Quality of Light

February 26, 2009

I had a hard time coming up with a title for this post, until I realized that each picture had a different feel based on the quality of light.  These were all taken around the same time of day, but it is amazing the difference a few minutes can make.  The many different environments in Santa Barbara County also seem to have their own unique signature when it comes to quality of light.  


“Green Grazing”  –  Santa Barbara County, CA


“Solitude”  –  Figueroa Mountain, CA


“Purple Haze”  –  Figueroa Mountain, CA


“Golden Hour”  –  Santa Ynez Valley, CA


“Trotting Along”  –  Santa Ynez Valley, CA


Better Bobcat

February 26, 2009

For those looking for more bobcat photos…  Below is one of the best, if not the best, bobcat photo that I’ve managed to capture.  (Along with a couple others.)


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


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


“Bobcat III”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

Death Valley – Textures Edition

February 26, 2009

This is a followup to the previous post.  In addition to the vast views found at Death Valley, there is also much beauty to be found on a smaller scale.  A lot of time could be spent walking the numerous canyons looking for interesting patterns in the rock walls.  The dunes are also an interesting place to look for different perspectives.  Especially if you aren’t lucky enough to get there right after a wind storm when all the footprints have been filled in.


“Salt-scape”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA


“Rock Face”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA


“Intersection”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA


“Cracked”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA


“Shadowy Slope”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA


“Butterscotch Wax”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA

Death Valley – Landscape Edition

February 26, 2009

After seeing too many amazing recent sunset photos from Death Valley, I decided it was the time to finally get there myself.  It’s always nice to go someplace new, but that also makes taking quality photos a challenge since you are orienting yourself to a new locale.  It takes time to scout out good locations and envision what they might look like under different weather and lighting conditions.  So, this was mostly an exploratory trip with the hopes that I might get lucky and get some nice light.  Unfortunately I arrived a day late, and missed an amazing sunset based on the photos I’ve seen from other photographers.  Since the sunsets weren’t cooperating, I tried to make the best of the harsh midday light to showoff the desolation that is Death Valley.


“Severe Sun”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA


“Badwater”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA


“Erosion”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA


“Inverse Falls”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA

Best of October 2008

February 13, 2009

Here in Santa Barbara, October is the month that usually reveals the transition from Summer to Winter.  We don’t really have Fall out here, and it is common to go from 90 degree days with no clouds in sight one week, to the first chilly, rainy days of the year the next.  Quite often the transition goes back and forth several times before Summer completely loses its grip.  The following photos are a subtle representation of the battle of the seasons.


“California Darner”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“Black Turnstone”  –  Campus Point, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA


“Southern Alligator Lizard”  –  Goleta, CA


“Changing Seasons”  –  Goleta Pier, from UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA


“Spotted Towhee”  –  Santa Ynez Mountains, Buellton, CA


“Royal Tern”  –  Campus Point, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA


“Stormy Flight”  –  Campus Point, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

Close Encounters

February 12, 2009

I’ve had several recent close encounters with a variety of birds, big and small.  I guess that’s the benefit of local parks.  Many of them get habituated to people and let you get pretty  close.  At other times, they are the ones that decide to come check you out.  I could have gotten even closer to the Great Blue Heron and Anna’s Hummingbird but I was at the minimum focusing distance on the 400mm  f/5.6.


“Western Bluebird”  –  Ellwood, Goleta, CA


“Great Blue Heron”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“Anna’s Hummingbird”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“Turkey  Vulture”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

Best of September 2008

February 12, 2009

Most of September was spent searching for local wildlife.  I had a fun encounter with a small group of Sea Otters at Morro Bay.  Too bad the lighting wasn’t better.  I also started spending more time at the beach.  After ignoring it for most of my time here (I prefer the mountains), I started paying more attention to the diversity of shorebirds found in this area.  I don’t know why, but I think the Turnstones are one of my favorite shorebirds.  There is a subtle metallic quality to their feathers that is hard to capture, but captivating to watch.


“Sea Otter”  –  Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County, CA


“Ivy on Tree”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“California Quail”  –  HW 1, near Lompoc, CA


“Wilson’s Warbler”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


“Black Turnstone”  –  Campus Point, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA