Night Photos

Twilight Harbor Mist
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Twilight Harbor Mist

The evening mist rolling in over Santa Barbara always puts on a beautiful show. This particular evening the beautiful fog was just enveloping Stearns Wharf and the Santa Barbara Harbor as the last colors of the setting sun bathed the city in a beautiful glow.


Yacht Club Moonset
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Yacht Club Moonset

The day after the new moon, there is just a sliver of a waxing crescent that sets right after sunset. It makes for some beautiful and interesting views with the setting sun. Last night there was an interesting low layer of wispy clouds enveloping the beautiful crescent just before it slipped out of sight.


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.


Santa Barbara Twilight Glow
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Santa Barbara Twilight Glow

The cool breezes lately in the evening have welcomed the return of an absent friend! This year more than most I have really missed the beautiful blanket of fog that rolls in over Santa Barbara. No two nights are ever quite the same. Sometimes the boundaries are less defined, but other evenings, like this amazing night, the marine layer has a distinct boundary making look like a slow gentle wave washing over the city. There is no better place to be when that happens than just above it watching the glow of the city lights peek through.


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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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!


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.


Clocktower Reopens
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Clocktower Reopens

The beautiful view from the Santa Barbra County Courthouse Clock Tower officially reopened Friday after many months of work. Now the view is easily accessible by all with the elevator opening right out on the observation deck. The only drawback is, newcomers might not notice the beautiful clock gallery below that you had to walk past to get to that last flight of steps to the tower. The elevator still stops at the Clock Gallery though, so you can still enjoy every part of this local treasure!


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.


Twilight Over Santa Barbara
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Twilight Over Santa Barbara

Evening view from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Clock Tower where construction continues to make the tower more accessible. In the very near future everyone will be able to easily enjoy the view from the top. In the mean time, however, the trek to the top for this shot was even more of a walk than normal. With no elevator at all you start to appreciate really how tall the clock tower is. Currently the tower is still closed to the public, but the major elevator work is nearing an end with the opening at the top already complete.


Evening Blanket
Monday, February 16, 2015
Evening Blanket

Some evenings the fog is so thick in Santa Barbara it seems you would never get a good view of anything. But sometimes it only takes a small change of perspective to see what once blocked your view is actually something to behold itself. I love to watch for the evenings, more common this time of year, when the beautiful thick fog hugs the surface rolling in just at sunset leaving a clear view out above it's fluffy beauty. As the stars start to glow from above the city lights light the fog from below and the effect is something quite amazing that you would never expect from the surface.


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.


Harbor View Sunset
Monday, September 1, 2014
Harbor View Sunset

The Santa Barbara Harbor about a half hour after a beautiful summer sunset. This year has been one of the driest on record, but several Pacific hurricanes have supplied us with enough of these beautiful wispy evening clouds to put on quite an unseasonable show. This particular day had a wonderful parade of high clouds all day giving me a good hint that the evening would be beautiful. And I couldn't think of a better place to spend the warm evening than walking on the breakwater at the Harbor with my best friend.


Heaven and Earth
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Heaven and Earth

Every evening as we go about our lives there is an amazing ballet going on above our heads. Most of us are too busy to think about it. But if you take some time to get away from the brighter lights of the city you can see some spectacular things just by looking up. This is the the beautiful Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, under the equally beautiful Milky Way Galaxy. The Galaxy we call home. If you think of all those stars at night that you usually see from any location, they are in general just our local neighbors in a small part of the Milky Way. All the visible stars you can make out with your naked eye in every direction from the earth (anywhere between five to ten thousand stars give or take) only comprise a tiny fraction of the stars in the Milky Way. That glowing band however, is made up of individual stars so numerous that they appear to be a continuous cloud of light to the unaided eye. Estimates put it from one to four hundred billion stars. There are absolutely wondrous and beautiful things all around us!


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.


Evening Over Stearns Wharf
Friday, July 25, 2014
Evening Over Stearns Wharf

A nice cool evening out on Stearns Wharf. This is one of my favorite times to be out on the wharf. Most of the shops have closed and the only people out are fishermen or the restaurant patrons heading back to their cars. Of course it's a little harder to get ice cream and candy at this time... but the parking is free!


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.


Santa Barbara Evening View
Friday, June 6, 2014
Santa Barbara Evening View

I love trying to get a different perspective on our beautiful corner of the world. And I've always enjoyed experimenting with my cameras after dark. No surprise then that I would always be on the lookout for a wonderful nighttime perch like this.

We have a wonderful opportunity to go from a beautiful cityscape like this, to an absoulte dark sky allowing great views of the stars in Santa Ynez Valley with only a short drive. And you can see that on some interesting maps online that can help you find dark skies for stargazing, or even bright cityscapes if you're a crazy owl-like photographer who likes that sort of thing. This is one of my favorites... http://darksitefinder.com/maps.html

(By the way, access to this particular view was thanks to a friend, client and regular Santa Barbara View reader!)


Savanna May Santa Barbara
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Savanna May Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Harbor is one of my favorite evening walks. The shops and restaurants along the side of the harbor are always quite busy in the evenings, and the walk out on the breakwater offers a variatey of wonderful views on the city. This was one of the last shots of the evening on one of those walks.


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.


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.


Evening at Mount Carmel
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.


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.