of the day especially walking on the beach with your best friend.


Friday Night Lights at Butterfly
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Friday Night Lights at Butterfly

I've always enjoyed taking my camera out after dark. A long exposure can reveal all kinds of interesting things you didn't even know were there. This was Friday night at Butterfly Beach. The moon was bright enough in the sky to easily catch the details at a faster shutter speed than this. But I intentionally lengthened the exposure to try to capture a more dreamy effect. In the middle of my exposure the people at the right walked up carrying some kind of small light, a cell phone presumably, which made for some unexpected interest in the form of an abstract light painting along the wall.


Cypress Super Moon
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Cypress Super Moon

The view from last night above Butterfly Beach. At the time I did not realize this was a "supermoon". A full moon that coincides with the moon's perigee, the closest part of the moon's orbit to Earth. But the crowds of people out along the beach watching seemed to suggest something was up. Of course the moon needs to be very close to the horizon to really notice a difference in size, but then every moonrise is beautiful here.


Butterfly Beach Wedding
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Butterfly Beach Wedding

About a year ago I was out at one of my favorite spots to try out a new lens. This beautiful Cypress tree watches over all the weddings and dog walks, and people just enjoying this beautiful stretch of the California Coast called Butterfly Beach. And on this particular day, he just happened to be watching over a newlywed couple enjoying the first moments of their marriage down below on the beach. One of countless amazing moments this wonderful tree has witnessed I'm sure.

As for the lens, if you're interested. A while ago Canon replaced the 15mm fisheye that I love with a zoom lens. An 8mm-15mm fisheye. This circular picture is what results from the 8mm end on a full frame camera.


Golden Reflection
Friday, January 24, 2014
Golden Reflection

Reflecting on the last sunset of 2013. This was during a beach walk on New Years Eve. I love the sailboats anchored off the coast, they always make me ponder going down to the harbor and renting one for a day or two. This one was at the perfect location relative to the beautiful stretch of Butterfly Beach I found myself on to line up perfectly with the sun and cloud above. Perhaps before the sun sets on another year I'll get down to the harbor and get the perspective from out on the water.


Moonlit Bluff
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Moonlit Bluff

Butterfly Beach lit only by the light of the full moon rising on the horizon and the faint fading glow of the sunset.


Sunset Cruise
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunset Cruise

The beautiful catamaran in the reflection of the sun is called the Double Dolphin. They do whale watching cruises and sunset crusies around the Santa Barbara Channel. Looks like a great way to spend an evening.


Twilight Bluff
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Twilight Bluff

An early evening long exposure from Butterfly Beach. The glow in the distance is the reflection of the city lights on the evening marine layer, and the last light of the setting sun. This is about half an hour after sunset while there was still a little color in the sky. Of course these days a long exposure like this is 3.2 seconds. Once upon a time I would have been standing there for minutes with a stopwatch.


Peaceful Evening on the Water
Friday, November 15, 2013
Peaceful Evening on the Water

I love to walk on the beach and at the harbor and look at all the boats. There are a wide variety of amazing crafts around Santa Barbara, but the sailboats have to be my favorites. It's been a long time since I've been sailing, and I'm pretty sure I'd have trouble living full time on one. But it sure looks like a nice relaxing way to spend the sunset hours. Someday soon I'm going to find the time to spend more time out on the water.


Butterfly Sunset Panorama
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Butterfly Sunset Panorama

An amazing evening at Butterfly Beach. Some evenings the sunset just doesn't quit. This was one of those evenings. As the sun set the display was breathtaking, and every time it seemed like it was going to fade, a whole new deeper pallete of colors appeared. This was not only one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen, it had to be the longest.


Shipwrecked After Dark
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Shipwrecked After Dark

If you have to be shipwrecked, this is a nice place to do it. Every so often a sailboat slips its mooring in the Santa Barbara area, and it seems more often than not they end up on Butterfly Beach.


Santa Barbara Bluff Sunset
Friday, July 12, 2013
Santa Barbara Bluff Sunset

This was one of those evenings that the sunset seemed to be long gone. But it was still a beautiful evening to enjoy a walk on the beach. As we wanderd down the beach the clouds on the horizon started to glow again even more beautiful than before.