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?
Yosemite Valley, Sunrise via Tunnel View
Several weeks ago I made a last minute spontaneous trip down to Yosemite. Finally after severe snow storms for months, the weather cleared up for for almost an entire week. With the forecast looking completely clear the entire weekend, I decided to hit the road early Friday afternoon. After several weather and construction related detours I finally arrived at Yosemite View Lodge after driving about 4 hours.
The lodge is the last stop before you get to the Yosemite Valley park gates, just a few miles up the road. I was tempted to go into the park that night, since it is a 24hr park – one of the best things about Yosemite Valley – however I was worn down by the long drive and felt I might be more productive after some good sleep. Instead I decided to rest, wake up and head into the the valley before sunrise.
I was up by 4am, hit the road shortly after and was in the valley before sunrise. First stop was Tunnel View lookout. I captured two sunsets over the valley from this location last spring when I made my first trip to Yosemite – one of the many trips I have yet to blog about. I wanted to try something different. The sunrise sounded like a beautiful proposition since the valley lies West to East and Tunnel View is located at the Western end.
Little did I know it would far exceed my expectations. It was magic, above and beyond the already majestic landscape. The best part was, unlike most sunrises and sunsets which typically last just about 5-to-15 minutes, this sunrise lasted at least 2 hours. This had to do with the winter sun being further south and it stayed hidden behind the southern mountains most of the early morning. This game me ample time to carefully work through my process and make sure I got a good capture. The shot above is what I was going for and more. It will definitely make it to limited edition print.
Have you been to Yosemite? What was your favorite view?
I am pleased to finally and formally release the first limited print from a photographic series I have been working on for over a year now. Curators of Art is a pure, unfiltered look at fine art quality tattoo art work and the people who choose to collect and wear their art. It has been a fun, exciting and enlightening journey. I am not sure when work on the Tattoo Series will be completed or whether it will ever be for that matter but I will likely continue working on it through this summer.
The first limited print of awesomeness I am making available is titled Wild Things. You can keep tabs on all future releases from this series on the link above to the Tattoo Series page.
Limited Tattoo Series – Wild Things – 22 x 48 inches
I have posted before about some (but not all) of the photo shoots I did as part of this series. Here are some of them:
As of this year 2014, I transitioned all print work to Limited Edition fine art canvas prints only. After collecting a fairly sizable body of photography work over the years I was searching for a perfect medium to share some of my best. Most photo paper processes and services just weren’t cutting it, and I felt the true beauty I witnessed and emotion I felt when taking the shots was getting lost in the process. As such I have been very hesitant to make any of my work available at all until I can find a truly fitting medium for reproduction with a level of quality on par with the very high resolution and quality of the photos. After searching high and low, much experimentation (some expensive) and scrapping I am relieved to have finally found the perfect solution. I can now begin the task of revisiting all my work which was previously locked in a vault and almost forgotten.
Why only limited prints?
In a bid to strike a balance between my desire to share these shots with the world without getting consumed by the process, I concluded limited editions were most ideal. Each shot is a capture of a beautiful moment in time, never to occur again and as such I find it more fitting that each print should share that element as well. It is my desire to find a few people with whom each shot resonates, share that shot with them, move forward with that satisfaction and fulfillment and continue what I love most about this whole journey – Photography. Each print is also a very high quality piece worthy of collecting and takes some effort to put together – something I cannot do indefinitely.
The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive and most collectors often place their order within minutes of seeing it in person. It is a truly humbling experience.
Thank you for your continued support and for sharing in my passions.