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Springtime in Santa Barbara

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

Ladubug Daisy

I love the beautiful flowers this time of year, especially on my cacti. Unfortunately I’m not the only one. The aphids seem to be quite fond of them too. But, rather than spray or use soap we went down to the hardware store and got a little box of lady bugs. Most of the nurseries or home and garden stores keep them in little refrigerators, kind of dormant just waiting for an assignment. Mine had two jobs… get the bugs, and look pretty for the camera while doing it.

-Bill Heller

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Cypress Silhouette

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

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Fire Razed Potter Hotel on April 13, 1921

On this date in Santa Barbara history the magnificent Potter Hotel was destroyed by a fire. Crowds watched in horror as flames quickly engulfed the Potter Hotel on April 13, 1921. The hotel opened on January 19, 1903 and cost over $1 million to build.

100+ guests were safely evacuated, but with winds gusting from fifty to eighty miles per hour, the fire spread quickly and burnt the hotel to the ground within three hours. Flying debris even set fire to Stearns Wharf and to the tall palms that line the boulevard along West Beach. Only few chimneys were left of what had been one of the finest hotels on the West Coast.

Faulty wiring was found to be the cause, although many historians suspect it was arson. Several attempts were purportedly made to burn down the hotel which had been heavily insured and was steadily losing money, and the fire department believed that all the fires they extinguished has been deliberately set. Although arson was suspected, it was never confirmed.
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Poppy in the Morning Dew

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

Happy California Poppy Day! “The golden poppy (Eschscholzia) is the official State Flower. April 6 of each year is hereby designated California Poppy Day.”
California Poppy in the Morning Dew
This beautiful local native appeared in the pot of one of our plants in the back yard a couple years ago. In the spring they pop up everywhere when the conditions are right. They can be a bit particular about their environment when you try to plant them, but once they are really established in an area they come back year after year. I have not seen this guy’s relatives yet this year. But I’m sure one day I’ll go out in the back yard and they will be there to brighten my day.

-Bill Heller

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Sandpiper Sunset

Santa Barbara Photo of the Week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Sandpiper Sunset
The rain isn’t the only thing we’ve been missing this year. The lack of moisture has made it a more timid than usual sunset season. But if there is one place you can count on to get every bit of breathtaking beauty out of a sunset it’s Sandpiper Golf Course. Evenings like this make me want to take up golfing just to have an excuse to spend more time there.

-Bill Heller

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Saturdays with Seibert

Local views by Dan Seibert

DSOn Wednesday, during the “storm” I noticed the tall eucalyptus tree in front of Hotel Mar Monte has turned pink.  It does this every year right before it sheds it’s bark.  The color underneath is a nice cream color and a few spots are visible just above the man wearing the blue shirt.  There is another nice specimen of this tree on the corner of Canon Perdido and State street.

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Santa Barbara Harbor Reflections

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
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I so love wandering the harbor and the breakwater looking at the beautiful sailboats. I’m usually there in the evening looking for an amazing sunset or the gorgeous winter clouds. But there’s something to be said for the clear still water on a beautiful day like this. It might not have made a great day to take one of these beauties out, but they are still an amazing sight to see.

-Bill Heller

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Bixby Creek Coastline Big Sur

Photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Bixby Creek Coastline
Today I thought you might enjoy something a little different. There’s no doubt we’re blessed in the Santa Barbara area with some of the most beautiful views in California. But, continuing up the coast there are some absolutely amazing things to see. This is Bixby Creek bridge in Big Sur, on a good day about a four and a half hour drive up Pacific Coast Highway. Bixby and his, Rocky Creek Bridge about a mile further north were finished in the early 1930′s and they are quite a sight. Every day in Big Sur is a unique work of art. This day was virtually cloudless, but there was still enough fog over the water and mist from the waves to give the late afternoon sun some nice golden color. If you’ve never taken the drive, it’s well worth it. But do be aware of weather and road conditions, as some parts of the highway south of Big Sur can be challenging for people at the wrong times.

-Bill Heller

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Alice Keck Park Peaceful Night

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Alice Keck Park Gazebo Across the Pond
To say goodbye to standard time, I thought a long exposure just after dark would be fitting. These early evenings have been wonderful for this type of photography. But I do like this time of year when we get an extra hour of daylight. An extra hour of watching the golden light play on the mountains and explore the angles as the sun finds it’s way back to warm our beautiful long summer days.

This is of course Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. From the bench on the little island, one of my favorite spots to stop and watch the world go by. -Bill Heller

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Saturdays with Seibert: This Week in Santa Barbara

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

Here are some random photos from this week, starting Sunday night during the Oscar’s, I walked outside and saw the moon partially obscured by high clouds. Some plants looking good after the rain, and the “herringbone” clouds over West Beach.

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Shipwrecked After Dark

Santa Barbara Photo of the Week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
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If you have to be shipwrecked, this is a nice place to do it. Every so often a sailboat slips its mooring in the Santa Barbara area, and it seems more often than not they end up on Butterfly Beach. This shot is from a year or so ago, but I stumbled across it again when I was searching for an image. The exposure was quite long (well long for cameras these days anyway) taken well after sunset, which created kind of a dreamy quality. Well, dreamy unless it’s your boat! -Bill Heller

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Saturdays with Seibert: Dan’s Drawings

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

“Although I’ve been taking photos since I was the yearbook photographer in high school, I started drawing seriously in the late 80′s. Right about the time Reagan left office. By the late 90′s I had a few shows around town and sold a number of drawings. But I never seemed to sell them for what I thought they were worth. At some point I decided to stop selling. I had three favorite subjects, SB landmarks, SB athletes, and the beautiful SB women.

The first few photos are of ones I sold. The drawing of the snow behind the Mission was lost in the Jesusita fire, but thankfully I had a professional take a photo of it and had it scanned. The woman the bought/lost it paid to have another printed on canvass, so it still lives.

This afternoon I opened my closet and started opening boxes of drawings. It was a trip down memory lane. There’s stepladder on my patio and I used it as an easel to photograph everything. Some photos looked washed out but that’s my bad photo technique, they are as bright as ever.” – Dan

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winter brophy's  copy 1
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His Neck
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Sunset Dog Run

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Sunset Dog Run
Dogs always know how to have the most fun, especially at the beach. These guys were racing up and down the beach at Shoreline Park with seemingly infinite energy. Their people, like my wife and I, were more content to just take in the amazing beauty around us. -Bill Heller

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Fog Over The Good Land

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Fog Over The Good Land
This is one of those images you’re going to want to go full size to really appreciate. There’s quite a bit going on, but most of it is subtle.

This angle is from the foothills just outside Santa Barbara, overlooking the city of Goleta. I love it when the fog hugs the surface like this right at sunset. The glow of the fading sun and the city lights make some amazing long exposures. And the fog was rolling in quickly the night I took this. About ten minutes after this shot there were no discernible points of light. Well not on the ground anyway. The stars were still amazing! In fact you can just make out some of the Milky Way in the left side of the photo. -Bill Heller

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SBIFF Waiting in the Balcony for Robert Redford

One final view of the 29th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Virtual reality photography by Bill Heller

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