Blog en-us (C)M Halberstadt ( Thu, 13 Aug 2020 16:24:00 GMT Thu, 13 Aug 2020 16:24:00 GMT Blog 120 120 Reminiscing in the Era of Covid - Google Alphabet Waymo Self Driving Cars
I figured that this would be a good place to talk about them. So here goes.

One subject matter I concentrated on for a while was documenting the various autonomous vehicle projects throughout Silicon Valley. 

At first I was stalking Google's self driving vehicles. I started with their early Generation II Prius project.

The most interesting shots as far as I'm concerned was researching and finding the "Pod car" I later learned was code name Firefly. Google was testing (illegally as far as I can tell) their vehicle in public parking lots near their Mountain View campus.

And here are a few other Google - Alphabet Waymo autonomous vehicle photos from the archive.

I'll add a few more - but you get the gist.....
(p.s. don't copy that floppy, or in this case all images (c) Michael Halberstadt - don't use without permission)
Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( apple self driving car archive autonomous vehicles Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:31:00 GMT
Stock Trip to San Jose - The Suburbs are More interesting than You Think

My first undocumented stop (sorry, no pictures) was to a restaurant that I recently stumbled upon. The restaurant is Singaporean called Kopitiam Cafe. It's in a shopping center anchored by Seafood City.

After lunch I scurried off to an area I was sure to find some autonomous vehicles. There's an area around North First street in San Jose where there's an "Intel Garage" and the Silicon Valley presence of a Chinese outfit called Nio.

Regrettably after parking and walking around for an hour or so I saw no Lidar or hints of autonomy. Even when accounting for the MobilEye (and similar technology that's owned by Intel and not very easy to see.)

So with no autonomous vehicle testing in sight, I headed over to Santana Row. Santana Row is sort of an upscale shopping mall with housing and other misc stuff mixed in.

As far as malls go, Santana row is a bit more picturesque. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley there are some other quirks.

One quirk was that though I saw no autonomous vehicle testing near two important players in that industry's offices, there was a shuttle program by Daimler (we say Mercedes in the US) & Bosch right out front.

Later that evening I mosied across the street to the Winchester Mystery House. Though something of a tourist trap, it is a unique piece of Architecture. And as the tale goes the place is haunted, maybe some night shots with shallow DOF would be of stock value?

I'm still enamored by my new (Samyang/Rokinon) 85mm 1.4 lens. The bokeh is soooo dreamy!

The next day I thought I'd take advantage of the blossoming trees coinciding with Chinese New Year. There's a Buddhist temple just a mile or so where I grew up. I got up early enough the gates were closed when I arrived. But I could see the Buddha peeking through a crack in the door.

If somebody showed me these photos out of context and told me they were taken in Taiwan or China I'd believe them.

Happy New Year! Given our political situation, the "Year of the Rat" seems apt.
Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( #thesuburbsaremoreinterestingthanyouthink 2020 autonomous vehicles chinese new year daimler mercedes nio san jose self-driving silicon valley stock photography Wed, 12 Feb 2020 09:13:00 GMT
What I've Been Up To of Late
The fun part of my job is that I am back in a darkroom helping college students learn analog photography. And now I have full time darkroom access. Not that means much for my stock photo biz and more of my photos are of the East Bay where I live and work.

Mojave, CA
A friend and I drove back from Southern California and we made a stop at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Derogatory inscription of Rifle But at the Oakland Museum of California.
I finally got a reciprocal membership and peeked in the Oakland Museum of California.

Homeless Encampment in Oakland Chinatown Park

I've spent a lot of time in Oakland. One of the big stories of our time is the huge homeless/drug addition/mental health crisis that is playing out in public places in the Bay Area.

Grand Old Victorians in Alameda
Also, I got some new gear I've been testing out. Often I'll go on a "happy hour walk" with my new gear. This time I was testing out my new 17-28mm Tamron and 85mm f1.4 Rokinon. Gradually my thoughts on these lenses will be shared on my site.

Needle Disposal at People's Park in Berkeley
Berkeley has always got something stock photo worthy.

Inter-Urban Industrial Rail in Oakland, CA
A seldom used rail line servicing an industrial area of Oakland left me stuck in traffic and with a nice Stock Photo opp.

More to come......
Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( 2020 bay area silicon valley stock photography update Thu, 06 Feb 2020 09:15:00 GMT
Populating New Image Hosting Site

For the last couple years I've taken on what was supposed to be a half time job in the photo department at a local college. Though the pay is half time, turns out the work ends up being full time. And that's reduced my ability to keep up with some of my stock photo duties and web house keeping.

