Butterfly Beach Photos

Santa Barbara Bluff Sunset
Friday, July 12, 2013
Santa Barbara Bluff Sunset

This was one of those evenings that the sunset seemed to be long gone. But it was still a beautiful evening to enjoy a walk on the beach. As we wanderd down the beach the clouds on the horizon started to glow again even more beautiful than before.


Surf Butterfly Beach
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Surf Butterfly Beach

Last week as the high tides were coming in right at sunset the waves really picked up. The tide was so high there wasn't much beach left, but it was great to watch from the sidewalk. Of course there are always the adventurous ones.


Blue Moonrise
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Blue Moonrise

Once in a blue moon... The full moonrise is quite a sight to see in itself, the moon on the horizon looks so large and beautiful. But on an evening like this there is actually enough light reflected by the amazing moon to photograph our beautiful landscapes and beaches. The cool lighting gives the beach a completely different feel from only an hour before when the sunset glow bathed it in warmth.


Cypress Silhouette
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Cypress Silhouette

This is one of my favorite trees in the Santa Barbara area. A beautiful Cypress that hangs out over Butterfly Beach in Montecito. It always makes a beautiful frame for the lights of Santa Barbara in the distance.


Last Rays of the Setting Sun
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Last Rays of the Setting Sun

I was out for a beach walk the other evening. As the sun got closer to the horizon the waves kicked up some beautiful sea mist givng just a few moments of absolutely beautiful light.


Butterfly Beach Fog Season
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Butterfly Beach Fog Season

Santa Barbara is always beautiful, to the point that some people think we don't hardly have seasons here. But maybe you just have to look at them a little differently. Winter sunset season just ended, at the beginning of that was butterfly season, when the Monarchs come home to roost. We're now entering fog season. Locals have lots of names for it, most commonly "June Gloom", or before that "May Grey" but the fog is rarely solid and complete as those names make it sound. It's beautiful and wispy, it dances beautifully as it rolls in and out. Sometimes it hugs the coast and the ocean where from inside it may seem grey. But get above or beside it like this and it's an amazing soft blanket hugging the city.


Montecito Sunset Panorama
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Montecito Sunset Panorama

This spot in Montecito on the walk by Butterfly Beach is one of my favorite spots to watch the sunset. The lights on the land to the right are in downtown Santa Barbara, on the left you can see the channel islands.


Palm Sunset
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Palm Sunset

Just another wonderful evening in Santa Barbara. There was a period of time when things got too hectic, and we didn't take too many walks on the beach. Not that we weren't thankful for the amazing beauty of the place we live, but life just gets busy sometimes. Lately we've set out to fix that though. Life is still busy, but we make sure to drop everything a few nights a week and go watch the sunset in a nice spot. I've really enjoyed that!


Gone Fishin'
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Gone Fishin'

This week was great for fishing, at least if you're a Brown Pelican in the Santa Barbara area. There are almost always pelicans feeding off the coast here, but there must have been some impressive schools of fish off of Butterfly Beach a few nights ago. The two Pelicans on the surface behind the dive bombers just surfaced from their dives and there must have been hundreds of attempts. If you look closely to the left of the photo you can see a nose sticking out of the water of what I believe must be a sea otter. But it's hard to say since I was paying so much attention to the Pelicans I did not actually see him until I looked at the photo.


Tropical Butterfly Sunset
Monday, January 7, 2013
Tropical Butterfly Sunset

Our sunsets are spectacular in Santa Barbara during the fall and winter. This is one of my favorite spots, under a beautiful Cypress tree at Butterfly Beach in Montecito. The lights across the water are in downtown Santa Barbara. When the tide is low you can walk all the way along the beach from this spot to Stearns Wharf, but the tide was definitely not low this evening.


Butterfly Beach Cypress Sunset
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Butterfly Beach Cypress Sunset

The evening I took this a few weeks ago, like many evenings, I took a walk along Butterfly Beach. But that night I was paying particular attention to this tree, one of my favorite spots along the walk. I had just spoken to someone who was looking for a special gift for someone who loves this tree as much as I do. Now I have quite a few shots already, but many of them use the amazing sweeping branches to frame other subjects, especially the sunset from the other side. Never one to shy away from the chance to look at a faviorite subject in a new light, I took it as a chance to spend some time wandering the beach with renewed inspiration for one of my favorite spots!


Sunset at Butterfly
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Sunset at Butterfly

Another shot from a beautiful sunset a few days ago at Butterfly Beach. Recently there has been a great deal of interest in photos of the Butterfly Beach area so I thought I would post a few new images. Gives me a nice reason to go out and wander the beach too.


