I wanted to post a little about the prints that we selected for the SMUD Exhibit: Through the Lens as part of the first inaugural annual photography month in Sacramento. I went back through my archives to find out when I took this shot and realized it’s been over 4 years ago. It was shortly after I visited Folsom Lake. California was approaching the height of a long drought. As a result the Folsom lake level was so low, it exposed an old gold mining camp/settlement that was otherwise buried under over a hundred feet of water. It was a profound experience walking among the old settlement from the gold rush days. It was also alarming as it underscored the dire situation Californians were facing. I posted about that excursion here: The California Drought – Folsom Lake.
As I walked the lake bed, it suddenly occurred to me that the river by Old Sacramento must have been at it’s lowest level in a very long time. The next thought that came to mind was that the low levels on the river would make for calmer waters and receded banks. This meant that I would be able to get a more dramatic shot at sunset. I was pretty much right on the money. The levels were so low no boats or water crafts didn’t dare disturb the water. It was as beautiful as it was spooky. I also captured a time lapse of the sunset in which you could see this thin ghost-like wispy clouds creeping up the river.
This image took 60 shots – 20 frames (two rows of 10 HDR) each consisting of 3 brackets. I shot it with the Canon 5D Mark III and the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II at 200mm. Composing, stitching and editing this shot took weeks as I would frequently exceed the limits of editing software and memory. Single layers were easily over 1.5GB in size had to be committed to separate files. Opening one layer quickly used up 8-10GB of system RAM, often resulting in data corruption. Producing this shot was a veritable test of patience, well worth the time and aggravation.
This shot like much of my photography is only available in a very limited edition of 10 signed and numbered copies. At the time of this post, only 4 copies remain in the edition. This is a large format print, while it is available in custom sizes, the smallest recommended size is 6.5 feet in length. It can be printed to the scale of a mural without any compromise in fine detail. You can make out wine glasses hanging over the bar inside the Delta King as well as every nut and bolt on the Tower Bridge. You can also make out art hanging on the walls in the office buildings. I am actively looking for opportunities to place at least one of the limited copies as a large format art installation.
It is with distinct honor and privilege that I share this with you. Several of my photographic works were selected for the SMUD art exhibition featuring local photographers. For those not familiar with the Sacramento region SMUD stands for Sacramento Municipal Utilities District. While my audience and collectors over the years have spanned the globe, there is something very special about getting a nod from from my adopted home town.
This exhibit is organized by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and led by Viewpoint Photographic Art Center, a non-profit organization located in Midtown Sacramento, and in collaboration with many partners including SMUD and the City of Sacramento, the community’s first-ever Photography Month Sacramento will take place in several venues throughout April 2018.
“Born and raised in Cameroon, West Africa, photographer Bryan Allo studied his craft in Madrid, Spain. A longtime resident of Sacramento, Allo continues his love of world travel and photography. This exhibition features three of Allo’s very large iconic urban and rural images. His shooting style is more of a realist expression. He shoots what he sees and only retouches his photos to the extent that they better express the beauty of his subject. He believes if a photo is worth taking and is well taken, it is better off left alone. “I take my camera and lenses with me everywhere I go including the bottom of the pool. My carry-on bag is always full of lenses. Clothes are an afterthought. I am obsessed with capturing beauty in all its fleeting forms in the greatest possible detail”.
Three of my mega prints are on display at this exhibit. I will be posting more details on each limited edition print soon. They are as follows.
- Sacramento Sunset (Old Sacramento, Delta King, Tower Bridge)
- Eagle Falls Sunrise (Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe)
- Bassi Falls Sunset (Eldorado Hills)
If you are in or around the Sacramento area or just visiting, definitely take some time time to stop by the SMUD gallery. Don’t forget to get in touch with me so I can meet up with you and walk you through the exhibit for a personal touch.
Seattle Skyline from Alki Beach / Duwamish Head, Luna Park
Seattle skyline after sunset from Hamilton ViewPoint Park
It’s been a really busy year. Unfortunately the first thing to take a hit has been my blog posting. I have not been able post as consistently as previously. However I’m happy to say my photography has not taken a hit. I have pretty much dedicated whatever free time I can find to actually doing photography and traveling whenever I can. This means it’s just a matter of catching up and sharing. If you follow me on Instagram (@bryanallo), you will catch more frequent glimpses of my photographic exploits.
I recently returned from a trip to Vancouver via Seattle a little over a week ago. It dawned on me that I had visited Seattle about a year ago as well. I did a lot of Photography but never got around to posting about that trip. I suppose the main reason was I never got around to composing the large panoramic shots I had painstakingly captured. This one was captured just after Sunset, from Duwamish Head at Luna Park, in the Alki Beach area. I scouted this shot all afternoon with my brother who had just moved to Seattle at the time. After scouting the shot, we walked to the burger joint down the street for a late lunch. We returned to Luna Park and camped out there through the sunset. Fortunately Seattle revealed herself. It was quite windy though. This was only compounded by the long 400mm focal length required to get a good framing. My first choice location was Hamilton ViewPoint Park but alas there was what looked like an Ore Ship painstakingly offloading it’s cargo all weekend long right in the middle of my shot. So I went with plan B which did not disappoint at all.
I shot this with the 50 MegaPixel Canon 5DsR and the EF 100-400mm L IS II. I’m not sure I could have done it otherwise. The resulting panorama is half a GigaPixel with boat loads of detail and color. I am very much looking forward to taking this to Limited Edition print. Only 10 signed numbered copies will every be made.
Have you ever visited Seattle? What was your favorite view on the city?
