Mountain Photos

Bixby Pastel Twilight
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Bixby Pastel Twilight

The evening light changes moment to moment along Highway one. Just a few minutes earlier it seemed that the light was all gone, but as the evening settled in, the glow from the unseen sunset over the horizon seemed to fill the air with a beautiful warmth.


Bixby Creek Bridge Twilight
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Bixby Creek Bridge Twilight

South of Monterey along the Pacific Coast Highway there is a stretch of California coastline that has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Among the many amazing things this area known as Big Sur has to offer are some amazing man made wonders. This is Bixby Creek Bridge an open spandrel (referring to the spaces above the arches) concrete arch bridge. It's completion in 1932 meant an end to the 11 mile inland trek required to cross Bixby creek which was all but impassable in the winter. As beautiful as the bridge is during the day, just after sunset the colors really come alive especially with a nice long exposure.


Santa Barbara Courthouse Mountain Sunset
Monday, August 17, 2015
Santa Barbara Courthouse Mountain Sunset

A beautiful evening at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. It's hard to match the beauty of the Santa Barbara Courthouse, but then again, from the right view on an evening like this it just fits right into its amazing surroundings.


Milky Way Vista
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Milky Way Vista

This week was a great week for stargazing. In case you missed it, the Perseid meteor shower peaked on Wednesday. If you did miss it, don't feel bad. I love that sort of thing and I would have missed it if it weren't for running into a good friend at the beach while I was taking an evening walk with my wife. Fortunately we were all set up for taking photos of the stars anyway. We got a few nice meteor shots, (this NOT being one of them, that's just a passing jet in the sky) and saw even more really beautiful meteors. But I was, purely coincidentally looking to experiment with a wide enough view to capture more of the milky way. Although the meteors were amazing, this is more the image I was looking for and it just goes to show, you don't need to wait for the next meteor shower (October 8th, by the way) to find something absolutely amazing as close as the night sky.

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Evening Sentinel
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Evening Sentinel

I love this palm tree. He's one of a few who live up at the edge of the hills above Santa Barbara keeping watch, as the evening mist rolls in like a gentle fluffy blanket to tuck in the city below. From down there the fog is sometimes called "June Gloom" but from this angle gloom is just about the last word I would use to describe it.


Ice Cream Castles in the Air
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Ice Cream Castles in the Air

This beautiful view is actually a little bit of nostalgia. This is Laguna Blanca in Hope Ranch. Or rather this was Laguna Blanca about a year and a half ago, back when we actually had so much water here it actually fell from the sky. But these days they are really doing their part there to help with the drought. The last time I was in the neighborhood it didn't quite look this lush at all. Still it's a great place to see the beautiful sunset colors on the mountains.


Harbor City Lights
Monday, August 3, 2015
Harbor City Lights

This afternoon it looked like we might have some beautiful sunset clouds. But the sun at the end of the day was just a little too much for them. As the sun faded so did the last beautiful wisps of clouds. But they left in their wake an interesting haze that scattered the late twilight with a beautiful glow making for some particularly beautiful long exposures.


Golden Hour Mountains
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Golden Hour Mountains

Golden hour walking on the Santa Barbara Harbor Breakwater looking toward Stearns Wharf and our beautiful mountains. I love catching the little starbursts of sunset reflected in the windows of the homes on the hill. This evening was particularly golden.


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!


End of the Rainbow
Sunday, December 14, 2014
End of the Rainbow

Friday after the storm, the late afternoon sun on the mountains was spectacular and the air was clear and beautiful from the rain. As the sun slipped below the remaining clouds there were several light rainbows appearing and disappearing moment by moment as the shafts of light played among the remaining clouds. It was an amazing afternoon to just enjoy our beautiful city at the end of the rainbow.


Summer Sunset at the Santa Barbara Harbor
Monday, June 30, 2014
Summer Sunset at the Santa Barbara Harbor

Last Thursday was shaping up to be a beautiful afternoon. The sky was full of wispy clouds and a clarity in the air that made me really want to get outdoors with my camera. Fortunately the long evenings this time of year give us plenty of time to enjoy the beauty around us. I knew our ultamate destination would be the harbor. But we got there in on a meandering route that let us explore the beaches along the way for anything interesting. (Interesting things like our favorite coffee spot in Montecito so I would have enough energy to carry thirty pounds of camera gear around all evening.) Once we got to the harbor, we found the tide high enough to make staying dry on the breakwater a challenge. But the splashing waves were beautiful in themselves. So beautiful in fact that I almost missed getting in place for the sunset while I tried to capture the power of the waves! More photos to come from that beautiful evening!


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.


Bixby Creek Coastline Big Sur
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Bixby Creek Coastline Big Sur

Bixby Creek Coastline in Big Sur on Pacific Coast Highway. Whenever I'm in Monterey I like to take a day to drive down Highway 1. There is no end of beautiful things to see, and every day is absolutely unique. This day was virtually cloudless, but there was still enough fog over the water and mist from the waves to give the late afternoon sun some nice golden color.


Santa Barbara Harbor Golden Hour
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Santa Barbara Harbor Golden Hour

Just after the sun dipped below the mountains in the distance the sky still had some amazing color. An evening walk on the breakwater is a great place to watch the sunset.


Reflections of The Belt of Venus or...
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.


Shoreline Bluff
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Shoreline Bluff

Just after sunset the colors are beautiful this time of year. This is looking east from Shoreline Park, one of the best places in town for a nice evening walk.


Mountains and Harbor Lights
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.


Greek Orthodox Dome Mountain View
Friday, August 23, 2013
Greek Orthodox Dome Mountain View

View of the mountains in the distance from the Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, in the foothills by Goleta. This beautiful church has some beautiful architectural details. And it's a great place to go if you're looking for a little refreshing change from red tile roofs.


Sunset in the Hills
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Sunset in the Hills

Santa Barbara is well known for its beautiful beaches and for good reason. But over the years I've found that the locals identify more with my images of the hills and the wonderful hidden perches all around town where you can watch the suset or just enjoy an evening with nature even if you're not that far from downtown.


Moonlit Island Fog
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.


Santa Barbara Sunset
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.


Fog Over The Good Land
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.


Cachuma Lake Sunset Colors
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Cachuma Lake Sunset Colors

Cachuma Lake is a beautiful place to spend the day. Even more so at this time of day. The sun was able to peek under the clouds the last few moments before sunset and light up the mountains.