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?
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.
Plane Spotting @SMF – SouthWest N7738A – Canon 5DsR + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM + EF 2x Extender III
When I was a little boy, we lived practically across the street from a military base and international airport. My big brother Christopher and I would race up the hill as soon as we heard the faintest sound of an airplane. We would sometimes grab our Dad’s binoculars to get a closer look at the action. As I grew up I eventually forgot about aircraft spotting. My brother never stopped however. He routinely spends an afternoon at the end of any runway that has a view and access.
He recently visited and since he’s caught the photography bug from me he suggested we go aircraft spotting so I can give him some tips on how to photograph airplanes. Little did I know I would catch the plane spotting bug all over again. This was only a few days ago and now today I spent my sunset at Sacramento International Airport (SMF) on the lookout for special airplanes – the ones with unique livery, colors and paint jobs. Both occasions have been great opportunities for me to test my gear and add yet another dimension to my photography experience.
The shot at the top is a panorama taken with the Canon 5DsR and EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM with EF 2x Extender III. That a shot this sharp and detailed could be taken handheld at 600mm is a testament to the effectiveness of the camera system. The original image is about 20x more detailed. You can read the fine print on the rear door. This is one of those ideal conditions where the Extender III works at it’s best. It did however soften the incredible sharpness of the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens ever so slightly.
Yes, I am well aware that the 5DsR is not really designed for this kind of action. However these are the kind of challenges I like to give myself. Yes it is possible to photograph action with the 5DsR – by carefully framing and tracking your subject, paying very keen attention and holding a steady hand. The 5DsR’s fast and effective AF system and accurate metering system more than compensate for it’s slower shutter speed. You just can’t “spray and pray” that you got your shot. You have to focus a little more. I also used the Canon 7D Mark II today. It was just too easy as this is exactly the kind of photography it was designed for.
I also rented the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens from Photo Source for the second day. I noticed that the fixed focal length of the 300mm was not well suited for this type of photography. My 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II was just not long enough for half the scenarios. I have to say the 100-400mm was nothing short of perfect. I simply forgot, stopped thinking about my lens configuration and focused more on my shots. I am tempted to add this lens to my kit.
This was fun and relaxing!