National Historic Landmark Photos

Santa Barbara Mission Millstone
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Santa Barbara Mission Millstone

I'm always wandering around the Santa Barbara Mission looking for a new angle or a veiw that I have not noticed before. This was at the end of a long day of shooting, as the last glow of the sunset was slipping behind the mission. These pepper trees are a beautiful part of the look of the mission and they are prominent in many of my photos. The interesting details I love about this shot are the old millstone and the stone bench under the pepper tree.


Santa Barbara Mission Cross Sunset
Monday, February 13, 2012
Santa Barbara Mission Cross Sunset

The Santa Barbara Mission is one of my favorite places to experiment with my camera. It is such a beautiful location it almost guarantees a wonderful evening of photography. This evening I started early when I saw the beautiful cloud formations, but the trick was to predict just where the interesting clouds would be once the sunset really warmed up. When the clouds really put on their show I was glad I went with the really wide angle.


Christmas Carols At The Old Mission
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Christmas Carols At The Old Mission

Every year on the Saturday a week before Christmas, Saint Barbara's Parish has candle-light Christmas carols on the steps of the mission. At the end of the carols they bless the creche (nativity scene). This is one of the few times that the mission is even more beautiful than usual.


Mission San Miguel Fountain
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Mission San Miguel Fountain

On a recent trip home from Monterey we stopped along the 101 at the San Miguel Mission. It was a pretty hot day, but I was able to explore a bit. It was well worth the stop, and I will definitely be back again.


Mission Sunset Time Lapse
Friday, July 8, 2011
Mission Sunset Time Lapse

Time lapse of the sunset over the Santa Barbara Mission from the Mission rose garden. The Mission is my favorite place to try out a new technique, so after an evening of driving around trying to find an interesting spot that might have some interesting clouds I ended up here. And I wasn't disappointed.


Dinner at La Purisima
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Dinner at La Purisima

Although our Santa Barbara Mission has a wonderful historic tour with some authentic artifacts, there is nothing quite like spending some time in a mission where they have painstakingly restored and recreated on a large scale what the day to day life must have been like when the missions were the full communities they were designed to be. La Purisima offers the space and flexibility to almost step into the past. It is a wonderful experience.


Mission Sunset Glow
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Mission Sunset Glow

The Santa Barbara Mission is an amazing local gem. It is one of the places I go just to play with my camera. The evening I took this however, I was on a mission to get a nice long exposure, evening shot of the mission. I almost turned around when I saw how thick the fog was getting, but the light coming through the fog can do some interesting things. Once I got to the mission I could see that the fog was cooperating nicely rolling in behind the mission but still giving me a clear view, with the beautiful sunset colors filtering through in the background.


Sunset Clouds Over The Clock Tower
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunset Clouds Over The Clock Tower

This is a little bit different angle on the Courthouse from the sunken gardens. Of course the main star of the show was the amazing sunset clouds. They were moving very quickly and the light was changing fast. In only a few minutes they were gone. But I'm very happy with the results!


Mission Sunset Fog
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Mission Sunset Fog

Click on the main image for a larger view.

Once again we are having a fire in the area. Fortunately for us here in the city it's a little further away this time. Of course that's not much consolation to the over-worked firefighters on the front lines.

As always, the fire is making for some nice sunsets. And I had a project specifically looking for a nice wide straight shot of the mission. This looked like my opportunity, but I thought the fog was going to roll in too thick to get the photo. In the end the fog swirled right behind the mission with the beautiful colors of the sunset making for an amazing backdrop.


Sunset Over the Rose Garden Bench
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Sunset Over the Rose Garden Bench

Usually when I'm in the Mission rose garden I'm focusing on the Mission, or even the roses. But this time was something special. I was there to get an image for an anniversary gift. You see, one of the rose garden benches is where he chose to propose to her. He came to me looking for just the right image and had just about selected one of my older panoramic Mission Photographs. But listening to his story, I thought I could create something a little more fitting. Of course, it's not all up to me. I had to hope for just the right backdrop. Wednesday evening I saw my chance!


