Impending Storm

December 21, 2008

Looks like we will have another wet week starting sometime tonight.  This sounds like good news to me and the clouds coming in ahead of the storm made for a wonderful visual show tonight.


“Island View”  –  Campus Point, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA


“Chaotic Clouds”  –  Campus Point, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA


“Last Light”  –  Campus Point, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA


Changing Scenery

December 21, 2008

I went on a quick hike today up Cold Springs Trail.  In addition to getting some exercise, I wanted to attempt some more abstract captures.  Traveling light, I only brought the 5D with 35mm f/2.  This is a really nice and small combo and enabled me to run back down the trail to get a bit more exercise.  The light was playing tricks on me the entire time, with some scenes beautifully lit and others best not mentioned.  Not sure how successful the trip was, but it was fun to work on something different.  A portion of the Tea Fire made it to the lower reaches of the hiking trail and the landscape certainly looked eerie.  


“California Bay, Burnt”  –  Cold Springs Trail, Montecito, CA


“Resting Leaves”  –  Cold Springs Trail, Montecito, CA


“Bearded Rock”  –  Cold Springs Trail, Montecito, CA

Stormy Weather

December 21, 2008

We had some interesting weather last week and finally got a decent amount of rain early in the week.  Tuesday started out very dreary and wet but luckily our weather tends to transition back to blue skies fairly quickly.  During these transitions it is quite common to see rainbows and sometimes I’m lucky enough to capture them.  The following day had a very surreal sunset.  The skies were still very dark but a thin shaft of brilliant red light broke through to illuminate the foothills and then some low floating clouds.  The colors were very dramatic in contrast with the dark, cloudy sky.


“Wet Pelican”  –  UCSB Lagoon, Santa Barbara, CA


“Rainbows”  –   Goleta Beach, Goleta, CA


“Floating Fire”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

Sunset Season

December 14, 2008

A lot of people like to joke that Southern California doesn’t have seasons.  As a photographer, I beg to differ.  This time of year we have some of the most spectacular sunsets, which makes up for the generally cloudless skies the rest of the year.  I’ve missed a bunch of the recent sunsets while looking for the bobcat, but may have to change my priorities this week.  Here are some photos from one night last week.


“Sunset I”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“Sunset II”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA



“Egret at Sunset”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

Some birds from this morning

December 14, 2008

I’ve had some hard drive problems this week which have slowed me down a bit.  Luckily I am extra paranoid and haven’t lost anything.  That hasn’t stopped me from getting out with my camera.  There were a lot of birds at Lake Los Carneros this morning and it looked like most were stocking up on food before the rain comes tonight.


“Black Phoebe”  –  Lake Los Carneros,  Goleta, CA



“Cedar Waxwings”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“Robin I”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“Robin II”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

Mono Lake

December 7, 2008

While up in the Eastern Sierras I decide to drive up to Mono Lake since I had never been there in the winter.  I figured it would be too late to see any waterfowl but was pleasantly surprised to find a fair number of grebes and ruddy ducks.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it up there for sunrise so I walked around scouting some potential spots for next year.


“Winter Tufa”  –  Mono Lake, CA


“Horned Grebe Feeding”  –  Mono Lake, CA

Time and Color

December 6, 2008

These photos were taken the same night and probably within ten to fifteen minutes of each other.  The last rays of sun hitting the snow covered mountains were pretty but I didn’t transmit the feeling of cold.  I think the second photo does a much better job of communicating the cold of the mountains while still showing the warmth of the sunset.  This shows how important it is to have a preconceived idea of the image you are looking to capture.  And just as importantly, to understand how different light can completely change the feel of a picture.


“Mountain Warmth”  –  Bishop, CA


“Frigid Heights”  –  Bishop, CA