Sunrise over Eagle Falls
After chasing sunsets all day over Glen Alpine Falls and Lilly Lake I retired to my room in a little motel on the outskirts of the City of South Lake Tahoe. Yes I did consider just sleeping in my truck as I sometimes do, since I only planned on sleeping a few hours. However, after hiking and standing on my feet all afternoon till after dark, I knew I would need a shower and a good night’s sleep; well 5-6 hours of sleep at least.
Just me, and the Sunrise
I have photographed Eagle Falls several times before. Most recently I visited the falls this past winter and made a daring hike down to the lower falls. I just realized I never posted about that excursion. It was quite and experience to say the least. I’m not sure I want to do that again. None-the-less, there had been one item on my Bucket List and that was to photograph the falls at sunrise. Sunset here is much less dramatic if not drab and unremarkable.
I woke up at 3:30am, showered, put on my winter clothes, prepped my camera gear, loaded up the truck and was on the road just after 4:00am. I arrived at the trail head around 4:30am. I was the only soul at the falls. Sunrise was around 5:30am. This gave me enough time to scout my shot. It was dark, with clear skies. After a few minutes my eyes adjusted and could see the stars. It was beautiful. I used Google SkyMap to determine where on the horizon the sun would appear so I can frame my shot to center it’s radiance. I was all setup and ready to go with so much time to spare that I actually took the time to photograph myself. I always forget to do this and thus have no record of ever being there.
Sunrise piercing through the trees
Nothing could have prepared me for the sunrise over Eagle Falls. Nothing. As the sun started to rise the breathtaking beauty all around me just kept intensifying. It was surreal. One thing I love about sunrises is that they tend to last much longer than sunsets. I reflected back to the previous day as I lay on my sofa just before noon and decided all of a sudden that was NOT now I wanted to spend my weekend. Now there I was the following morning, my soul overflowing. My passion fulfilled. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.
I hope you enjoyed the photos and they inspire you to dare to venture out and explore. The shots are unedited and straight out of the camera, as I tend to do these days. This explains the halos and ghosting typical of in-camera HDR images. The camera has less elaborate HDR algorithms. Who has time to tinker with image editors when you could be out there? I typically only edit/process when I’m taking a photo to limited edition print. The two panoramas here will definitely be available in very limited edition print.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing.
Several weekends ago while Chasing the Sunset over Glen Alpine Falls, I took a break for a late lunch snack a little further upstream at Lily Lake. It was so relaxing to just sit there and take it all in, all of this magnificence, all to myself. No cell phone reception forced me to unplug from technology that has so much invaded every aspect of our lives.
Taking a break from chasing the sunset at Little Lake.
We’ve had record rain and snowfall this year so I wondered what this lake would look like with a little less water – perhaps more like a bog?? I made a note to revisit it later in the summer. Maybe with waders on? An inflatable dingy/boat? A shot from the middle would be beautiful.
I did take a fem moments to give the scene a good photographic treatment. I have yet to process the ultra high resolution panorama, but judging from the looks of these quick and rough shots, it should be a real treat to look at when it is ready. It will most likely be available in very Limited Edition print.
Glen Alpine Falls at Sunset
This time of year my calendar just seems to spontaneously fill up. However several weekends ago I found myself lazying around on the couch all Saturday morning. By noon, I thought to myself “how did this happen” and “why aren’t I out there stealing a piece of beauty to keep for myself?”. Lately I have been on a bit of a waterfall kick. So I grabbed my phone and started searching for waterfalls around Lake Tahoe. Eagle Falls came to mind, but I have shot it during the day and very much wanted to shoot the sunrise there.
Scouting my shot for sunset.
Driving up in the middle of the night just for the sunrise didn’t sound too enticing so I figured I’d look for another good waterfall to capture on that day, spend the night in Tahoe and then capture the sunrise over Eagle Falls. As soon as Glen Alpine Falls popped up on the phone, I knew that was where I would be chasing the sunset.
Glen Alpine Falls
I hurriedly packed for an overnight visit, scoured the internet for a cheap, decent room where I could lay down for a several hours before casing the sunrise. I was on the road within an hour and made it to Glen Alpine around 3:00pm – just the way I like it. I had ample time to explore the general area and plan my sunset shots. It was far more majestic than I had hoped.
With time to spare, I went up to Lily Lake to explore and have a late lunch snack before heading back down for the sunset at the falls. It was a very relaxing day well worth the effort to get out there. I highly recommend it and will be going back to explore the Glen Alpine Trail soon.
City of Angels from Hollywood Hills
Last weekend I took a quick trip down to LA for the weekend to vacation with family for the Memorial Day weekend. It was a nice escape. My brother picked out a villa in the Hollywood Hills for us to stay. One of the nice things about this particular home was the unobstructed view of the Downtown LA Skyline. Perched at the top of the hill, with three levels and a rooftop terrace, it was only too easy. After everyone had finally retired for the night, I grabbed my camera and stepped out into the cool evening breeze. The LA smog was a bit of a challenge but nothing too challenging. I have captured the city from various other vantage points you can read more about here.
I traveled light for this trip. I brought just my go-to-in-a-pinch camera, the Canon 7D Mark II and Canon EF-S 17-55mm. Fortunately my brother also has the same setup but he also brought his Canon EF 100-400mm L II lens. Without it, this shot wouldn’t have been possible. This panoramic was taken at 400mm. The hills are quite far from Downtown LA.
This is a rough draft of the panorama. I’m undecided if this shot should make it to limited edition print. If it does, it will require some editing. Do you have any favorite angles on the city to share? Thanks for stopping by.