So gradually I'm plugging along with the new archive for . The notion for the new layout is simply by hierarchy. The top level is arranged thusly: People, Places, Things. People is more-or-less populated (there must be a pun in there.) Places and things are still in the works.

I've added a few autonomous vehicle photos and plan on keepin' them coming.
Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( 2019 apple self driving car silicon valley stock photography transportation update zoox bidirectional Sat, 26 Oct 2019 14:38:00 GMT
Lunch and Robots in Berkeley

So I opted to get some stock-shootin' in.

And that's where the robots appeared!

I knew there was a robotic food delivery service. I'd read about Kiwibots, food delivery robots that serve the UC Berkely campus and environs. 

Eventually on our stroll through campus we spotted a robot.

I took chase- following the brisk pace of the Kiwi.

I particularly enjoyed watching other's expressions seeing one of these for the first time.

Eventually the robot found it's master. The Kiwi stopped next to a young woman with a mobile phone and opened up.

And eventually it moved on and yet another robot came toward it. Actually, the second robot hit the curb and got an assist from a couple in the crosswalk. And they both sat there for a sec until a guy with a bike came to replace their batteries.

Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( ai kiwibot robot stock photography uc berkeley Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:33:00 GMT
Beyond Silicon Valley: Snowy Summer Days in Portland

And I also have to never snowed in our short visit to Portland. In fact the weather was a bit warm and humid for my taste most of the time. But one photographic thing I've been playing with is an infrared converted camera. And Portland's lush greens go white, looking almost like snow!

The purpose of my trip to Portland was first to let my daughter visit a couple of colleges, and second to visit my photographer friend Tom Paiva, and his wife Lee (Tom is known for his night and industrial photography.) It so happens Tom lives literally one block from Reed College, one of the colleges my daughter was visiting.

We did manage to visit a couple of the touristy spots. Lee suggested a hip neighborhood, Hawthorne, where we visited a few shops.

And Lee also had a pass we used for a very short visit to the Rhododendron Garden.

Later I met up with Ella's friend and her mom and visited two gardens... first the Rose Garden.

And right next door was the Japanese Garden.

Of course no visit to Portland is complete without a visit to Powell's Bookstore!

Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( 2019 hawthorne infrared japanese garden photography portland powell's books reed college rose garden summer travel Thu, 15 Aug 2019 07:50:00 GMT
Beyond Silicon Valley: Los Angeles

Recently I went down to Los Angeles to assist a photographer friend. Turns out the job was a real pain, wish I just went down and paid my own way so I'd have more time to shoot and enjoy.

On the plus side, we had a nice hotel room in Los Angeles' Chinatown. We were getting up at 4:30 in the morning and working until the early afternoon. So frankly I was pretty beat by the time it came to do my own thing.

Never-the-less I got a few stock shots in.

Chinatown in Los Angeles was stuck in a time capsule. At least the parts I saw looked like they were frozen in time between the 70's and 80's. There were shops with signs up boasting that they sold postcards and Kodak Film!

But I really like the faux pagodas and lanterns. It's weird how with all the cries of cultural appropriation and political correctness haven't reached the Chinatowns of North America. Given the political climate, I'd expect calls to bulldoze these over-the-top stereotypes of Asian culture. But we all seem to love them (me included!)

Another topic I concentrated on while in LA was public transportation. To contradict the L.A. stereotypes "Nobody Walks in L.A." I did spend lots of time walking. I also bought a weekly transit pass called "TAP". I have a client that works for public transit and pedestrian advocacy so this is another area where I try to shoot stock. Plus I was driving vast distances for the gig I worked, and didn't want to bother with the car.

So I was really surprised how superior public transit was to the Bay Area. Researching after my trip I found that LA's subway system has almost exactly the same amount of track as our BART. But my all inclusive TAP card averaged less than $4/day. I could spend the whole $25 in one day on BART alone. Plus that card also gets me on buses too (I think.)

Soon I hope to start  adding more real Silicon Valley content. But I still have a trip to Portland I will likely post next.

Please stay tuned.....!
Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( chinatown downtown los angeles public transit stock photography subway Tue, 13 Aug 2019 09:24:00 GMT
My Wordpress site is down :-(

Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( Thu, 09 May 2019 07:27:00 GMT
My first post.... Let me introduce myself. 

My name is Michael Halberstadt. Like my grandfather and my father before me, I'm a photographer. I live with my wife and daughter in Alameda California, an island situated in the bay closer to Oakland than San Francisco.

Here is where I hope to share my thoughts on the things that interest me most: photography, food, travel and anything else.

You can see some of my work here if you're interested. 
Copyright Michael Halberstadt
]]> ( introduction Wed, 28 Sep 2011 16:06:00 GMT