Queen of the Missions Fountain Test VR
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Queen of the Missions Fountain Test VR

This is the rest of the image from my lens test at the Mission Santa Barbara the other day. Actually, most of the recent photos of the day have full 360° panorams to go with them that I will get online soon. Usually the panoramas start out based around one nice shot. Of course the challenge is to find a point of view on that nice shot that also looks good in all directions.


Queen of the Missions Fountain Test Shot
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Queen of the Missions Fountain Test Shot

Last evening I rented a lens to try out for some upcoming panorama work. I was pretty sure I knew what I wanted, but it was worth taking it for a spin first. When I'm trying out new equipment I like to go somewhere familiar. I couldn't think of anywhere better to start than the Santa Barbara Mission. This is only one part of the image. The final image is a full 360° panorama. But my computer is a little overworked at the moment, so I thought I would get this much online.

As for the lens, I was so happy with the results that I was ready to buy it before the rental was up but it turns out I'm not the only one who likes it, it's on backorder everywhere I called. Oh well, there is always the rental! And whenever I have rental equipment it motivates me to go out and get my money's worth.


Misty Morning Courthouse
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Misty Morning Courthouse

This is another image from my recent Courthouse shoot. When I posted my previous courthouse shot I thought that was the one the client chose. But they are leaning toward this one now. A massive panorama taken in the first glow of the morning. The fog was so thick when I was driving there I thought I would not be able to get the shot. But it actually made for some interesting lighting. The light on the left cast shadows up from the building through the fog.

A few projects have been taking a lot of my time lately. To top it off, my main backup drive crashed. With just under a Terabyte of images on there I'm feeling pretty lucky at this point to have everything safe with the exception of one large image that I was working on at the time of the crash.

I did find an interesting thing though. When your backup drive crashes it is very nerve racking until you find a way to get everything backed up again. Of course, the only way to backup a terabyte of data fast is to put it anywhere and everywhere there is space.

I started posting this image on the fifteenth, but it's taken me a week since the full size image is 2.6 gigabytes. But I finally got things moved off onto new hard drives so I actually have some scratch disk space. TWO terabyte backup drives so everything is double backed up. With every drive crash I get more paranoid. But it's a healthy paranoia that keeps my favorite images safe.


Courthouse Evening
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Courthouse Evening

This is another image from my recent Courthouse shoot. In fact, it's looking like this will be THE shot that the client likes. They were only looking for one cover shot, but since I was going through all the paperwork to get the permit I made it a day long event. Good thing too, this is not really what the client was asking for in the beginning, but they decided they liked this one even better than the requested image.

These were some of the first shots with my new camera, and so far I am very happy with the results. It's not like me to buy camera equipment anywhere but eBay, but once in a while it's nice to have a shiny new toy... oh I mean shiny new piece of business equipment. Besides, my 20D took it's 40,000th shot just before this project. So it's time it had some reinforcements just in case that shutter decides to give out in the middle of an important shoot.


Quatrefoil and Clocktower
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Quatrefoil and Clocktower

The Courthouse is one of the most photographed buildings in Santa Barbara. Still, the building itself sits on two sides of a city block. If you take a closer look the details could keep you busy for weeks with a camera. I can't imagine the effort that went into creating them.

The small window beneath the clocktower on the Garden side is one of those details that you might easily miss. If you look around you can find these Quatrefoil or "four leafed" windows all throughout the architecture of our city but I think this is the most ornate and beautiful example you'll find.


Figueroa Arch
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Figueroa Arch

This was one of the last few shots I took at the end of a very long day of shooting at the Courthouse. It was almost completely dark on the Figureoa side, so this was an extremely long exposure. Actually it was three long exposures combined to pick up the bright archway, the wall lit by the passing car headlights, and the near darkness of the sky. Today was a great day of shooting!


