Pacific Photos

Harbor View Sunset
Monday, September 1, 2014
Harbor View Sunset

The Santa Barbara Harbor about a half hour after a beautiful summer sunset. This year has been one of the driest on record, but several Pacific hurricanes have supplied us with enough of these beautiful wispy evening clouds to put on quite an unseasonable show. This particular day had a wonderful parade of high clouds all day giving me a good hint that the evening would be beautiful. And I couldn't think of a better place to spend the warm evening than walking on the breakwater at the Harbor with my best friend.


Shoreline Cirrus
Monday, August 11, 2014
Shoreline Cirrus

Shoreline Park showing off the cirrus clouds that promise to put on a beautiful evening show, as it turns out, one of the best of the summer!


Friday Night Lights at Butterfly
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Friday Night Lights at Butterfly

I've always enjoyed taking my camera out after dark. A long exposure can reveal all kinds of interesting things you didn't even know were there. This was Friday night at Butterfly Beach. The moon was bright enough in the sky to easily catch the details at a faster shutter speed than this. But I intentionally lengthened the exposure to try to capture a more dreamy effect. In the middle of my exposure the people at the right walked up carrying some kind of small light, a cell phone presumably, which made for some unexpected interest in the form of an abstract light painting along the wall.


Evening Over Stearns Wharf
Friday, July 25, 2014
Evening Over Stearns Wharf

A nice cool evening out on Stearns Wharf. This is one of my favorite times to be out on the wharf. Most of the shops have closed and the only people out are fishermen or the restaurant patrons heading back to their cars. Of course it's a little harder to get ice cream and candy at this time... but the parking is free!


Cypress Super Moon
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Cypress Super Moon

The view from last night above Butterfly Beach. At the time I did not realize this was a "supermoon". A full moon that coincides with the moon's perigee, the closest part of the moon's orbit to Earth. But the crowds of people out along the beach watching seemed to suggest something was up. Of course the moon needs to be very close to the horizon to really notice a difference in size, but then every moonrise is beautiful here.


I'd Rather Be
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
I'd Rather Be

Would you rather be surfing? Fishing? (or even wandering on the beach with your camera) right now? I know I would! Well, something to look forward to... have a great day no matter where you are!


Carmel Cypress Silhouette
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Carmel Cypress Silhouette

Speaking of windswept Cypress Trees (see my Poppy post from last week). This beauty and his friends stand watch along a particularly beautiful stretch of the California Coast on Carmel Beach. The hills in the distance between the beach and the setting sun are part of Pebble Beach. This is one of the areas I love to walk along at sunset whenever we find ourselves in the Monterey area. The beach is beautiful, and there is a nice path along the top of the bluff overlooking the beach. You can watch the surfers enjoying the water and take in the amazing view from a great perspective.


Lone Tree Sunset
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Lone Tree Sunset

Overlooking Haskell's Beach in Goleta from the Sandpiper Golf Course, this little tree is standing watch at the edge of the bluff. This particular day was absolutely beautiful (come to think of it, most days are here), but in this case there was just enough moisture in the air to make this beautiful golden evening light, but not so much that we didn't have an amazing view of the ocean and the fluffy white clouds above.


Harbor Bound
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Harbor Bound

The end to what looks like it was an amazing day of sailing. This sailboat is motoring its way back into the Santa Barbara Harbor under one of the most beautiful skies imaginable.


Sandpiper Sunset
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Sandpiper Sunset

The rain isn't the only thing we've been missing this year. The lack of moisture has made it a more timid than usual sunset season. But if there is one place you can count on to get every bit of breathtaking beauty out of a sunset it's Sandpiper Golf Course. Evenings like this make me want to take up golfing just to have an excuse to spend more time there.


Golden Reflection
Friday, January 24, 2014
Golden Reflection

Reflecting on the last sunset of 2013. This was during a beach walk on New Years Eve. I love the sailboats anchored off the coast, they always make me ponder going down to the harbor and renting one for a day or two. This one was at the perfect location relative to the beautiful stretch of Butterfly Beach I found myself on to line up perfectly with the sun and cloud above. Perhaps before the sun sets on another year I'll get down to the harbor and get the perspective from out on the water.


