State Street Photos

Dolphins at the Wharf
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Dolphins at the Wharf

I really like the water in this image. The long exposure hid the fact that the water was moving pretty well in the fountain. If you look closely you can see where the drops of water leave the edge of the fountain and hit the pool below. But they disappear in between. The surface of the water was covered with ripples which caused the blurred surface as opposed to a smooth reflective surface of a less agitated pool at night.


Summer Solstice
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Summer Solstice

This is my photographic evidence that the summer was way too short. This image was on a roll of film that was still in one of my cameras this week.


Solstice Parade
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Solstice Parade

I have never been crazy about parades. They have always been something to watch on TV while my dad and I make Macadamia Nut Stuffing from a Hawaiian cookbook. Our task on Thanksgiving while my Mom took care of everything else!

But I must say, since moving to Santa Barbara I have learned to enjoy one tradition... The "Summer Solstice Celebration." It is always a really creative parade held on the Saturday closest to the Summer solstice. It is, by far, the most enjoyable parade and celebration I have ever seen.

Oh, by the way, the person in the bird suit is our Mayor, Marty Blum.


Solstice Giraffes
Friday, June 10, 2005
Solstice Giraffes

Not too often you get to see giraffes walking down State Street. This is in honor of the upcoming Summer Solstice Celebration on the 25th. It is by far the best parade in Santa Barbara (or anywhere for that matter :) !


Moring Cloud Trails
Monday, April 25, 2005
Moring Cloud Trails

This was a particularly interesting sunrise. One of the times I was really happy I was carrying my camera with me everywhere.

This photo made me think quite a bit about the position of the clouds in the atmosphere. If you take a look at the contrails, they appear to be casting shadows up on the clouds. This is a result of an optical illusion.

The contrails are at a higher level than the clouds. They appear closer because they are much denser than the high altitude Cirrus clouds. The clouds are made of ice crystals, blown in the wind like grains of sand. And, being thin and wispy, you see more blue sky through them which contributes to the illusion.

All other things equal, your brain is wired to see a bluer object as being further away. Like a mountain in the distance, when there is more atmosphere between you and the object you are viewing, the object appears bluer.

There are actually two layers of clouds, one right below the trails and another, much thinner and hazier one, quite a bit lower. This accounts for the double shadow.


Stearns Wharf Dolphin Fountain
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Stearns Wharf Dolphin Fountain

I like the fact that this exposure was long enough to get the red, green and amber lights on the traffic signal. The people were waiting for an evening tour bus so they were there long enough to be visible in the photo.


State and Anapamu
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
State and Anapamu

A little rain and lights at night make for some nice pictures. This is a great spot on State Street in Santa Barbara. I was right in front of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Diagonally across the street is a great restaurant called the State & 'A'.


Eat at Joe's
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Eat at Joe's

This is about a two minute exposure while wandering on State Street one night. Joe's neon is kind of a land-mark in downtown Santa Barbara.


NO Vacancy
Friday, January 28, 2005
NO Vacancy

You know you're in Santa Barbara when ALL the hotels and motels are full on the weekends. Even the ones that consider Duct Tape a necessity on the maids' carts.

I think they actually saw me taking this picture. Not long after I took it the sign was covered up and then replaced.


DCXVIIII
Saturday, January 22, 2005
DCXVIIII

There is a great little area at State Street and Figueroa in Santa Barbara called La Arcada. It is a little walkway lined with shops and restaurants and a number of Galleries. One of which, incidentally, has a display of my photography right now.

After the rain subsided a bit last week I spent some time at La Arcada trying to get some shots of the Christmas decorations before they take them down.

When I was getting this image ready for the site, I noticed the roman numerals on the face of the clock, particularly the four. The interesting thing is that it is made up of four roman numeral ones IIII, rather than IV. This stood out to me because I remember learning roman numerals from my Mom and Dad. They had a rug inside of our front door when I was a kid that had a clock face on it with the number four made up of four 'I's. I vividly remember my dad pointing it out to me and saying that it was not the proper way to write four in roman numerals. Unfortunately, at the time, we did not have access to something quite as cool as the Internet to learn why some clocks were made that way.

Ahh, but even the Internet doesn't have all the answers. It has some good theories though. The best explanations I could find are listed here. If you have a better theory, I'd love to hear it...

  • A popular notion is that the visual balance of the clocks were thrown off by the fact that the VIII on the left was so much larger than the IV on the right. So it was a visual decision to use the IIII. Sounds reasonable but there are good references to extremely old clocks that were not symmetrical in other ways but still used this style of markings.
  • One theory was attributed to a number of different monarchs. It goes something along the lines of a clock maker made a clock for (pick your favorite monarch). When presenting the clock the monarch stated that the numeral IV should actually be IIII. And, who wants to argue with the guy who has all the guillotines. Unfortunately, this one sounds more like a legend started by someone who did not know the real answer. Further discrediting this theory is the fact that the earlier clocks and sun dials are even less likely to have the numeral IV.
    Monarch theory and quite a few others.
  • A much more plausible reason stated hinges on the fact that in the Roman language, Jupiter (as in "king of the gods" Jupiter) was spelled IVPITER since there was no J or U. Not sure the deity of deities would take kindly to having his name abbreviated on the face of all of their clocks, the clock makers erred on the side of not offending him.
  • Another interesting thought is the fact that using IIII made it easier for metal smiths to cast the numbers because you then had a balanced number of 'I's 'V's and 'X's (twenty, four and four respectively). So you could cast four identical sets of XVIIIII and have one set of numerals for a clock face.
    Clock numeral casting theory.
  • In the end though, it seems that the contractions for fours and nines may not have been used in a consistent way at all. It may have just been common practice for the Romans to use IIII in place of IV. IV could have been a Latin practice much later. The oldest known surviving clock-face along with documents from the same age seem to use IIII regularly. As do the numbers on the surviving doors of the Roman Colosseum.
    Other good examples of IIII
    And, still more.
Again, if you have any interesting thoughts I would love to hear from you.


Dolphin Fountain at Sunset
Saturday, January 8, 2005
Dolphin Fountain at Sunset

I have always liked taking pictures at sunset. Aside from the interesting shadows, the colors are much more intense. Lately I have been waiting 'til later in the evening to explore the glow of the lights along with the final light of the day.


State Street Christmas
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
State Street Christmas

Just before Christmas I took a walk down State street with my new toy, a fish eye lens (courtesy of eBay). For several years I have wanted to take some shots of the Christmas decorations on State street, this is one of my first.