Butterfly Glow
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Butterfly Glow

This evening I had the wonderful opportunity to take a new camera for a spin (Canon 5D Mark III). Now understand I love my current camera (the Mark II,) and before I took the new model out I just couldn't see the need for an upgrade based upon the specs. Other than the fact that my camera just passed the hundred thousand exposure mark. (Timelapse will eat the shutter eventually.) The one thing I did expect was better low light performance. And since I love my evening photos that is a big deal to me. So I decided to wander Butterfly Beach just after sunset. This was one of the early shots, but I was already impressed. I could easily hand-hold shots that would have required a tripod before. And the speed of the camera was amazing. Although it's only supposed to be 33% faster, I found in practice it would easily shoot twice as many photos in the same period of time. Thanks Canon for a great update to a wonderful camera, and thank you for the opportunity to take it for a test drive! Check back throughout the week for more real world impressions of the 5D Mark III.


Sailors Delight
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sailors Delight

Some days the weather does amazing things. And although I was very happy to enjoy this spot with my best friend (my wife), it did make me want to be out on one of those sail boats!

And now for the (other) science geeks out there, those repeated clouds that look a little bit like someone took a paintbrush to the sky are Lenticular clouds. They are formed when waves in the air pulls lower humid air up into a cooler air mass. The humid air reaches its dew point and the clouds are formed. The really interesting thing is although the clouds appear stationary (you usually see them hanging over mountains) the air is actually moving relatively fast, it's just that it is only visible in the cool air. It's almost like the cloud is forming on one side and evaporating on the other as fast as the air is moving, leaving what appears to be a stationary cloud in fast moving air.


La Pacifica Ballroom Terrace 360 degree Panorama
Sunday, July 15, 2012
La Pacifica Ballroom Terrace 360 degree Panorama

La Pacifica Ballroom at the Coral Casino has one of the best views around. Overlooking butterfly beach, with a huge terrace under the stars. This shot was taken specifically to catch the reflection of the sunset in the glass doors.

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Stargazing
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Stargazing

We are so fortunate to have such amazing beaches, and their beauty is not limited to the warm sunny days. After sunset they are an amazing place to watch the sky. They may not be dark enough to see the really wonderful skies you can see further away from the light of the cities, but the proximity combined with the athmosphere of the crashing waves makes them a perfect spot for stargazing. Originally this shot was going to be a virtual reality panorama, but after a little experimentation I thought this would be a better way to take in the whole sky.


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.


Friday Night in Santa Barbara
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Friday Night in Santa Barbara

The weatherman called it "monsoonal moisture" and this is what it looked like. Now this is my idea of a nice Friday night!


Winter Sunset
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Winter Sunset

Watching the sunsets here really makes you aware of the drastic changes in the position of the sun through the seasons. This time of year the sun would already be over the hills at the right. This shot was one I had almost overlooked in a collection of early January images. It is actually part of a much bigger panorama. But looking closer I found the person standing in the surf watching the sunset which I thought made it much more interesting.


Under the Tree by the Coral Casino, Virtual Reality
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Under the Tree by the Coral Casino, Virtual Reality

I love the Butterfly beach area in Montecito. When the tide is low you can walk all the way to Summerland in one direction, and back to East beach in Santa Barbara in the other direction. On the other hand when the tide is really high, or after a strong storm when the sand is washed away you can't get much of a beach walk. Thats when we like to walk along this walkway by the beach and watch the waves and sunset.

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change the way the view moves when you drag;
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Starry Night Over Butterfly Beach
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Starry Night Over Butterfly Beach

This is an extremely long exposure just after dark at Butterfly Beach. Even by moonlight our beaches are beautiful, but most of the details of the rocks and the sand were not even visible to the naked eye.


Romantic Santa Barbara
Friday, June 4, 2010
Romantic Santa Barbara

Sometimes you plan an image. Sometimes it takes months or even years to get exactly what you're looking for. Then there are the times that in the blink of an eye everything comes together. Just at this moment, the couple strolling on the beach turned to look at the spectacular clouds. A second earlier they were indistinguishable, walking so closely together. And a few short seconds later the waves had moved in, obscuring their silhouettes and hiding their reflections in the sand.


Butterfly Beach Stone Wall Sunset Landscape
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Butterfly Beach Stone Wall Sunset Landscape

We're having a wonderful run of beautiful sunsets right now. But this is actually from a beautiful evening walk along Butterfly Beach back in October. I had a request to use the image, but they needed a horizontal layout. Fortunately I usually shoot both horizontal and vertical if I can frame a nice composition both ways for just this reason.