Golden Hour from the Montecito Hills
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Golden Hour from the Montecito Hills

Friday night was a wonderful night to be out enjoying our beautiful views. The sunset was absolutely amazing, but even before the clouds lit up with the colors of the sunset. As the sun slipped closer to the horizon the clouds seemed to swirl around it. leaving just enough space to watch it's descent and reflection on the ocean. In the center of the image you can just make out Stearns Wharf in the distance.


Santa Barbara Harbor Golden Hour
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Santa Barbara Harbor Golden Hour

Just after the sun dipped below the mountains in the distance the sky still had some amazing color. An evening walk on the breakwater is a great place to watch the sunset.


Twilight Bluff
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Twilight Bluff

An early evening long exposure from Butterfly Beach. The glow in the distance is the reflection of the city lights on the evening marine layer, and the last light of the setting sun. This is about half an hour after sunset while there was still a little color in the sky. Of course these days a long exposure like this is 3.2 seconds. Once upon a time I would have been standing there for minutes with a stopwatch.


Peaceful Evening on the Water
Friday, November 15, 2013
Peaceful Evening on the Water

I love to walk on the beach and at the harbor and look at all the boats. There are a wide variety of amazing crafts around Santa Barbara, but the sailboats have to be my favorites. It's been a long time since I've been sailing, and I'm pretty sure I'd have trouble living full time on one. But it sure looks like a nice relaxing way to spend the sunset hours. Someday soon I'm going to find the time to spend more time out on the water.


Backlit Breaker
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Backlit Breaker

Whenever I'm wandering near the beach this time of year I love to try to capture these wonderful backlit waves. I particularly love the clarity of this wave and how you can see the inside of the tube through the top of it. The beautiful blue green glass like quality is something that always reminds me of my dad, and how he loves watching this kind of wave, so this one is for him. I intentionally used a slower shutter speed to see the motion of the drops of water at the front of the splashing waves.


Marine Layer
Friday, November 1, 2013
Marine Layer

Although nothing like closer to San Francisco in the north, Santa Barbara is a favorite hang out for something the weather man calls the "Marine Layer". It's basically a layer of air cooled quickly by the water making it much more dense than the warm air above. This cool layer has a tendency to slide into the coast as the sun is setting, bringing with it some beautiful swirling fog. Once in a while the effect is so pronounced that from the right vantage point you can see it rolling in like a beautiful blanket.


Butterfly Sunset Panorama
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Butterfly Sunset Panorama

An amazing evening at Butterfly Beach. Some evenings the sunset just doesn't quit. This was one of those evenings. As the sun set the display was breathtaking, and every time it seemed like it was going to fade, a whole new deeper pallete of colors appeared. This was not only one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen, it had to be the longest.


Reflections of The Belt of Venus or...
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Reflections of The Belt of Venus or...

...Paddle Boarding in the Shadow of the Earth. Just after sunset there is a beautiful phenomenon that we can clearly see in Santa Barbara thanks to generally clear skies and good views of the horizon. The blue band you see in the sky opposite the location where the sun recently set is actually the shadow of the earth. You can see it cast upon the atmosphere in the distance as the angle of the sunlight dips below the opposite horizon. The pink or purple layer above that is called the Belt of Venus or the anti-twilight arch, which is caused by a completely different phenomenon, a backscattering of the light from the already set sun. You could think of it as a reflection of the sunset that is happening further to the west of your location. Now isn't physics pretty? By the way, if you're more of a morning person you can see these effects just before sunrise too.


Pacific Grove Sunset
Monday, October 7, 2013
Pacific Grove Sunset

In every city I spend much time, I always end up with my favorite spots where I try to end up at the end of the day. This is Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula. Some days the waves are huge and breathtaking, other days the sun slides down past the horizon peacefully, but every evening it's a wonderful show.