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.
This past weekend, I happened to have a free Saturday afternoon/evening. I’ve been wanting to get out and photograph an interesting subject for a while. Something a little unusual. One that came to mind was the Lake Berryessa dam spillway, otherwise known as the “Glory Hole”. Trust me, even I couldn’t come up with such a misplaced name…LOL.
The Glory Hole
Thanks to a recent break in our record drought here in California, most of our reservoirs are overflowing. Lake Berryessa is one of them. However what makes it a point of interest is the overflow spillway just behind the dam. It is the most unusual of designs. It makes for an interesting illusion. This has been in the news and all over social media since the beginning of the year. The rains have stopped and the weather is getting warmer so I thought I should hurry out there and capture it. The lake levels have not reached the spillway in over a decade from my understanding. The level was about 6 inches above the spillway. It must have been quite a sight at it’s peak earlier this year. The drive from Sacramento was pleasant and short. I should have done this sooner. Check the lake levels, and definitely plan a day trip if it is still above the spillway.
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?
Miami Skyline at sunset via Virginia Key
This was the location from which I should have shot the fireworks the previous night. I posted about it here: New Year’s Eve in Miami. This was my backup shot but got overlooked because I felt the distribution of buildings in the skyline was uneven. As it tuned out this was one of the most beautiful sunset shots I’ve taken yet. Miami is so wild and unpredictable. That makes for fleeting but frequent beauty. You just need a little patience and a very keen eye. I love how Miami somehow always managed to show purple hues. If Purple isn’t the official color of Miami, it most certainly should be. What a gorgeous city full of gorgeous people!
100% crop from the panoramic
I shot this with the 50.6 Megapixel Canon 5DsR and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. The final panorama has tons of detail that may never be fully appreciated. You can see some of the detail in the 100% crop on the right. This shot will be available in limited edition fine art canvas print but I may reserve half of the edition for large art and commercial installations.
Have you visited or photographed Miami? What were your favorite perspectives on this crazy, wild city?
Well this is how my year started off – chasing the sunset. I had a unique opportunity to make the trip to Miami, Florida for the new year. So I jumped on the last flight I could across the country to Miami. I did miss the sunset however. So I proceeded to plan B.
As with most destinations I travel to, I began studying the local maps and topology. Because of the limited time and long journey, I put extra emphasis on my research. I settled on a harbor area on the keys just across from the front face of the Miami skyline. I liked the relatively unobstructed view. After checking with local staff at the venue and confirming it was okay for me to setup my camera equipment, I went to work. This perhaps wasn’t the best location to photograph the fireworks. As it turned out, the Miami International Airport departure route flies right above the center of the skyline. This meant that the fireworks will not be anywhere close to the center of the frame as I hoped. I only realized this hours into my shoot and could not move as I was already hours into a time lapse sequence that was to last most of the night through the fireworks. Bummer! I suppose I need to factor air traffic into my research.
All that aside, it turned out to be a very productive shoot. I shot a time lapse with the Canon 7D Mark II and 17-55mm f/2.8 lens. This is now standard practice most of the time. While that was going, I started taking frames for a very detailed ultra high resolution panoramic of the skyline and waterfront with the 50 megapixel Canon 5DsR and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. The final result is breathtaking. It is at least three times wider than the shot above, and you can count Christmas tree ornaments on the trees in the apartments. As it turned out my first pass ended up being my shot of choice. The 5DsR is the perfect camera for this sort of photography.
This shot made it to my collection of limited edition large format prints and I cannot wait to print and share the first one!
Antwerpen-Centraal railway station platforms
Going through the archives today and found this little gem from my trip to Europe. I was traveling with my superstar sister Andy Allo one of her European Tours. We were taking the Eurail to Amsterdam from Paris via Antwerpen-Centraal railway station Antwerp, Belgium. I posted before about her show in Amsterdam here: Andy Allo live acoustic at Bitterzoet in Amsterdam.
The view opposite the platforms.
As we were switching trains, we emerged from the 3 levels below ground to reveal this amazing and impressive architecture. I really love how these European cities invest so much in their infrastructure, take pride in and maintain it so well. It was a welcomed sight through an otherwise exhausting journey.
Antwerp, is a city in Belgium which is the capital of Antwerp province. With a population of 510,610, it is the most populous city in Flanders. Its metropolitan area houses around 1,200,000 people. Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking third in Europe and within the top 20 globally. [WikiPedia]
I was running and gunning from one platform to another to catch our connecting train when I took these shots. I was using my Canon 5D mark III with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Each panoramic is composed of three HDR frames, themselves a composite of three bracket shots. The images were stitched with PTGui. I would very much like to explore the city of Antwerp, it’s history and architecture someday.