Alamo Hilltop Estate

Alamo Hilltop Estate
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The full moon is coming up this Tuesday, February 7th. This month I thought I’d like to find a new vantage point to shoot the full moon as it rises over Mt. Diablo. Using my very cool iPhone app “The Photographer’s Ephemeris“, which locates precisely when & where the sun & moon rise and set on a map overlay, I got out my map of the Danville & Alamo area and found several streets which appeared to dead-end up on the hillside due East of Mt. Diablo so I got in the car and began checking them out.  By the way, that iPhone app is definitely a “must have” for landscape photographers who want to plan a shoot to have the sun or moon incorporated into a scene.  It’s not cheap, but it’s oh so good!

The first road I tried ended pre-maturely at a big iron gate crossing the road. Yikes!  Another private homeowners association throwing up a gate to keep the neighborhood exclusive.  Oh well, there’s a lot of that going on in the hills of Alamo & Danville and it does keep property values up for these $4 million and up homes.  This seemed to be a friendly association though because there was a sign there actually welcoming hikers to walk around the gate and through the pedestrian entrance to this exclusive private residential area. So I decided to take them up on the offer, parked the car, and slung my camera bag over my shoulder.

This was the first home I encountered along the road up the steep hill. The first thing I noticed were the twisty meticulously sculptured shrubs… then the mini vineyard on the hillside, then the chateau at the top of the it all commanding the estate below. I don’t know if this house qualifies as a chateau or something even more grand.  I’m pretty sure that it must be about 8,000 sq. ft.  From my 25 years as a real estate broker I’m fairly adept at guessing the size of a home.  It would have been really sweet if the fountain in the left-center would have been running at the time as that would have been the cherry on top of this scene.  When I posted this photo on Flickr, one comment I received was that they thought it must have been a European Villa.

Further up the hill I did find a nice view to return to on Tuesday… but then yesterday I also found another place that may be even better. We’ll see which one calls to me on Tuesday when the full moon rises at 5:56 PM.

I wonder if there is a place of honor on a wall in this home for a 30 x 40 Giclée Canvas print of this magical fairyland photo? Even better would be the stunning (and pricey) 30 x 40 float mounted print on aluminum.  The aluminum prints of mine seem to have an inner light that makes them look as good as they do on my computer monitor. Obviously the owners take great pride of what they have created and I’ll just bet they’ve never seen their gorgeous creation look like it does in this photograph.

Showing 4 comments
  • Joan Blair

    Well? are they going to see this gorgeous photo of their home? I remember when it was being updated and I wondered why – I can certainly see why now!

    • Keith Cuddeback

      Yes Joan… I took care of them and sent them a complimentary copy of this photo. Just am 8×10 that I printed myself. I really think it would be stunning in one of the larger sizes. The full moon shot didn’t happen though… it rained Tuesday.

  • Jason Harrison

    Hi Keith,
    landscape art is definitely one of my favorite kinds of art. The fact that someone can take something so simple and common, like a plot of land, and turn it into something amazing. The work you do here is very good and hope to see more of it.

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