Sky 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!


Point Pinos Golden Hour
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Point Pinos Golden Hour

A beautiful evening at Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove. I love how, if you look really close, you can see the sky and sunset inverted in the lens of the light.


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!


Endless Wonder
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Endless Wonder

Every day is a work of art! Although the weather conditions can be similar and there are things I look for to give me hints where to stand with my camera, I never cease to be in awe of the individual beauty of each day. I can return to the same spot over and over, but there is always something new to see. This is from one of my favorite perches in the foothills overlooking the Santa Barbara Harbor, Stearns Wharf and Santa Cruz Island in the distance. This is the direction I like to face on a clear evening with high beautiful clouds like this. On an evening like this it's tempting to go somewhere and watch the sun set over the hills or at the beach. But when the conditions are right, the glow cast by that spectacular sunset can bathe everything in a wonderful new light. If you take the time to look around and not be distracted by the obvious show, sometimes you'll find something even more amazing. And if you can manage it, don't ever loose that sense of wonder, It makes every day 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.


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.


Sandpiper Glow
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Sandpiper Glow

I've never been much of a golfer, but I do love spending my time on the beautiful courses around Santa Barbara. This is Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta, where some good friends hold a golf tournament just about every year. Although I wouldn't be much help to them with a club, I take great pleasure in wandering the course with my camera trying to do the amazing views justice. If you've ever tried to make a business out of something you love to do, you know it can have its challenges. But days in a spot like this are definitely the reward.


Montecito Golden Hour
Friday, August 14, 2015
Montecito Golden Hour

The perfect end to an absolutely beautiful day. Sometimes the mist in the air does such wonderful things with the light as the sun dips low it seems almost magical. This particular evening the clouds were looking beautiful, but the sun was a little hidden behind them. Still a nice day for a drive to the nurseries in Carpenteria. But as the sun started to peek below the clouds, the light passing through the low mist on the water turned the most amazing shades of yellow and orange. As vibrant and beautiful as any south pacific island sunset. It's subtle in the photo, but the crepuscular rays created by the shadows of the trees on the hills were a sight to see.


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.


Harbor Glow
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Harbor Glow

Another view of one of the spectacular sunsets from this week. This is our reward for the hot humid days, usually we have to wait until winter to see sunsets like this. But every once in a while we get a nice surprise.


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.


Dolores Sunset
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Dolores Sunset

Yesterday the most amazing thing happened. We were out enjoying the beautiful day and water actually started falling from the sky. Unfortunately it came with lightning bolts, so we postponed the walk we were planning on the beach, but it was still a very welcomed change. And by the end of the day the sun streaming through the clouds was so beautiful we decided to try again. As you can see we were greatly rewarded!


Winter Sunset Cruise
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Winter Sunset Cruise

This week has been a beautiful week here in Santa Barbara. And the skies have been glowing more each evening. But tonight they put on a show that will not soon be forgotten! I'm not sure if that is a working fishing boat or someone just out for a cruise, but either way it looks like a great vantage point for the amazing light show.


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!


Santa Barbara Skies
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Santa Barbara Skies

An evening in the hills over Santa Barbara. The lights of the city are just visible as the bright glow through the trees and the foreground was lit by the headlights of passing cars. There is such an amazing dance going on just above our heads every night. And you don't even need a telescope or even a camera to appreciate it. Just a short drive up the mountain to a dark spot and the patience to sit and let your eyes adjust, is all you need to have the beauty of the universe laid out before you. (Or at least our little galactic corner of it.)


Andree Clark Sunset Reflections
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Andree Clark Sunset Reflections

The drought has been hard on all of the natives and visitors of California, the Andree Clark Bird Refuge and its visitors have been no exception. But standing there on a beautiful peaceful evening like this enjoying the sunset with the ducks offers a wonderful break from all the cares of the day.


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!


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.


Milky Way Over Goleta
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Milky Way Over Goleta

Last night in the foothills above Goleta, the sky was beautifully dark and clear. I have been planning a drive to Santa Ynez to get some Milky Way pictures out where there is less light. But last night I just had to get out and see what I could get, even if it was a little late for the drive all the way to my favorite astrophotography spots.

This was one of my earlier shots of the evening. The glow is from cars in the distance and the city of Goleta down the hill in the distance. This spot was not my first choice (or even my second) when thinking of where to go, but as it turned out it was the best. There was just enough of a ridge around this area to block the city lights enough to get some beautiful images of the night sky and to see quite a few beautiful shooting stars!