Book of Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara seems a place of such obvious charms. The golden beaches and sage-covered hillsides are there at first glance, while the Spanish-style townscape issues an invitation to visit all year, thanks to an unvaryingly pleasant Mediterranean climate. Even so, it takes an artist with a unique vision to reveal the complexity of Santa Barbara’s beauty, as Macduff Everton does so brilliantly in the photographs that grace the pages of this book. A longtime Santa Barbaran, Everton uses his panoramic camera to reveal the play of light on sea and rock, the quirky corners of historic landmarks and the unexpected variety of lush gardens and open spaces. He captures all the zest of the town’s public celebrations, from the colorful Old Spanish Days Fiesta to the rambunctious Summer Solstice Parade. And he highlights its private character by turning his lens on those who give the place its vitality and interpret it to the world – the athletes and scholars, entrepreneurs and farmers, artists and writers. Among the artists is Mary Heebner, who has collaborated – in life and in work – with Everton, and who here adds a poetic understanding of Santa Barbara’s natural and human history, the tales writ in the flow of rivers as much as in architectural treasures. Among the writers is global traveler and sometime Santa Barbara resident Pico Iyer, whose introductory essay so deftly and insightfully illuminates the secret side of this Southern Californian paradise. Newcomers, frequent visitors, residents – Macduff Everton’s images and The Book of Santa Barbara will surprise and enchant them all.