Lighting up Tahoe | Behind the Lens

“This was an image I had in mind for some time, but figuring out the logistics of where I would be able to see the entire lake and the fireworks took some time,” said photographer Abe Blair about the image “Encore” taken over two days in 2015.


Encore | Abe Blair

The image features fireworks displays over Lake Tahoe taken on July 3 and 4. Blair was positioned high above North Lake Tahoe with the center of the image overlooking Stateline Point. To the left, is the Incline Village fireworks show put on by a resident on July 3rd over Crystal Bay. To the immediate right, is the Kings Beach fireworks on July 3rd held over Agate Bay.

Moving right of the Kings Beach fireworks, the 4th of July Tahoe City fireworks show can be seen in the background, with the South Lake Tahoe 4th of July fireworks in the far back of the image near the center.

“My good friend Justin Majeczky did the leg work and scouted out this amazing view point after a grueling off-trail hike to this ridge up near the rim of North Lake. Another issue was how to capture firework shows on both the 3rd and 4th of July. I decided I would set up on the 3rd and capture Kings Beach and Incline Village shows, then leave my tripod and camera in place and return on the 4th to see South Lake and Tahoe City shows,” he said.

“Fortunately, I brought a big garbage bag with me and covered my camera before leaving on the 3rd. Midday on the 4th, a strong set of thunderstorms rolled through dumping a lot of rain on everyone and leaving a fair amount of doubts on a clear evening for the big shows on the 4th. Returning after the rain had stopped, I was happy to find my gear undisturbed and was ready to finish my big, multiple exposure image.”

Blair started with his first film camera in 1992, and “it ignited a fire and passion that has burned strong ever since,” he said.

“Shortly after high school, I followed my passion and pursued a career documenting skiing and snowboarding. Through those years I traveled the world while honing my craft. I learned how to see the unseen light, and capture the mood and beauty of our universe.

“Now, I use my camera as a painter would use their brush, focusing more on the mood and power of a pre-visualized scene before the camera even comes out of the bag. Through a process of continued visits to my selected locations, I am able to study the light and weather patterns through the changing seasons and truly connect with my surroundings. This process combined with patience and great light is a path I look forward to following for many years to come.”

“Encore” is a limited-edition print of 20 with about 15 prints left in the edition at Abe Blair Gallery in Truckee. Blair’s limited edition images are printed in a modern darkroom with no inks in the print and boasting nearly a 300-year archival life. | (530) 414-9348 or