Mission Carmel Bell Tower
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Mission Carmel Bell Tower

This is from the inner courtyard at the Carmel Mission. I believe the tree with the white blossoms is a Flowering Pear Tree. This is thier time of year. There are some around here that are pure white with so many blossoms you can't see their leaves.


Father Junipero Serra
Monday, February 2, 2009
Father Junipero Serra

Before we drove down Highway 1 yesterday we stopped at the beautiful Carmel Mission. It was a great place to wander with my camera. We have tried to make it into the mission on several previous trips to the area but our timing was always off. I'm glad we made it this time. The grounds on the inside were much bigger than I thought.

This is a statue of Father Junipero Serra, founder of nine of the twenty-one California Missions.


Mission Arches
Monday, January 5, 2009
Mission Arches

I've been spending a lot of time at the mission lately. This evening it was to try to catch the animals in the Nativity Scene before they went away. I was too late! But it was such a nice evening I stuck around anyway and I'm glad I did. It turned out to be a beautiful sunset. As I was trying to get some new angles on a building that has been photographed thousands of times (many of them by me). I was thinking it may be time to get all my mission shots together in one place.

I received some really nice feedback recently which always makes me want to revisit a great subject. I appreciate all of the kind words! That is one of the things that makes my photography so enjoyable.


Candelight Blessing of the Creche
Friday, December 26, 2008
Candelight Blessing of the Creche

About a week ago (the 20th) we were lucky enough to happen by the Mission at just the right time. My wife had reminded me to go check to see if the Creche (Nativity Scene) had been set up. When we got there we saw that the animals were there, but we also saw a large parade of unlit luminaries. (lanterns made of candles in a paper bag with a little sand to hold them in place.) So after a quick trip home for an unsuccessful scouring of the Internet to try to see what the occasion was and to get my camera (D'OH! Should always have that with me!) we headed back. We were lucky enough to get there just as the congregation of the Saint Barbara Parish (The church that calls the Mission home) were starting to sing christmas carols around the steps of the mission. It turns out it was the Blessing of the Creche ceremony. Ahhh, what perfect timing my wife has!!


Mission Rose Garden Sunset
Monday, September 1, 2008
Mission Rose Garden Sunset

Click the main image for a larger view

I really love the fountain by the Santa Barbara Mission. But most people don't realize there is another fountain across the street in the rose garden. It is really worth the little walk, especially at sunset.

If you have been around the site for a while you know that I really like the clouds in the winter around Santa Barbara. Mainly because we don't normally get much weather in the summer other than some very thick low fog in the mornings. Well, this summer has been a little different. Not much fog, I assume because it has not been very cool at night, but lots of humidity. On the plus side we have had some really nice winter-like sunsets. Of course there is one drawback. The night before last was so warm and humid I almost could not breathe. Fortunately it looks like we are starting to get a break from the heat.


Santa Barbara Courthouse Clocktower View
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Santa Barbara Courthouse Clocktower View

This was the same day as the recent Mission shot. It was also the day of the grand reopening of the Granada theatre on state street. That is what the giant tent is for in the gardens in this image. Aparently the reception was at the Courthouse. I actually thought of taking a shot of the Granada, but apparently it was not a priority to get ALL of the boards off the windows before opening night. Of course, those were the office windows and they were probably not very noticable after dark. At any rate, it was a fun day of shooting!


Queen of the missions in HDR VR
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Queen of the missions in HDR VR

Ok, still taking a while to get these images together this way. But after taking all the time to build the VR interface I could hardly wait to use it again.

I got the opportunity today when the clouds started to get interesting. We dropped everything to try to get some nice images. Turned out to be a busy afternoon and an amazing sunset. This is the first of several nice images that will come out of the adventure around town today.

The clouds look a little ominous, but they were fast moving and quite beautiful.