Solstice Celebration

Each year at the end of June, Santa Barbara, California, officially kicks off summer with a three-day Solstice Celebration. The highlight of the event is a parade famous for its whimsical floats, colorful stiltwalkers, goofy performance artists, Brazilian drummers, and giggling kids donning masks, costumes, and painted faces — to say nothing of the amazing samba dancers wearing feathers and sequins and not much else. The annual event got its start in 1974 and now attracts upward of 100,000 visitors and some 1,000 participants from near and far. Here are some of my photos from this year’s festivities.

For more photos, check out the complete set from Solstice 2014.

You can also view images from previous years here:

A View From the Lake Bed

Cachuma Lake

Because of the record drought in California, Cachuma Lake has been drying up. It’s now just a fraction of its usual size. Here is a self-portrait where I’m standing on the the exposed lake bed admiring a giant root of some kind.

I’m working on a photo essay documenting the drought. More on that soon…

Ice Lantern

As Oslo readies for the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony tomorrow, the city is full of luminaries. Most of them fall in the category of international celebrities, politicians and dignitaries of various kinds. But tonight I was taken in by a different kind of luminary, the sort that illuminates your path on a cold night.

My Norwegian friend had invited me over for dinner. He lives in a quiet hamlet on a peninsula a half-hour’s boat ride from downtown Oslo. As we came up to his house, his wife had put out candles to light our way. They were protected from the freezing winds by lanterns made entirely of ice.

The Channel Islands

Another personal favorite, this one of the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. The three small islands in the foreground make up Anacapa, the large island behind it is Santa Cruz, and in the distance are Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands. The image was taken through the windshield of a Cessna on a return flight from Catalina Island with my pilot friend Sam. A special day.