Mountain Photos

Harbor View Panorama
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Harbor View Panorama

The Santa Barbara Harbor, a great place to be whether you have a boat or not. Aside from the great selection of restaurants, it's a wonderful place to just wander and enjoy the ocean and the views of the city.


Pismo Beach Boardwalk
Monday, April 30, 2012
Pismo Beach Boardwalk

There are some amazing spots along the California coast. Pismo Beach is one of the more well known, and it's not hard to see why it is so popular. The big wide sandy beach with the amazing views from the beautiful boardwalk are something special even for our coast. Just to the north along the top of that bluff, I have chased some beautiful hummingbirds and watched some amazing sunsets. It's definitely a spot to see if you have the chance.


Santa Ynez Oak Tree
Friday, April 6, 2012
Santa Ynez Oak Tree

One of the things I enjoy when driving out to Santa Ynez Valley is all of the beautiful Oak trees. This one is beautiful, but relativly tame compared to some of the wild shapes they take.


Santa Barbara California
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Santa Barbara California

View of Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara mountains from Santa Barbara City College overlooking Pershing Park. Santa Barbara City College has some amazing views. Most commonly, it's the view toward the harbor and wharf that I think of and photograph. But this is looking over Pershing Park, toward the city. In my experience talking to people about my photos of our beautiful city, the tourists love the beach views, but the locals think of views like this when they think of home.


Laguna Blanca Mountain Panorama
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Laguna Blanca Mountain Panorama

About a week ago, I was looking for a good spot to enjoy the sunset. After driving around for a while, I noticed how beautiful the colors were on the mountains so I changed my focus a bit. With the sun setting behind me, I found the view was much more interesting in the other direction. This beautiful spot is Laguna Blanca, on the Golf Course in Hope Ranch.


Santa Barbara Sunset from Butterfly Beach
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Santa Barbara Sunset from Butterfly Beach

The end of a beautiful Santa Barbara day as seen from the west end of Butterfly Beach in Montecito. The lights across the water are at the beach in Santa Barbara.


Cachuma Lake Sunset Reflections
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Cachuma Lake Sunset Reflections

The last time I was at Knapp's Castle I took a little time to focus on the reason the castle was built in the first place. This is the view from what I can only assume would have been the main living area of the castle. It was particularly good timing since the sunset was amazing. But this video starts as the sun is slipping below the horizon. The faint light pillar and all of the bright spots you see that look like the sun are actually reflections in the flat ice crystals of the clouds. In calm air they can float horizontally and act almost like a mirror, putting on a spectacular show. Even after the sun dips below the horizon. If ever there was a good reason for an encore performance, this was it!


Knapps Arch Golden Hour
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Knapps Arch Golden Hour

This is a shot from my recent trip to Knapps Castle. Although there is a lot of construction going on, it is still the most beautiful place I know to watch the sunset. This is about forty five minutes before sunset, but the sky was beautiful until late in the evening. If you decide to make the trip, take some warm clothing! As soon as the sun goes down it can get really chilly and windy, even this time of year.


Knapps Arch Sunset
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Knapps Arch Sunset

Time lapse of the clouds over Knapp's Castle at sunset. Santa Barbara, California. Recently I had the opportunity to visit Knapp's castle in the mountains above Santa Barbara. The day I was free to go, the mountain was completely socked in. We call it June Gloom in Santa Barbara. But it makes the sunsets anything but gloomy. By the time the golden hour rolled around, the fog had turned into beautiful clouds and just enough haze in the air to make the light beautiful and golden.


Santa Barbara Hills
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Santa Barbara Hills

The beauty of the architecture of Santa Barbara is exceeded only by the natural splendor. The hills surrounding Santa Barbara are beautiful especially when the golen sunset light plays across them just right.


Camino Cielo Sunset Over Cachuma Lake
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Camino Cielo Sunset Over Cachuma Lake

Sunset is one of the most beautiful things that happens every day. It's so hard to take the time to enjoy it. Most people think of the sun setting over the surf in California, and that is the case in most parts of the state. Our little section of the coast is a little different. We look south when we watch the waves break and this is the view from a trail at the top of our mountains. Just in front and to the right of the sun you can see Lake Cachuma, a man made lake which is a beautiful home to all sorts of amazing wild life including bald eagles. Someday soon I'm going to go catch one of them with my camera.


Knapp's Castle 360 VR
Friday, August 14, 2009
Knapp's Castle 360 VR

This is one of the most beautiful spots I can think of in the Santa Barbara area. Knapp's Castle was a beautiful mansion in the early 1900's. But even the impressive construction from those days could not stand up to the wild fires we have in the mountains here. A few arches and stone walls are all that remains of the mansion. Fortunately the panoramic view of the Santa Ynez Valley is as breathtaking as ever.

Part of this image was on the photo of the day before, Storybook Castle Sunset. But I recently had a chance to work on the high resolution image again when I was working on my 2010 Santa Barbara Calendar. This is the September image. In the process I was also able to finish the whole 360° view.


