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!


Evening Harbor Glow
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Evening Harbor Glow

As we are at the start of another heat wave here in Santa Barbara, it's time to spend more time at the water. And I've noticed an interesting change, as the weather is so unseasonably warm, the water is actually warming up enough that people play in it much more and later into the evening than normally. They were still in the water well after dark, and if you've ever spent any time on our beaches you know they are usually get a bit cool once the sun goes down, and, unless you're really active the water can cool you off uncomfortably pretty quickly even during the day. But these days with over 70 degree water temperatures it's warm enough to stay quite pleasant. Hopefully this will also mean a good wet winter and an end to our drought.


Carmel Highlands Sunset Mist
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Carmel Highlands Sunset Mist

Every day is full of wonder. This is the coast of California, just between Carmel (on the Monterey Peninsula) and Big Sur. The views are amazing any time, but in the evening the show is always something special.


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.


Carmel Sunset Mist
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Carmel Sunset Mist

Wandering on the beach in Carmel. I don't think I've ever seen a an evening that wasn't beautiful here, but there are some evenings that are really something special (Like evey evening I get to walk this way holding hands with my wife.) But this particular evening the beautiful marine layer put on an even better show than usual for us, swirling and rolling in over Pebble Hill in the distance. All while this amazing Cypress took it all in. I think it may be time for another trip up our beautiful coast!


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.


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.


Stearns Reflections
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Stearns Reflections

On one of our evening escapes from the heat recently I found myself wandering Stearns Wharf with my wife. The reflections on the water were particularly beautiful this evening (as was the company). It took a little creativity with the railing and a standpipe to do the view any justice without a tripod, but I'm pretty happy with this nice memory of a wonderful evening.


Golden Hour Paddle
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Golden Hour Paddle

Evening on the Santa Barbara Harbor breakwater. The afternoon was a little more cloudy than expected, it gave us a nice break from yesterday's heat. But the sun still managed to peek under the clouds at the end of the day to bathe the city in golden light. I had the good fortune to spend the day exploring with my best friend, location scouting for beautiful spots for a new senic shot of the city. But in the end everything came together at one of our favorite locations. That's ok, we still found some good spots for another day when the light is different, and had a great time!


Stearns Christmas Sunset
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Stearns Christmas Sunset

Stearns Wharf is a wonderful destination any time of year. If you're looking for a spot to get away from the warm summer temperatures or just a beautiful place to watch the boats go by while eating an ice-cream cone. But this time of year the amazing sunsets and the Christmas decorations make it even more beautiful.


1000 Steps Sunset
Sunday, November 30, 2014
1000 Steps Sunset

A beautiful evening at 1000 Steps beach. The wonderful and colorful dance the sun does as it slips below the horizon is due to the large amount of the atmosphere the light rays travel through at the steep angle near the horizon. You probably already knew that, but did you know that the moment you see the sun touch the horizon on a day like this it has actually already set? The refraction of the atmosphere bends the light around the curvature of the earth so you actually see the image of the sun projected slightly higher than it actually is. The same thing happens in the morning. When you see the sun peek above the horizon the leading edge is still actually below the horizon by slightly more than the diameter of the sun. The results of this atmospheric refraction result in about six minutes more daylight than simple geometry would suggest, which are always welcomed especially this time of year!


Cannery Row View
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Cannery Row View

Happy Thanksgiving from Cannery Row, Monterey! Ahh the beach, just one of the many things to be thankful for. I hope your blessings are too many to count! Happy Thanksgiving!


Stearns Sailing
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Stearns Sailing

There are few better places to spend a beautiful afternoon than on the water sailing. Just one of the many amazing things made even better by the wonderful views of Santa Barbara. Add to that an breathtaking show put on by mother nature and you'll have an adventure you won't soon forget. Now if we could just get those beautiful clouds to give us a little rain. Well I guess we can't have everything. (Maybe next week)


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.


Crescent Moon
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Crescent Moon

The crescent moon setting over Santa Barbara. When the moon is just a sliver like this, it's easy to miss. (in fact you may have to click to view a larger size image) Especially on a day with a beautiful sunset to distract you. But if you look closely the tiny crescent following the sun over the horizon is a beautiful sight.


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.


I'd Rather Be
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
I'd Rather Be

Would you rather be surfing? Fishing? (or even wandering on the beach with your camera) right now? I know I would! Well, something to look forward to... have a great day no matter where you are!


Santa Barbara City Lights
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Santa Barbara City Lights

A nice long exposure just after sunset from the end of the breakwater. The tide was pretty high when I took this last week, so I came back from a nice evening walk on the breakwater a little soggy. But it was well worth it. I was not the only one crazy enough to brave the beautiful waves either. There were more than a few people trying to enjoy the view while running from dry spot to dry spot on the breakwater. I actually had fun trying to capture the breaking waves, but they seemed to take on a life of their own. Taunting me only when I turned my back. When I came close to the wall ready to snap my shot quickly then duck, they seemed to know I was stalking them. I actually got all the way out and most of the way back before they caught me off totally off guard. I guess the score is waves 1 - photographer 0, but there will be plenty of warm evenings this summer to give me the opportunity to even up the score.


Carmel Cypress Silhouette
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Carmel Cypress Silhouette

Speaking of windswept Cypress Trees (see my Poppy post from last week). This beauty and his friends stand watch along a particularly beautiful stretch of the California Coast on Carmel Beach. The hills in the distance between the beach and the setting sun are part of Pebble Beach. This is one of the areas I love to walk along at sunset whenever we find ourselves in the Monterey area. The beach is beautiful, and there is a nice path along the top of the bluff overlooking the beach. You can watch the surfers enjoying the water and take in the amazing view from a great perspective.