Tag Archives: architecture

Catching Up with Copenhagen Pt. 2

Our second full day in Copenhagen… we experienced a misty summer day, lots of bikes an outdoor urinal, Tivoli. But my favorite photo was of a broken safety glass window.

Broken Window, Copenhagen
Broken Window, Copenhagen

I actually converted this image to grayscale and made some big prints I’m pretty proud of.

When traveling (even with family) I’m still on the lookout for stock-worthy subjects. As such, I’m often stopping to photograph some strange subjects. In this case there was an outdoor urinal: no doors, no privacy. Fortunately nobody was peeing at the time!

Outdoor Urinal, Copenhagen
Outdoor Urinal, Copenhagen

I’m going to go rogue here and rant about two things. One, what’s up with these graffiti idiots? Graffiti is usually a scar on architecture and the built environment. But did somebody write their own name on this urinal? Or somebody else’s (guess that would make more sense!) I hope they washed their hands afterwords (eeewww!)

Rant 2/2 in general Europe is running circles around the US in terms of quality of life. But one human need is very poorly met everywhere I’ve been in Europe: toilets. It’s easy to find a public toilet in the US. Often they are free, and reasonably well maintained here. While Denmark and most of Europe have done a great job addressing the human condition with universal health care, welfare and the like, it’s nice to think at least we in the US are better about something 😉

So, the other thing that stands out in Copenhagen is cycling. Bikes are everywhere. Chained to fences without gaps seemingly for miles.

Bicycle Shop, Copenhagen (c) Michael Halberstadt
Bicycle Shop, Copenhagen (c) Michael Halberstadt

 

(all images and text (c) Michael Halberstadt)

The Architecture of Death: Mountain View Cemetery (Pt 2)

After a rare spell of puffy clouds here in the bay area I was trying to figure out where to shoot some long daylight exposures. This has turned out to be a longer series of visits.

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California
Tulips and Mausoleum, Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California

The tulip events have begun recently, and there are a number of beautiful flower displays around the cemetery.

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California
Broken monument parts, Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California

I’ve been experimenting with many different techniques and lots of my equipment.

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California

I have several really fancy long lenses I seldom have the opportunity to utilize. So I’ve been having fun with the 120-300mm f2.8 Sigma and the 150-600mm f5-6.3 Contemporary pulling in distant results and blurring backgrounds.

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California

This project has also given me the chance to test my newish Sigma Art 24-70mm f2.8. Frankly it hasn’t been too great for the event work as I had hoped. It’s a bit slow with the MC-11 converter on Sony. But nothing is moving here!

Stay tuned for the next entry, I just don’t have time but hope to continue soon.

The Architecture of Death: Mountain View

The Architecture of Death – Mountain View

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA

Recently returning to Mountain View Cemetery to photograph I was reminded what a fantastic place it is. For those not familiar, Mountain View Cemetery is not actually in the nearby city of Mountain View (think Google HQ) but in the Oakland Hills about 50km away.

The original layout was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. If you’ve never heard of him, you’ve undoubtedly heard of some of his other landscape architecture projects like Central Park in New York. He was also responsible for part of the Landscape Architecture of UC Berkeley and Stanford’s Campuses.

The winding roads nearing the top of the hill are dotted with crypts in various states of decay. Many of the names hewn in marble will seem vaguely familiar to Bay Area residents. Like Merritt- I think of Lake Merritt not knowing the history of Oakland until researching on the computer: Samuel Merritt was mayor of Oakland. I recall seeing signs for the “Pardee House” driving through Oakland and giggling- turns out he was an early Governor of California. Bechtel comes to mind when thinking of the engineers for the BART tunnel- well there’s a nice crypt for him there too.

And if you get a hankering for ice cream and coffee while walking around that may be more than a coincidence. Other names you may have subconsciously taken in include Ghirardelli, the “chocolate king” and Folger of Folger’s coffee fame. In fact right after photographing the Ghirardelli crypt I opted to take my family to Ghirardelli Square for ice-cream.

While technically not part of the Mountain View Cemetery, the Chapel of the Chimes right outside the front gate is worth a visit. This crematory and columbarium was partially designed by the wildly popular female architect Julia Morgan, famous for Hearst Castle, Asilomar, the Berkeley City Club etc.

Well worth a visit!

 

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Oakland Memorial Columbarium, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA

(Please enjoy the photos – but don’t copy them and use them elsewhere- you can find licensing information on my image library page at SiliconValleyStock.com)

Alameda Naval Air Station

My lovely town of Alameda might now be known for quaint Victorians, antique fairs and an unusually slow pace compared to its urban surroundings. But it was once home to a huge military infrastructure. After a series of run ins with a security guard I have decided to make documenting Alameda’s Naval Air Station – or at least it’s remnants – a priority.

Here are a few recent photos, with more to come as time permits.

 

Vestiges of a Working San Francisco

Visiting San Francisco in the last decade or two, it’s easy to forget things (that don’t involve typing in an office) got done. Huge ships unloaded cargo. Traincars were loaded and unloaded. People made physical stuff, not code. Not to say there’s anything wrong with coding per se. But the Internet Economy, the one that promised to “make place obsolete” has made huge changes to how some cities work, especially San Francisco, the Peninsula and South Bay by pricing out long existing businesses.

There are a few corners where you can still see the remnants of times long gone. Just out of range of the smell of a $31 Kasmiri Chili Braised Lamb-shank you can get a dusty glimpse of the buildings and streets that fueled previous booms. There’s a stretch leading to the Port of San Francisco right around the bustling Third Street Corridor. Check out a few pics below.

Prison Texture

Recently I got a quick most-expenses-paid trip to prison. I’m a pretty law abiding type of guy, so it’s not what you think. My brother and his wife purchased tickets to the Ai Weiwei exhibit on Alcatraz. Not a big surprise, but there’s some nice urban texture to be found there!

And it so happens that the Ai Weiwei exhibit was on at the time. That added a little color to the otherwise muted palette of the former prison.

Capitol Punishment?

What a punny title, eh?

A bit more seriously…..I had a bit of time to shoot some stock after covering an event for the public transportation advocacy group Transform. One area I’ve been interested in expanding is book and magazine cover stock. What makes that sort of photography different than other photography is typically more room for type. So in the examples here you’ll see a number of photo with lots of extra head room where titles and such could be placed.

I’ve also been enjoying using the super high neutral density filters that allow for long daylight exposures. They are especially well suited for days like I had with moving clouds. The long daylight exposure is unique enough on its own. But since the color balance is already really weird from my 10 stop filter, I take some liberties and process color differently too. I’ve tried for some very straight daylight cool balanced stock photos and mixed in some faux sunset colors as well. Straight out of camera the photos have a bit of unusual crossover and the whites usually end up looking copper colored.

While in the neighborhood I got a few shots of the Historic Tower Bridge. The drawbridge has a Streamline Moderne style. It amazes me all the cool architecture that the WPA left us.

I hope to return soon, there was a lot of stock worthy material. Aside from the crazy heat, I think it would also make a nice place to live. See you soon Sacto!

As usual, if you’re looking for stock photography to illustrate your book or magazine cover or interior, online travel article or just to put a print on your wall, check out my main stock photo site: SiliconValleyStock.com.

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