March 14, 2015 Malibu Spiral and Staircases

March 14th, 2015 by William Reid

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These images are from January 5, 2015.  My afternoon was free, and the weather was warm and perfect, so that meant a drive to the beach was in order.  “Offshore” winds were providing excellent visibilities and bright blue skies.  The islands off of Southern California were nice and stark.  As I walked down the path at El Matador Beach, someone going the other way said “make sure you take a look down from the top.”  I said “okay,” but thought that was kind of a goofy thing to say.  I already KNEW what the view was like from up here!  Well, I took a look anyway, and observed a strange but beautiful spiral in the sand below.  It was at least 100 feet across, and must have just recently been completed.  By whom?  Who knows?!  It was cool, and that is what counts!

The low sun angle allowed for some fun with the shadows and contrasts.  The girl that was coming up the stairs said that I could take her picture.  Her name was “Melloww.”  Yes —- with two “w’s”.

I remained at the shoreline here into the evening with the tripod, and you will find the post-sunset shots in a subsequent post.

 

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Posted in 2014, Artsy, Beach, Landscapes, Mid and High Clouds | No Comments »

March 14, 2015 Dusk at El Matador Beach

March 14th, 2015 by William Reid

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These are images post-sunset at El Matador Beach, Malibu, on January 5, 2015.  The tide was on the low side and the waves were small, and I was able to shoot long exposures with the tripod right on the sand/surf line.

 

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Posted in 2015, Artsy, Beach, Nighttime photography | No Comments »

March 1, 2015 Conejo Valley Thunderstorm

March 1st, 2015 by William Reid

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The first day of March had some fun weather possibilities…right here in my backyard.

I wasn’t thinking tornadoes or severe weather, but with a strong and cold upper-level low near Point Conception, and with bright sunny skies this Sunday morning, I figured that the atmosphere might get a bit agitated later in the afternoon.  I had a work shift at Point Mugu Airport starting at 6 p.m., so if something went up nearby during the afternoon I could check it out.  Well, strong cells did indeed develop, and the Conejo Valley and Camarillo area was treated to a very decent thunderstorm from about 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  All I had to do was leave for work about an hour earlier than normal, and stop halfway there to photograph the storm!  I don’t think I have had a more convenient chase in my life!

Small hail fell on my house here in Westlake Village around 3 p.m., as a new convective storm tower went up practically overhead.  The radar return from this thing was ridiculously unimpressive.  The hail was kind of fun, but there was no thunder.  I got ready for work, and checked radar again around 4:15 p.m.  Great — a nice red blob was now just to my west, near Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks — time to check it out!  As I began the drive west on the Ventura Freeway, a great rain-free storm base with a little lowering presented itself to my west — YES!

 

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I stopped along the Highway 101 Conejo Grade (between Newbury Park and Camarillo) and had a pretty decent view of the updraft base which was not too far to my north to northeast.  Lightning flashed periodically in the cloud and from cloud-to-ground, and a couple of loud thunder crashes made me quite happy.  I had not witnessed a good local spring thunderstorm in quite a while.  Here are some wide-angle views of the storm, looking primarily northeast.

 

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There is that one view to the southwest of new development (4th image of the nine above), and that one had lightning with it, too!

The original storm just north of the Conejo grade seemed to sputter some after about 15 minutes, so it was time to head down the grade to Camarillo to check out the newer storms that were south of the freeway.  These continued a little with the lightning, they threw some small hail at me along Pleasant Valley Road, and I had great sunset light on a strawberry field with a faint rainbow.

 

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Some heavy rain pushed me south and southwest a few miles towards Point Mugu, with the bright sun blazing away on the horizon.  I knew what that meant, and I had enough time to spare along Los Posas Road to get out of the X-terra with the wide-angle lens and to get a little wet.

 

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Not a bad way to begin the work shift!

 

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Posted in 2015, Cumulonimbus, Landscapes, Local---Conejo Valley and San Fernando Valley area, Rainbows/Optical Phenomena, Stormy Skies, Sunsets and Storms | No Comments »

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