Sky Photos

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 Bluff Sunset
Friday, July 12, 2013
Santa Barbara Bluff Sunset

This was one of those evenings that the sunset seemed to be long gone. But it was still a beautiful evening to enjoy a walk on the beach. As we wanderd down the beach the clouds on the horizon started to glow again even more beautiful than before.

Sandpiper Lenticular Sunset
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.

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.

Rose Garden Panorama Sunset
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Rose Garden Panorama Sunset

An amazing sunset at the Santa Barbara Mission rose garden. The Roses are in full bloom this time of year, it's a wonderful time to visit the Mission and wander around the grounds. If you have really good timing you can experience a spectacular spiring evening with amazing beauty in every direction.

Blue Moonrise
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Blue Moonrise

Once in a blue moon... The full moonrise is quite a sight to see in itself, the moon on the horizon looks so large and beautiful. But on an evening like this there is actually enough light reflected by the amazing moon to photograph our beautiful landscapes and beaches. The cool lighting gives the beach a completely different feel from only an hour before when the sunset glow bathed it in warmth.

Santa Barbara Mission Cross at Night
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.

Vista Point Storm
Friday, May 17, 2013
Vista Point Storm

There is a little turn off from the 101 South about 20 miles north of Santa Barbara. The evning I took this was right after a great storm rolled in. Santa Barbara and Goleta were already socked in. They are somewhere in that deep dark cloud on the horizon. But the storm had such a distinct edge, it seemed like it would be possible to get out from under it so I took off for the Vista Point. A few miles before I got there the clouds started to break up and I got out from under the rain enough to watch it slowly make its way toward me as the sun was going down.

Santa Ynez Night Sky
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.)

Butterfly Beach Fog Season
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Butterfly Beach Fog Season

Santa Barbara is always beautiful, to the point that some people think we don't hardly have seasons here. But maybe you just have to look at them a little differently. Winter sunset season just ended, at the beginning of that was butterfly season, when the Monarchs come home to roost. We're now entering fog season. Locals have lots of names for it, most commonly "June Gloom", or before that "May Grey" but the fog is rarely solid and complete as those names make it sound. It's beautiful and wispy, it dances beautifully as it rolls in and out. Sometimes it hugs the coast and the ocean where from inside it may seem grey. But get above or beside it like this and it's an amazing soft blanket hugging the city.

Windrose Sunset
Friday, May 3, 2013
Windrose Sunset

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.

Sunset Cypress
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Sunset Cypress

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.

Above State Street
Friday, March 8, 2013
Above State Street

View of Santa Barbara overlooking State Street tword the last glow of the setting sun.

Jupiter over Santa Ynez
Friday, February 15, 2013
Jupiter over Santa Ynez

Last evening I found myself in Santa Ynez Valley. My plan was to look for some interesting wildlife to try out a borrowed lens to get comfortable with it before a shoot this week. But having arrived a little late in the day to find a good spot I decided to go after a different shot. As things got dark I found a perch on a back road overlooking several vinyards. The stars were really something to see this far away from the city lights. The amazingly bright one is actually not a star at all, it's Jupiter. The two large trails of light are planes, but in the upper right hand corner there is the small trail of a shooting star.

Sandpiper Tempest Panorama
Monday, January 28, 2013
Sandpiper Tempest Panorama

An absolutely breathtaking storm rolling in at Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta. The sun was still shining brightly around the edges of the storm, but as the rain rolled in that would not last long. The clouds were so close you could almost reach up and touch them.

Santa Barbara Evening Mist
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Santa Barbara Evening Mist

This evening the fog was thick at the beach. But what looks like a thick overcast evening from one point of view can take on an amazing new light from another. Climbing to the hills of Santa Barbara lets you see the graceful beauty of the mist as it slowly rolls in over the city.

Shorline Reflection
Monday, January 21, 2013
Shorline Reflection

This evening was a great one to spend on the beach. A few wispy high clouds and a great view of the setting sun. We found ourselves at Shoreline park late in the afternoon and decided to take a walk down the long stairway to the beach where we wandered and watched the setting sun. This is about the time everyone on the beach seemed to just stop and watch the beautiful scene. It was a wonderful evening!

Gone Fishin'
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Gone Fishin'

This week was great for fishing, at least if you're a Brown Pelican in the Santa Barbara area. There are almost always pelicans feeding off the coast here, but there must have been some impressive schools of fish off of Butterfly Beach a few nights ago. The two Pelicans on the surface behind the dive bombers just surfaced from their dives and there must have been hundreds of attempts. If you look closely to the left of the photo you can see a nose sticking out of the water of what I believe must be a sea otter. But it's hard to say since I was paying so much attention to the Pelicans I did not actually see him until I looked at the photo.

Tropical Butterfly Sunset
Monday, January 7, 2013
Tropical Butterfly Sunset

Our sunsets are spectacular in Santa Barbara during the fall and winter. This is one of my favorite spots, under a beautiful Cypress tree at Butterfly Beach in Montecito. The lights across the water are in downtown Santa Barbara. When the tide is low you can walk all the way along the beach from this spot to Stearns Wharf, but the tide was definitely not low this evening.

Sandpiper Tempest
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Sandpiper Tempest

This winter has been a wonderful one for beautiful weather. This is one of my favorite spots to make a bee line to in Goleta when I see the sky doing something spectacular. Sandpiper golf course offers a variety of amazing views (and some great golf too). This is right by the clubhouse as the rain was rolling in. I was perfectly dry, but that wouldn't have lasted long.

Santa Barbara Twilight
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Santa Barbara Twilight

This angle over the city is one of my favorite views of Santa Barbara. But I usually wait for just the right combination of weather and clear air to make the sky beautiful, and the islands sharp. Usually the islands are shrowded in mist at this time of the evening if there are good sunset clouds, and you can't truly appreciate how large they actually are since they just poke out of the fog with their bases hidden. After my last shot at this location I knew I wanted to focus on the harbor and the wharf when I returned. This evening everything finally fell into place to get the image I was looking for.