Portola Art Gallery

Post image for Photographer Frances Freyberg captures Sierra scenes, covering 100 miles on foot

Earlier this summer, I spent a week and a half in the Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park areas, hiking and taking photographs. I covered more than 100 miles of trail on foot, with either my DSLR or my Canon point-and-shoot (depending on weather and distance), and my iPhone — and sometimes all three.

My photography goal for the trip was to try some new techniques, and I found plenty of opportunities, including night photography at Bodie State Historic Park (a gold-mining ghost town), lightning photography (not something I’d planned for) and sunset reflections on the lake.

The awesome staff at Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City helped me choose the right trail maps and — most importantly — recommended their favorite hikes in the area.

Lake Aloha panorama

Each day’s hike showed off Lake Tahoe and the surrounding areas from a new vantage point, whether from a different side of the lake, a different elevation, or a different lake entirely.

One of my favorite hikes was through Desolation Wilderness (off of Highway 50, about 12 miles from South Lake Tahoe), starting at Echo Lakes and ending at Lake Aloha.

Night sky over BodieAll of the photos below (except for the night photo at Bodie) were taken with an iPhone. iPhones have some fun features like panoramic mode, video, and time-lapse, and they can take surprisingly impressive photos. But, photos taken on a phone — just like those taken on a standalone camera — still need to be set up well and edited to look their best, even if that’s just cropping the photo and adjusting the angle.

You can see more of my Lake Tahoe and Yosemite photos online.

Sunset at Sand Harbor (top): Google can be a great tool for planning photography outings. I wanted to take some sunset photos over the water, so I first googled ‘best places to watch sunset in lake tahoe,’ and several locations consistently came up. I then used Google image search to see the view from each location and ultimately settled on Sand Harbor — which did not disappoint.

Lake Aloha panorama (first photo inserted in post): I take a lot of panoramic shots because they capture so much more of a location in a single image. In this shot, the panoramic feature let me show Lake Aloha in the distance, with one of the area’s many smaller side lakes in the foreground.

Lightening over Topaz Lake

Night sky over Bodie (above, right): “Once a month during the summer, Bodie stays open until 10pm and is swarmed with photographers. Because it’s miles from the nearest town, the night sky is really impressive. This was my first time taking night photos, and there’s a lot I need to learn, but it was a fun experiment.”

Lightning over Topaz Lake: Driving to Tahoe from Yosemite, I went through a massive thunderstorm, and once I got out to the edge of the storm, I stopped to take some videos. This photo is a still from one of the videos, which I pulled using an app called SnapStill.

Yosemite panorama

Yosemite Valley panorama (above): I’ve done a fair amount of hiking in Yosemite, but this was my first time at Glacier Point, and the view was spectacular. It was neat to be able to look out over places I’d hiked before, from Yosemite Valley up to Tenaya Canyon and even Little Yosemite Valley. I wish there’d been a bit more blue in the sky, but at least it didn’t rain too much on the hike down.

Frances Freyberg is an InMenlo contributing photographer whose works are on display at the Portola Art Gallery at the Allied Arts in Menlo Park.

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Group show at Portola Art Gallery on display in July

During the month of July at the Portola Art Gallery, artists will showcase original works of art that are smaller in size but large on value and creativity. The diminutive original paintings and fine art photographs make owning an original piece of art easier for the first time buyer and make wonderful gifts. The Portola […]

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Teresa Silvestri’s animal paintings and drawings featured at Portola Art Gallery in June

Thumbnail image for Teresa Silvestri’s animal paintings and drawings featured at Portola Art Gallery in June

“Animals in Art,” an exhibit of animal watercolor paintings, pen and pencil drawings by Belmont resident Teresa Silvestri is on display at the Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park during the month of June. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Teresa’s love of animals […]

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Steve Curl is featured artist in May at Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Steve Curl is featured artist in May at Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park

“Light of the Landscape,” watercolor paintings by Palo Alto artist Steve Curl, is the featured exhibit at the Portola Art Gallery in May. Locally known as the editorial cartoonist for the Palo Alto Daily News, Steve Curl is also a well-established watercolor artist and teacher. His paintings are inspired by his travels throughout California, Colorado, […]

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LandEscapes by Mary K. Stahl is featured exhibit in April at Portola Art Gallery

Thumbnail image for LandEscapes by Mary K. Stahl is featured exhibit in April at Portola Art Gallery

“LandEscapes,” an exhibition of recent plein air and studio works by Mary K. Stahl, is featured during April at the Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, April 11 from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. Intrigued and inspired by the effect of light in the natural landscape, Mary […]

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Linda Salter’s oil still life paintings are featured at Portola Art Gallery in March

Thumbnail image for Linda Salter’s oil still life paintings are featured at Portola Art Gallery in March

Linda Salter is the featured artist in March at the Portola Art Gallery which is presenting a collection of her oil still life paintings in an exhibit called “In a Classical Mood.” A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, March 7 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Salter enjoys painting a variety of subjects across […]

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Menlo Park-based photographer Frances Freyberg is featured artist at Portola Art Gallery in February

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The Portola Art Gallery is presenting The Philippines in Photos: From Mountains to the Sea by Menlo Park-based photographer Frances Freyberg during the month of February. There will be a reception for Frances on Saturday Feb. 7, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. The vibrant color photographs feature landscapes, city scenes, florals and portraits from Frances’ travels […]

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Two artists featured in January at Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park

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“Treasures Revealed”, a joint exhibition by new gallery members Shaowei Liu and Yvonne Newhouse, is featured at the Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park from January 1-31. The exhibition of watercolor paintings highlights scenes of brief but precious moments of life, such as clouds over snowy peaks or children playing. Shaowei Liu, of Mountain View, is a […]

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Barbara von Haunalter is featured artist in December at Portola Art Gallery

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How Does Your Garden Grow, watercolor paintings by Barbara von Haunalter created in and around the Bay Area, is the featured exhibit at Portola Art Gallery in December. Barbara, a resident of Los Altos Hills, enjoys painting on location with the Peninsula Outdoor Painters and the Half Moon Bay Painters. Her impressionistic work includes interpretations […]

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Ceramic artist Misako Kambe is featured at Portola Art Gallery in November

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“Beauty of Wood Fire” – carved ceramic creations by Misako Kambe of Menlo Park – is the November featured exhibit at the Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park. The exhibition includes Misako’s recent ceramic art works produced by wood firing at two kiln sites, one in “Hikari-gama-kiln” in Elkton, Oregon and the other in “Spring Valley Anagama” […]

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Marsha Heimbecker is featured artist in October at Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Marsha Heimbecker is featured artist in October at Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park

“The Anniversary Collection,” expressive oil paintings by award-winning artist Marsha Heimbecker is the October exhibit at the Portola Art Gallery at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Marsha’s paintings are known for their bold brushwork and color, resulting […]

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