Open Studio/Camera Crap Sale

  • Who: You, Phil & I
  • What: Open studios & Camera Swap
  • When: 09 November 2018
  • Where: 1070 Marina Village Parkway Suite 204, Alameda, CA
Reel Silhouette Study Series
Reel Silhouette Study Series

If you are lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and unlucky enough to be interested in photography this might be of interest to you. My studio partner and I are having an Open Studio and camera junk sale. We’re hoping to participate in a regular 2nd Friday Art Walk that takes place in Alameda and Oakland’s Jingletown (you guessed it- every 2nd Friday!)

Reel Silhouette Study Series

So if you’re interested: in seeing our artwork, chatting with Phil & Mike or buying some old camera crap (lenses, flashes, and lots of bags and tripods) come on by!

Polarized Audio Cassette
Polarized Audio Cassette

There should be a few of my Obsolete Technology series on display: film and tape in the digital era.

Copenhagen Shattered

Maybe a few recent travels photos, like From Copenhagen and Berlin.

Bored Angel, Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California

As well as some of the “usual suspects”, like cemetery photos, other travels, and some “analog photos” old and new.

We’re also going to try and sell some of our old camera crap- we have some old cameras, lenses, and lots of bags and tripods.

If you plan on joining us, please give us a heads up so we know how much beer to have on hand 🙂

Here’s a map (we’re on the second level and there’s no lift FYI):

 

Another Visit to Davis

I got word that a stock photo client was looking for photos of Davis, and thought I’d give my stock photo library a refresher.

Davis, CA
Pedestrian Underpass, Davis

Fun fact: my grandfather “Hal” (Milton Halberstadt’s) work is housed at UC Davis. I’ve been meaning to dig through the special collection at some point to see more of his work. Hal was known for food photography in the 1960’s and 1970’s as well as his “Tone Line” photography (sample below). We have a print of this on our wall that was printed from the original neg by Hal’s former assistant Alan Ross.

Golden Gate from Twin Peaks, Toneline, Milton Halberstadt (UC Davis, Special Collections)

In any case- I went down the list of things my contact needed photos of. They were all photos of an art walk: Davis’s Transmedia Art Walk.

" Bookhead", Davis, CA (note this image contains other artist's artwork and can only be used for appropriate uses)
” Bookhead”, Davis, CA (note this image contains other artist’s artwork and can only be used for appropriate uses)
"See No Evil/ Hear No Evil", Davis, CA (note this image contains other artist's artwork and can only be used for appropriate uses)
“See No Evil/ Hear No Evil”, Davis, CA (note this image contains other artist’s artwork and can only be used for appropriate uses)

The sign (below) just made me giggle. “School of Education?!” How about education of school? Or redundant sign department?

Davis, CA

Davis, including the school is known for its agricultural ties. I had a good time photographing the vineyards of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Sciences.

Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Sciences, Davis, CA
Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Sciences, Davis, CA
Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Sciences, Davis, CA
Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Sciences, Davis, CA

And I grabbed a few misc stock shots where I could.

Mondavi Center, Davis, CA
Mondavi Center, Davis, CA
Davis, CA
Davis, CA

Vintage Technology as Art?

Obsolete Technology: 16mm Movie Film
Obsolete Technology: 16mm Movie Film

All this stock photo stuff can get to you….. most of it is well worn cliches. I guess not all of my stock photography is very cliche- but none-the-less I’ve been itching to do something related to my niche “Silicon Valley” theme.

35mm Movie Film Canister

As such, I’ve started a theme: obsolete technology.

Of late I’ve been photographing movie film ephemera. I picked up a few rolls canisters of movie film from Last Chance Mercantile in the Monterey Bay area. Basically it’s a thrift store at a garbage dump. They just pull the interesting stuff out of the trash and sell it.

16mm Movie Film Canister

At one point LCM had a stack of films, complete with the chrome film canisters in green cardboard carrying cases. At the time I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. But they were interesting. Interesting in an analog sort of way. Like the cases had a patina, the chrome had scrapped off the edges of the canisters. And most interestingly they had lots of handwriting and labels.

This is an ongoing project- I’ll report back with more work.

 

 

Zoox’s VH5

I just read that Zoox’s CEO was unexpectedly ousted. I also noticed the name of that Bi-directional car I caught being tested on the runway near my house. Guess it’s time to update my Keywords. 

That funky car is dubbed the VH5. Reminds me of a cable TV music station: like there was VH1, then they added a bunch of variations up to VH5. 

Autonomous Lincoln MK Z Spottings

I got a reader of this blog trying to help me discern the provenance of an unmarked Lincoln MK Z (in the photo below.) I took the photo in the parking lot of NIO in San Jose. Teague (the reader) mentioned they thought it might be aurora.tech.