Storybook Castle Sunset
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Storybook Castle Sunset

Click on the main image for a larger view.

One more shot from the mountains. And, if I had to choose, I think this would be my favorite. I really like the way the wall frames the stairway.

Update: If you have Flash installed, the full 360° view virtual reality image of Knapp's Castle is now available online, here.


Sunset over Knapp's Castle
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunset over Knapp's Castle

This was one of the last shots as we were starting our walk back to the car from Knapp's Castle. I had put most of my camera gear away at this point and just looked back as I was walking away.

For a test shoot I ended up with quite a few images that I'm really happy with.


Knapp's Castle Sunset Panorama
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Knapp's Castle Sunset Panorama

Click main image for a larger view

This is another one of the "test" shots from the hike up the mountain the other day. Well, OK, actually more of a drive up the mountain followed by a half-mile hike on a nice trail. Regardless, it was a beautiful evening! These two shots were exactly what I had in mind before I got there. I still have some ideas for a later evening shot or two, but I'm going to have to find some warmer clothing before I go back up for that.


Knapp's Arch Sunset
Friday, April 24, 2009
Knapp's Arch Sunset

For the last couple of months I have been contributing a "Photo of the Week" to a local news site, Santa Barbara's Blog. Yesterday a request came through them for a shot of Knapp's Castle, the ruins of an old mansion that burned in the forties. It is just over the peak of the mountain north of Santa Barbara overlooking the Santa Ynez valley and Cachuma Lake. For the last year I had been trying to get up there to get some photos, so I was happy to get up there and take some test shots. The intention was to just check out the location and plan for equipment and timing. But, I'm pretty happy with the test shots. I'm still going to try to get up there again soon, but it's hard to beat a couple of nice shots on the first pass.


Lake Los Carneros Clouds
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Lake Los Carneros Clouds

Lake Los Carneros is one of the best kept secrets in the Santa Barbara area. You can literally drive right by it without even knowing it's there. The 101 freeway through Santa Barbara passes only a couple hundred feet from the lake, but the ridge where I was standing to get this shot hides the lake completely.


Secluded Cove
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Secluded Cove

Today we took a drive down Highway 1 to look for a place called Jade cove. It is always a beautiful drive and we usually stop at various parks in Big Sur but this time we found everything on the east side of Highway 1 closed. They had some massive fires last year and they still have not reopened the parks.

Luckily all the vista points on the beach side were still open. This is just south of Big Sur at a vista point looking south along the coast.

Probably good we did not stop that often anyway, Jade cove was a lot further than we expected, almost twenty miles further. And if you have ever been on Highway 1, twenty miles can be a long way especially this time of year when they are just barely keeping parts of it passable.


Sunset Clouds to the North
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sunset Clouds to the North

The clouds were amazing this evening. If they were not so thin and wispy I would have been looking for a tornado shelter. Many interesting waves and swirls, even a few small wispy cones. They started to break up even more as we tried to find a good place to take my new camera for a spin. My 20D took it's 40,000th shot last evening. It is far from done with it's useful life, but it is time to send it for a professional cleaning.

This shot is facing the mountains, North from Goleta beach. The sun was doing some interesting mottled things through the fading clouds at the horizon. This was in some ways a better show than the actual sunset in the west.


Theresa Ann
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Theresa Ann

Another shot from our recent wanderings at the Santa Barbara harbor. It's a nice peaceful scene, but just to my left was a popular restaurant on a balcony overlooking the harbor. There were lots of people around waiting to get in and having a good time. Next time I'll get an image that includes the restaurants.


Santa Barbara Sunset Harbor
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Santa Barbara Sunset Harbor

We spent a couple of evenings walking around the Harbor watching the sun set this week. I think I could take a walk at the Harbor and the Wharf every night with my camera and never get bored. Every evening when I get home each photo that I love gives me the ideas for three more next time.

This one was partially inspired by another vertical panorama I took at the harbor almost two years ago. It was later in the evening when I took that one, and you can see the stars. But at the time I wondered what it would look like from the other direction with the sunset sky. Now I have my answer!


Stearns Sunset Panorama
Friday, June 30, 2006
Stearns Sunset Panorama

(click to see a bigger version)

More shots from yesterday's wharf walk. Actually, it's a combination of 9 shots. It was a beautiful evening.


Harbor Moonrise
Sunday, October 9, 2005
Harbor Moonrise

You can see the moon coming up on the right side of the photo, through the fog. This was an amazing night to take pictures.


Happy Cows
Friday, October 7, 2005
Happy Cows

You can't really make them out at this size but there is a heard of cows in the distance on the left side of the image. If you are not familiar with it, the California Cheese industry runs a cool ad campaign about their happy cows. You see, they are much happier because they live in beautiful rolling fields in sunny California so they make good cheese. Those commercials always make me think of this photo and the beautiful day I took it.

I think it's time for another vacation, then again, when isn't it?