Saturday, November 16, 2013
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.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Although nothing like closer to San Francisco in the north, Santa Barbara is a favorite hang out for something the weather man calls the "Marine Layer". It's basically a layer of air cooled quickly by the water making it much more dense than the warm air above. This cool layer has a tendency to slide into the coast as the sun is setting, bringing with it some beautiful swirling fog. Once in a while the effect is so pronounced that from the right vantage point you can see it rolling in like a beautiful blanket.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Reflections of The Belt of Venus or...
...Paddle Boarding in the Shadow of the Earth. Just after sunset there is a beautiful phenomenon that we can clearly see in Santa Barbara thanks to generally clear skies and good views of the horizon. The blue band you see in the sky opposite the location where the sun recently set is actually the shadow of the earth. You can see it cast upon the atmosphere in the distance as the angle of the sunlight dips below the opposite horizon. The pink or purple layer above that is called the Belt of Venus or the anti-twilight arch, which is caused by a completely different phenomenon, a backscattering of the light from the already set sun. You could think of it as a reflection of the sunset that is happening further to the west of your location. Now isn't physics pretty? By the way, if you're more of a morning person you can see these effects just before sunrise too.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Pacific Grove Sunset
In every city I spend much time, I always end up with my favorite spots where I try to end up at the end of the day. This is Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula. Some days the waves are huge and breathtaking, other days the sun slides down past the horizon peacefully, but every evening it's a wonderful show.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Santa Barbara Breakwater Twilight
Walking along the Santa Barbara Harbor breakwater at sunset, the perfect end to a really warm day.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
This amazing little creature is a Comb Jelly. The lights in rows on the side of his body are rows of tiny cilia (tiny movable hair like structures). But the light does not come from bioluminescence, the cilia are like tiny little prisms refracting the ambient light as the jelly waves the cilia to move through the water. The resulting wave of small rainbows is quite a show.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Mountains and Harbor Lights
The Santa Barbara Harbor is a great place to be on a warm day in Santa Barbara. Walking on the breakwater is always a beautiful experience, from wildlife to views of Stearns Wharf there is no better place to be.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Evening at Mount Carmel
One of my favorite local landmarks, Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Montecito. There are many well known sights to see in Santa Barbara, but this is one of the little local gems that is more tucked away off the beaten path.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Moonlit Island Fog
On the surface near the beach they call it June Gloom. In Santa Barbara the fog that rolls in the late spring and early summer can be very thick right at the surface. But if you take a step back and get a better view you can appreciate its beauty more. This evening the fog was hugging the surface in the marine layer, a cool layer of air just above the water. As it met the resistance of the islands, at first it was not thick enough so it went around, but as the evening progressed it started to pour over the island like running water.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Santa Barbara Harbor Twilight
I love to look at the boats at the Santa Barbara Harbor, think about how much fun each one would be. I'm not the worlds expert on watercraft, but I know enough to spot the nice wood sailboats that are beautiful (but a lot of work), and the crusiers that look like they could almost be an appartment inside, and the beautiful racing boats. It seems like they must each have a story and they are just waiting for the next chance to go out and write another chapter. But in the evening like this they sway peacefully in their slips dreaming of the open water.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Dolphin Family Fountain
This beautiful fountain is at the base of Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara. The Dolphins were sculpted by local artist Bud Bottoms, who is also the creator of the very cool whale tail benches you might see around Santa Barbara from the Harbor to La Arcada Plaza. This evening the sunset was a perfect backdrop for the beautiful Santa Barbara landmark.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Point Pinos Sunset
This beautiful little lighthouse is on the northern most tip of the Monterey Peninsula. At night it's quite bright, but there's always someone around with a bigger light, and this time of day there's no comparison. Still it's quite a beautiful spot! The Point Pinos Lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places, Reference #77000312
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Santa Barbara Sunset
