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I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival at the Santa Barbara Mission

A full calendar of events, complemented by the temperate climate, attracts visitors all year long. In Santa Barbara, the challenge isn’t finding something to do; it’s choosing from a dazzling array of activities. Memorial Day brings I Madonnari, an inspired chalk-painting festival held on the grounds of the Old Mission.

More than 200 artists get down on their hands and knees to create colorful chalk masterpieces on the asphalt in front of the Santa Barbara Mission. Spectators stroll the courtyard at their leisure, then walk down the lawn where an Italian marketplace features food, booths and entertainment. An Italian tradition since the 16th Century, the I Madonnari Street Painting Festival has been a part of Santa Barbara culture for nearly 30 years.

For the Santa Barbara photo of the week, we dig into the View Vault for this 3D/ Virtual Reality look from 2012 by Bill Heller.

“Just check back and look for highlighted links overlaid on the image to move around to other locations.” -Bill Heller

Controls from left to right:
+ Zoom in;
– Zoom out;
change the way the view moves when you drag;
toggle full screen


Butterfly Beach Sunset Run

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Butterfly-Beach-Sunset-Run-by-Bill-Heller-IMG_6276_max1600x1280
Here’s to the end of a nice weekend! Hopefully you had the chance to romp with your best friend too, whether they are of the four or two legged variety!

-Bill Heller


Sandpiper Sunset Reflections

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Sandpiper Sunset Reflections
One of my favorite spots to watch the sunset, the 18th hole at the Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta. If you want to chase a little white ball around this is the place to do it. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing you would have to admit this is a great place to spend the day.

-Bill Heller


Shorline Reflection

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Shoreline Reflection
A few wispy high clouds and a great view of the setting sun. We found ourselves at Shoreline park late in the afternoon and decided to take a walk down the long stairway to the beach where we wandered and watched the setting sun. This is about the time everyone on the beach seemed to just stop and watch the beautiful scene. It was a wonderful evening!

-Bill Heller


Santa Barbara City View

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Santa Barbara City College Panoramic View
The panoramic view of Santa Barbara from Santa Barbara City College. To give you an idea of the expanse of this beautiful vista, on the right you can see the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf. All the way on the left where you see the red tile roof peeking out from under the fronds is the Santa Barbara Courthouse.

(Click to see the full size view to really appreciate it) -Bill Heller


View from the Top of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
View From the Top of Santa Barbara

A beautiful view over Santa Barbara. This is one of the most amazing spots in Santa Barbara. The top of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Clock Tower. From here you can see from one end of the city to the other, The Mission to the Ocean. This particular angle is overlooking the sunken gardens of the courtyard with the Pacific Ocean on the right.

But before you grab your camera and head over there, you should know that currently the tower is closed for construction work. In a few months however, you’ll be able to take the elevator all the way to the top. Which will be a great help for many people who found the tight climb up the last story above where the elevator dropped them off too much of a barrier to enjoy this amazing spot.

In the mean time I will do my best to bring the beautiful views to you.

-Bill Heller


Santa Barbara Mountain View

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
A view of the Santa Barbara hills from downtown State Street
Downtown Santa Barbara mountain view from just off State Street. The light hitting the mountains in the late afternoon really brings out their texture and makes for a beautiful backdrop to the city.

-Bill Heller


Santa Barbara Harbor Twilight

Santa Barbara photo of the week, by Bill Heller Photography, click to enlarge!
Twilight Harbor Panorama
I love to look at the boats in the Santa Barbara Harbor and think about how much fun each one would be, especially on a hot weekend like this. I’m not the worlds expert on watercraft, but I know enough to spot the nice wood sailboats that are beautiful (but a lot of work), the cruisers that look like they could almost be an apartment inside, and the beautiful racing boats. It seems like they must each have a story and they are just waiting for the next chance to go out and write another chapter. But in the evening like this they sway peacefully in their slips dreaming of the open water.

Have a wonderful weekend! Stay cool and safe.

-Bill Heller