Another Beautiful SoCal Sunset (With Time Lapse)

As I was passing by, Helaine asked if I’d seen the evening colors? “It would probably make a good time lapse,” she said.

Too late. The camera was already suctioned on the guest bedroom window, pointing at the setting Sun.

If I could only rip down the houses west of us for a better view.





The Sky Was Pink

Tonight’s sunset was dominated by pink. Even clouds in the east benefited from the glow.

I sit right alongside one of the four windows in my office. I look to the right to get tipped off on the sunset. Some are spectacular.

Tonight’s was dominated by pink. Even clouds in the east benefited from the glow.

Here’s a sample of what I saw.





Beautiful Sunset Even Without Seeing The Sun

From my office window I can see south and west. What I can’t see is where the Sun sets! It’s behind another home.

It didn’t make any difference tonight. As the Sun went down the few clouds above lit up. Usually it only happens in the western sky. Not tonight. Tonight every cloud was brilliantly illuminated.

I wish I was at the beach to see it all unobstructed!





Sunsets: California Photography’s Low Hanging Fruit

Shooting sunset photography here is like shooting fish in a barrel! Four out of five days the sky is ablaze with color. With little horizon blockage the results are easily obtained and still spectacular.

My new spot is up Portola Parkway toward the toll road. There’s wilderness on both sides and a nearly uninterrupted path to the setting Sun. Thank you highway planners for leaving a place for me to pull over that’s just right.

Oh — and sunset is in the afternoon. Much easier than the East Coast’s sunrise!

This picture shows office buildings near John Wayne Airport (approximately 8 miles) and the distant mountains on Santa Catalina Island (around 46 miles distant).

Sunset with Santa Catalina in the background

All the pictures are clickable for larger version.

My Birthday Postscript

Sunset over Newport Beach, CA

My birthday is over. If you don’t think about the number (a sobering number) birthdays can be lots of fun. Mine was.

I told Helaine, “No gift.” That, of course, meant a very special gift which will be redeemed next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. More on that later.

In the meantime I was treated to a birthday dinner.

We don’t know restaurants yet, but I wanted to eat by the beach. I chose, almost randomly, 21 Oceanfront in Newport Beach. It is across the street from the beach, not far from a tsunami evacuation warning sign.

The cuisine is American. The decor is 19th Century opulent. That part was a little much for me.

I had a bowl of bisque followed by lamb. Helaine ordered the salmon. Both were very good as was the service.

I’m not going to be able to get Rhode Island clam chowder anymore, am I? It’s my favorite clam chowder and the least likely to require a follow-up visit to the cardiologist. No one outside New England has ever heard of it. If you know where it’s available in SoCal, let me know.

Sunset here is just before 8:00 PM. We left the restaurant and walked onto Newport Beach Pier. Both sides were lined with fishermen. Unlike piers in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara this one has no commerce, just fishing and watching.

With the Sun going down it was chilly. I can’t believe I’m complaining. The locals were smart enough to wear jackets or sweatshirts.

We left the pier and walked south down a concrete path at the beach’s edge. On the inland side were small houses, most marked with signs noting their availability as weekly or monthly rentals. That would be fun, but maybe not here. Too much foot traffic going by your door.

The sunset was everything we anticipated. There were clouds, but the Sun ducked under them and finally disappeared as a bright red ball behind the hills on Santa Catalina Island. I told Helaine it was actually Maui.

We drove home with the top down.

My Very Cool Las Vegas Day-To-Night Timelapse

As promised, here is a timelapse video shot through the window of our hotel room in Las Vegas. We’re on the 49th floor. The view is pretty spectacular. The camera is looking west, toward the setting Sun. The rest of the Las Vegas Strip is hidden off to the left. Downtown Las Vegas is far to the right, also hidden.

I expected the haze and cirrus to produce a beautiful red glow. No such luck. You’ll hardly miss it.

In case you’re wondering, this timelapse was shot one frame every two seconds. That makes this sixty times normal speed.

It’s pretty obvious why you don’t want to shoot through a window. In this case it’s two windows! Double panes are used for noise and climate control.

All things considered, not too bad.

I’m Happy To See Haze


I just came up to our room to get something and looked out the window. It’s the kind of view you can’t get enough of, courtesy of a cousin who checked in before us and finagled a room on the 49th floor!

The sky is hazy with a very thin layer of cirrus clouds. Only 100&#176 now! We’re down from the high.


That’s my limited perspective speaking. Perfect, because haze and see-through cloudiness produce the best sunsets! This room looks west. I’m hoping to make a sunset timelapse.

gopro-mount-on-windowIf you’ll look closely at the window you’ll see the housing for my GoPro Hero camera already suctioned on the window frame. The idea is to shoot the Sun going down then continue rolling to catch the lights of the city and its traffic.

This double paned window with water spots from the last rain isn’t ideal, but no one’s letting me the roof. I’ll close the curtains to keep any room light from creating glare or reflections and hope for the best.

Las Vegas sunset is 7:53 PDT (10:53 PM EDT) tonight. If it works the results go online before I hit the sack.

Clouds Also Make The Sunset

Still photos benefit from cirrus clouds too. Here’s one from my ‘branch office’ on the front lawn. The cirrus clouds are like a movie screen for the refracted sunlight at dusk.

In other words, it was very pretty.


Photos From Stef’s Roof

I knew the cirrus layer over the city would color the sky orange and red. Too much meteorology!

The top floor of Stef’s building has an open air common area with chairs, tables, a stereo, tv, barbecue and view to die for! Nestled at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains the ground floor is 425 feet above sea level. That gives it a height advantage over Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills/Century City and the ocean.

Sunset here is a little after 5:00 PM. Helaine and I walked up at 4:55.

Earlier she’d asked about clouds. Wouldn’t they spoil the sunset? I knew the cirrus layer over the city would color the sky orange and red. Too much meteorology!

Here’s a little sample of what I saw. Click any picture to see a larger image.

I need one more trip to the roof after sunset with my tripod. There are more pictures to be taken!