Sunset over Santa Barbara. This is the kind of sunset that perplexes people about Santa Barbara. On the west coast you'd probably expect the sun to set over the ocean. The thing is, we're along a stretch of the California coast that faces south. There are spots at the right time of year where you can see a beautiful ocean sunset. But in general the ocean is to the south, the mountains are to the north and the sun sets somehwere in between.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Sandpiper Lenticular Sunset
On any day Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta is an amazing spot to chase a little white ball around or to just enjoy some of the most beautiful views the Santa Barbara area has to offer. Then there are the really spectacular days, the ones with clouds that have so much texture in the clear air that you're sure you could reach out and touch them. The days with sunsets that stretch color from horizon to horizon. This was absolutely one of those days.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Fog Over The Good Land
This angle is from the foothills just outside Santa Barbara. Overlooking the city of Goleta (our next-door neighbors, AKA "The Good Land"). The fog was rolling in quickly the night I took this. About ten minutes after this shot there were no discernible points of light. Well not on the ground anyway. The stars were still amazing! In fact you can just make aout some of the Milky Way in the left side of the photo.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Hanging around the Santa Barbara Harbor in the evenings this time of year is not only wonderful for photography, but it's a nice cool place... literally! We've had quite a few hot days lately, and the harbor and wharf are my favorite places on a hot day.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Santa Barbara Mission Cross at Night
One evening when we were at the Santa Barbara Mission we noticed someone playing ball with their dog in the field by the mission rose garden. The really interesting thing for my camera is they were playing with a ball that had a light in it. It was a lot of fun watching the ball move back and forth, it was too dark to really see the dog, but it was obvious where he was. In the end, there were too many cars to get an interesting shot of the ball, although it is in there bouncing under the big tree at the left. The fun thing is the shot came out beautifully anyway.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Last Rays of the Setting Sun
I was out for a beach walk the other evening. As the sun got closer to the horizon the waves kicked up some beautiful sea mist givng just a few moments of absolutely beautiful light.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Santa Barbara Courthouse Anapamu Garden
A panoramic view of one of the most beautiful buildings in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The sunken garden in the center is used for a wide range of creative things throughout the year. It's an amazing spot right in the middle of the city.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Taxi Dancer in the Santa Barbara Harbor
The breakwater at the Santa Barbara Harbor is a great place for an evening walk. Of course you have to be willing to risk a rouge wave making you a little wet, but usually it's possible to navigate without getting too much of a shower. Last night it looked like there was potential for a nice sunset, initially the clouds didn't get as much color as I'd hoped for. But a little patience and some long exposures a little later paid off with some evening shots of the beautiful crafts wating for their next outing. Taxi Dancer (in the foreground) in particular looks like it would make for a fun (and fast) sail up the coast.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Santa Ynez Night Sky
This was a beautiful evening in the Santa Ynez Valley. The exposures were so long that I couldn't really tell how much the wispy clouds were affecting the shot. At one point it seemed like the clouds were too heavy to get anything interesting, but I kept at it. I was glad I did. The clouds only made things more beautiful. They gave a glow to the stars and Jupiter, and helped increase the glow of the lights in the distance. The light at the top (generally in the west) is the last glow of the setting sun. The light down the road is the glow of houses and cars moving around on the other side of the hill (the cars moving, not the houses.)
Friday, May 3, 2013
Sunset on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara is a wonderful experience. This day even more so than usual. This compass rose (or windrose) is out near the end of the wharf, past the buildings where there is nothing around you, not even railings to seperate you from the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
The windswept trees along our coast are all works of art in their own right. This little Cypress is between two of its absolutely massive big brothers at Butterfly beach. Even though it's much younger than the others you can still see the beginnings of the windswept character that make them so beautiful. The amazing view of Santa Barbara in the background doesn't hurt either.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Mountain View Patio Evening
View of the Santa Ynez Mountains from the El Paseo building in Santa Barbara. A long exposure to bring out the evening lights of our beautiful city.