Sky Photos

Shoreline Cirrus
Monday, August 11, 2014
Shoreline Cirrus

Shoreline Park showing off the cirrus clouds that promise to put on a beautiful evening show, as it turns out, one of the best of the summer!


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.


Andree Clark Sunset
Friday, August 1, 2014
Andree Clark Sunset

One of serveral absolutely spectacular sunsets this week thanks to high clouds in the area from Hurricane Hernan. This was the view from the Andree Clark Bird Refuge, one of the amazing natural places in the Santa Barbara area, named in memory of the sister of the refuge's primary patron, Huguette Clark. A special thanks to Alan Rose at KEYT, for the heads up early in the week about the impending high level moisture. Knew it was going to be a good week when I heard that.


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.


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!


Lone Tree Sunset
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Lone Tree Sunset

Overlooking Haskell's Beach in Goleta from the Sandpiper Golf Course, this little tree is standing watch at the edge of the bluff. This particular day was absolutely beautiful (come to think of it, most days are here), but in this case there was just enough moisture in the air to make this beautiful golden evening light, but not so much that we didn't have an amazing view of the ocean and the fluffy white clouds above.


Harbor Bound
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Harbor Bound

The end to what looks like it was an amazing day of sailing. This sailboat is motoring its way back into the Santa Barbara Harbor under one of the most beautiful skies imaginable.


Sandpiper Sunset
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Sandpiper Sunset

The rain isn't the only thing we've been missing this year. The lack of moisture has made it a more timid than usual sunset season. But if there is one place you can count on to get every bit of breathtaking beauty out of a sunset it's Sandpiper Golf Course. Evenings like this make me want to take up golfing just to have an excuse to spend more time there.


Golden Reflection
Friday, January 24, 2014
Golden Reflection

Reflecting on the last sunset of 2013. This was during a beach walk on New Years Eve. I love the sailboats anchored off the coast, they always make me ponder going down to the harbor and renting one for a day or two. This one was at the perfect location relative to the beautiful stretch of Butterfly Beach I found myself on to line up perfectly with the sun and cloud above. Perhaps before the sun sets on another year I'll get down to the harbor and get the perspective from out on the water.


Golden Hour from the Montecito Hills
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Golden Hour from the Montecito Hills

Friday night was a wonderful night to be out enjoying our beautiful views. The sunset was absolutely amazing, but even before the clouds lit up with the colors of the sunset. As the sun slipped closer to the horizon the clouds seemed to swirl around it. leaving just enough space to watch it's descent and reflection on the ocean. In the center of the image you can just make out Stearns Wharf in the distance.


Queen of the Missions Sunset
Monday, January 20, 2014
Queen of the Missions Sunset

The end to another beautiful day, yesterday at the Santa Barbara Mission. The sunset this evening was absolutely amazing. The clouds were putting on a beautiful show long before the sun neared the horizon. It promised to be another amazing show, and when the colors really started it did not disappoint. The brightest glow like this only lasted for a few moments, but it was a fitting backdrop for such a beautiful example of historic architecture.


Stearns Sunset from the Vedanta Temple
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Stearns Sunset from the Vedanta Temple

Last night's sunset overlooking Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara from the grounds of the Vedanta Temple in Montecito. The sunsets have been a little less intense this year due to the lack of moisture in the air, but not last night. The beautiful colors in the sky seemed like they would just keep getting more and more intense. Another beautiful evening in Santa Barbara.


Moonlit Bluff
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Moonlit Bluff

Butterfly Beach lit only by the light of the full moon rising on the horizon and the faint fading glow of the sunset.


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.


Channel Islands Autumn Colors
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Channel Islands Autumn Colors

We are fortunate enough to have some of the most beautiful views around regardless of the season or weather. But some of my favorite spots have a completely different feel this time of year, and standing in the exact same spot I can get a completely different picture from one I would take in the spring. Although the beautiful palm tree in the foreground doesn't give any hint to the season the way the fall leaves in New England would, we still enjoy amazing autumn colors of our own.


Butterfly Sunset Panorama
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Butterfly Sunset Panorama

An amazing evening at Butterfly Beach. Some evenings the sunset just doesn't quit. This was one of those evenings. As the sun set the display was breathtaking, and every time it seemed like it was going to fade, a whole new deeper pallete of colors appeared. This was not only one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen, it had to be the longest.


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.


Pacific Grove Sunset
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.


Sandpiper Sunset Clouds
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Sandpiper Sunset Clouds

Sandpiper Golf Course is one of the best places I can imagine to spend a few hours, especially this time of year when the sunsets are really getting spectacular. This evening I was actually on the course to get some timelapse shots.


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.