Tag Archives: stock photo

Welcome to our Museum, Comrades

The World Clock in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Capital of the GDR 1987
The World Clock in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Capital of the GDR 1989

Visiting a friend down in the Los Angeles area, Culver City to be exact I had another opportunity to visit the Wende Museum. The Wende Museum is focused on the Cold War, a particular interest to me.

Barren Avenue in Berlin, Capital of the German Democratic Republic, 1989
Barren Avenue in Berlin, Capital of the German Democratic Republic, 1989

Back in 1986/87 I was an exchange student in Southwestern Germany (technically the Federal Republic of Germany or as most English speakers referred to it “West Germany”.) It seems like ancient history now, but in the wake of WWII, Germany was occupied by the major victors divided into zones amongst them.

Intra-German frontier, Berlin 1987
Intra-German frontier, Berlin 1987

Where I lived in Immenstaad, and went to school, (now Bad) Saulgau was in the French occupied zone. I have no idea if the French really “occupied” this area though they did have a Garrison in nearby Friedrichshafen where you’d occasionally see French soldiers and military equipment.

Portrait of Michael Halberstadt on the Spree River, Berlin, 1987
Portrait of Michael Halberstadt on the Spree River, Berlin, 1987

In any case the “democratic” powers of France, United Kingdom, and United States got on pretty well. However the USSR…. not so much. The Soviet occupied Eastern portion of Germany became its own country in 1948. Except the western portion of Berlin and some other quirks, like a few spots in West Berlin that were run by the USSR (like the Soviet Memorials at Treptow and at Tiergarten.)

Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

So, my first visit to the GDR was with a friend and classmate from the Gewerbliche Berufsschule Saulgau who had a sister who lived and worked in West Berlin.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

Whew, this is getting longer than I planned. Short story, I visited Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR in the summer of 1987 and was fascinated.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

So just a couple blocks from my friends house lies the new location for a museum dedicated to my interest.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Vintage Wartburg, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

There were a bunch of busts of Lenin. I had a good time framing them with my new camera setup, I thought it worked well using the new Sigma Art 18-35mm f1.8 (hey, that’s sounding rather capitalistic- a product placement?) I liked the ability to get a shallow DOF with one little Lenin in front of a big Lenin.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Busts of Lenin, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Busts of Lenin, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

I’m kinda bummed my friend is moving. I’d love to go back and spend some more time exploring Ostalgie.

Mapping Silicon Valley

Do you know the way to San Jose was a song made popular by Dionne Warwick back in the 1960’s.  Well I might as well write a song “Do you know the way to Silicon Valley.”

Of course that doesn’t have the same ring to it. But it does describe my recent little stock photo project.

Campbell, Silicon Valley ( copyright Michael Halberstadt/SiliconValleyStock.com)
Campbell, Silicon Valley ( copyright Michael Halberstadt/SiliconValleyStock.com)
Silicon Valley Map ( copyright Michael Halberstadt/SiliconValleyStock.com)
Silicon Valley Map ( copyright Michael Halberstadt/SiliconValleyStock.com)
San Jose, Silicon Valley Map ( copyright Michael Halberstadt/SiliconValleyStock.com)
San Jose, Silicon Valley Map ( copyright Michael Halberstadt/SiliconValleyStock.com)
Silicon Valley Map ( copyright Michael Halberstadt/SiliconValleyStock.com)
Silicon Valley Map ( copyright Michael Halberstadt/SiliconValleyStock.com)

 

A Rooftop Garden in Oakland

Oakland, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Kaiser Rooftop Garden – Oakland, California (Michael Halberstadt)

On a rooftop in downtown Oakland there’s a public garden that offers tranquility in an urban core. Built in 1963 the garden is open to the public and offers 3.5 acres of grass, trees, ponds and peace-and-quiet elevated above the hustle-and-bustle of central Oakland.

Oakland, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Kaiser Rooftop Garden -Oakland, California (Michael Halberstadt)

Googliciousness?

Google Mountain View, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt / SiliconValleyStock.com)
Google Mountain View, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt / SiliconValleyStock.com)

Of all the stock photos I take, all things Google is the number one selling subject. And I should hasten to add more importantly the most infringed upon subject matter from my stock photo library.

Google Express (Michael Halberstadt)
Google Express (Michael Halberstadt)

So I spend a plenty of time chasing Google cars and running around Google campuses. Here’s a bit of what I added to my stock photo archive from Google of late.

Google Self Driving Car (Michael Halberstadt)
Google Self Driving Car (Michael Halberstadt)

My family trip to Seattle included a little business. This included a side trip that included the Google “Silicon Canal” campus (and neighboring Adobe.)

Seattle (Michael Halberstadt)
Seattle (Michael Halberstadt)

Not long ago, I managed to make it in to the Googleplex soon after the new GOOGLE typeface change. Security there is completely unpredictable. They’ve kicked me out and waved me in on different occasions. In this case they let me in. The mascot for the soon-to-be released “marshmallow” OS was already on display. There was a colorful “andproud” display I’m assuming is in favor of gay rights but not sure.

Google Mountain View, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt / SiliconValleyStock.com)
Google Mountain View, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt / SiliconValleyStock.com)

Researching a few recent articles in the news about the cutest little Google self-driving car I figured out where they keep the damned thing! So I spent an afternoon stalking the place. Didn’t get many of the newest GCar, but did get plenty of the Lexus SUV.

Google Self Driving Car (Michael Halberstadt)
Google Self Driving Car (Michael Halberstadt)

And really close to home it turns out Google [x] is right in my backyard. I live in Alameda. Recently my wife pointed out a Google bike at the nearby Rockwall winery. A little research turned up that they bought out an outfit called Makani Power that has an experimental “energy kite.” Though I don’t think they can launch this “kite” out on the old Alameda Naval Air Station (NAS) they are doing something in “plane view” (get it, that was punny!) And I added yet another Google [x] project to my library.

Makani, Alameda (Michael Halberstadt)
Makani, Alameda (Michael Halberstadt)

p.s. please don’t steal my photos- contact me for usage rights… this is my day job.

That Damn Self Driving Car Again

Whenever I’m in the neighborhood of the Googleplex, I check out all the regular hangouts for Google’s new two seater electric self driving car. As luck would have it this time they were testing it out, apparently seeing how it works with bicyclists and pedestrians this time.

Autonomous car being tested in Silicon Valley parking lot (Michael Halberstadt)
Autonomous car being tested in Silicon Valley parking lot (Michael Halberstadt)

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.

All in Perspective

Here are a few photos from the collection made with perspective control. For those who don’t know, a perspective control lens allows the lens to shift upward leaving the lens parallel to the film (or sensor) plane. This allows for straight lines while looking up at a building, rather than the converging lines achieved by a conventional lens. Back in the day, most “view cameras” had this feature built in.

With an Emphasis on Ephesus

Ephesus is a well preserved ruin of a once grand city in Western Turkey. In Turkish, the city is called Efes, which is also the name of Turkey’s biggest brewery. It is truly amazing to walk among the ruins of a society that flourished thousands of years ago. Even if it’s 100 degrees fahrenheit. Seeing Efes makes me wonder what, if anything, will be left of our built environment in two or three thousand years.