Contrail Photos

Spirit of the Ocean
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Spirit of the Ocean

A sunset view of the "Spirit of the Ocean" fountain at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The fountain recently underwent a major restoration. The original sculpture (seen in this photo) now resides in the Courthouse basement. A new sculpture was lovingly carved from massive blocks of stone to match the weather worn original.


Santa Barbara County Courthouse Anacapa Archway
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Santa Barbara County Courthouse Anacapa Archway

One of the most famous views in Santa Barbara, the County Courthouse from the Anacapa side offers veiws of the beautiful archway and clock tower. The tower is the location of many weddings and is just an amazing place to see a panoramic view of the city.


Bridge of Sighs
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Bridge of Sighs

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse is one of the most beautiful buildings in California. This wing, unlike the others, is much more beautiful on the outside. The tower and the rest of the wing on the right of this photo were the former county jail. The bridge connecting the main part of the courthouse to the Jail wing is called the "Bridge of Sighs" after a bridge (Ponte dei Sospiri) in Venice, Italy. It was the bridge that was said to be the last view prisoners would have of beautiful Venice before they were led to their cells, and so they would sigh as they saw the last glimpse of the beautiful city. The Santa Barbara County Courthouse is a California Historical Landmark NO. 1037.


Butterfly Beach Sunset VR
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Butterfly Beach Sunset VR

Like I mentioned on yesterday's Photo of the Day, the sky was beautiful in every direction. Which of course is a perfect opportunity to take a 360° VR photo. The only problem is I did not have any kind of tripod or my normal tools. But the sky was too good to pass up so I gave it a try hand-held and I'm pretty happy with the results.


Butterfly Beach Sunset Contrails
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Butterfly Beach Sunset Contrails

This is another shot from Butterfly Beach taken on the same evening as the Butterfly Beach Golden Hour photo of the day with a MUCH wider lens. The sky was amazing in every direction, even long before the sunset.


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.