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I’d Rather Be…

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
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!

-Bill Heller


Evening Blanket

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Evening Blanket
Some evenings the fog is so thick in Santa Barbara it seems you would never get a good view of anything. But sometimes it only takes a small change of perspective to see what once blocked your view is actually something to behold itself. I love to watch for the evenings, more common this time of year, when the beautiful thick fog hugs the surface rolling in just at sunset leaving a clear view out above it’s fluffy beauty. As the stars start to glow from above the city lights light the fog from below and the effect is something quite amazing that you would never expect from the surface. -Bill Heller


Santa Barbara International Film Festival Opening Night

Tonight is the opening night of the 30th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. This is a shot from the side balcony of the Arlington during last years’ opening night film “Mission Blue”. In the same vein as Mission Blue the Film Festival will continue their support of pioneers of protecting our beautiful oceans by honoring the entire Cousteau family. -Bill Heller


Golden Hour from the Montecito Hills

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Golden Hour from the Montecito Hills
The evening I took this shot the sunset was absolutely amazing, even before the clouds lit up with the colors. As the sun slipped closer to the horizon, the clouds seemed to swirl around it leaving just enough space to watch its descent and reflection on the ocean. In the center of the image you can just make out Stearns Wharf in the distance.
-Bill Heller


Fata Morgana: Virtual Reality Photo

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, in 3D.

Fairy Castles in the Santa Barbara Channel
We’ve had some beautiful sunsets lately. This evening a little over a week ago was one of the most spectacular. But the amazing show above may have distracted you from something much more elusive and intriguing happening at the horizon. Take a close look at the islands across the channel in the image. The rapidly changing weather caused a particularly interesting phenomena called a Superior Mirage. Where the mirages people are most familiar with (inferior mirages) reflect images as though they are mirror-like pools of water on the road, a superior mirage does just the opposite. The layers of air in a particularly strong inversion layer near the surface act as not only a mirror above objects on the horizon, but they take on the effect of a fun house mirror distorting and repeating images or even making objects appear to float above the surface. The name for these mirages when they become particularly complex is “Fata Morgana” an Italian phrase referring to stories told about the floating islands often seen in the Strait of Messina being fairy castles. Fata Morgana (or Fairy Morgan) incidentally refers to a particular fairy from the legend of King Arthur… but that’s a story for another day.

Be sure to zoom in and explore the image with the controls at the bottom, it is a large panorama with a lot of detail!

-Bill Heller