Unidentified Self Driving Vehicle near Nio offices in San Jose

Then it occurred to me, I had just gotten a request from Bloomberg for another Lincoln MK Z to use in a story. 

Roadstar.ai Self Driving CarRoadstar.ai Self Driving Car on the Streets of Silicon Valley

I believe some of the Baidu autonomous cars I found in this Silicon Valley parking lot are also MK Zs.

Baidu Self Driving Vehicles, Sunnyvale, Silicon Valley
Baidu Self Driving Vehicles, Sunnyvale, Silicon Valley

Then my most recent paparazzi attempt I spotted this MK Z a block from Zoox’s secret lair.

Zoox Self Driving Lincoln MK Z
Zoox Self Driving Lincoln MK Z

I have no idea what the appeal of a Lincoln MK Z is over, say a Honda Civic, or any other car is. But it seems to be one of the most popular choices for self driving vehicle startups.

Zoox Autonomous Vehicle Testing San Francisco

I went out in search of Zoox’s “secret lair” the other day. I read an article in Forbes that gave me some clues where to look:

A block from San Francisco’s Embarcadero waterfront is a place you’re not supposed to notice. The little two-story building has no sign out front. Not even a street number affixed to its gray brick walls. Every window and door contains shaded glass, and a black, razor-wire-topped fence obscures its parking lot.

Welcome to the San Francisco testing site of Zoox, one of the most secretive startups in the booming world of autonomous driving.

Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (copyright M Halberstadt)

Hmmm, a block from San Francisco’s Embarcadero, a gray two story building with a black fence with razor wire…. could this be it? 

I think the matte black Toyota Highlanders with Lidar racks might be a hint, don’t you?

Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (copyright M Halberstadt)

Once I found Zoox’s hiding spot, it was like shooting ducks in a barrel or however that metaphor works.

Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (copyright M Halberstadt)

Unlike Google Alphabet Waymo out in the ‘burbs they get some real world problems in an urban environment of San Francisco, like lots of double parked delivery vehicles. 

Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (stock photo copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (stock photo copyright M Halberstadt)

I’m assuming the Lincoln MK Z I caught in my autonomous paparazzi sting was also from Zoox- but who knows. There aren’t many other self driving car projects in San Francisco.

Here are a few more stock photos from my library:

Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (stock photo copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (stock photo copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (stock photo copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (stock photo copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (stock photo copyright M Halberstadt)
Zoox Self Driving Car testing on the Streets of San Francisco (stock photo copyright M Halberstadt)

A Short Trip to Los Angeles

A friend of mine was moving from Culver City up to Portland. He’s a well known photographer, best known for his night photography and I was lucky enough to be there when he was cleaning house. I scored a car full of misc. camera crap and some nice meals with him and his wife.

Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

Unfortunately this wasn’t really a trip for photography and I only got out to shoot a couple times. 

Stalin, Freund, Genosse - Bust of Stalin at the Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Stalin, Freund, Genosse – Bust of Stalin at the Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

Right around the corner from my friends place is the new location of the Wende Museum. It’s a museum about the cold war, a special interest of mine. Wende is German for turn about or so…. My interest was as a young man having visited divided Berlin first in 1987. I ended up with a serious interest (and unusual sympathy, especially as an American) for the former German Democratic Republic*. In German one might say I suffer from “Ostalgie”**.

Hammer and Cicle, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Hammer and Cicle, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

The new museum was kind of short on GDR paraphanalia for my interest. But they had walls of old Soviet books that you could thumb through, busts of Stalin, and a lovely orange Wartburg (the other non-Trabant GDR car.)

Orange Wartburg Car, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA
Orange Wartburg Car, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA

The other subject I did have a chance to photograph that’s also a favorite of mine is cemeteries. I took my pole to Hollywood Forever cemetery for a few unusual angles in addition to shooting from eye level.

Tourists on a bridge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Tourists on a bridge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Film Set at the Hollywood Cemetery
Film Set at the Hollywood Cemetery

I have no idea what was being filmed- but there was a film crew repeating a scene with an old Rolls Royce hearse, a beautiful young actress with roses, and a handsome man. There was a sign on the mosoleum reading the 74th Valentino Memorial- and with further research I found that when I was there it was the 92 anniversary of Valentino’s death. So I guess they were doing some sort of historical reinactment? In any case it was fun to watch despite the heat.

Tourists on a bridge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Tourists on a bridge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

I also visited a childhood friend and his family at Echo Park. Not that I have any photos to show for it yet, but I got a box full of old camera stuff. Some of it was mine that I loaned him a decade or two ago. But they also gave me a cherry Nikon F2 that I look forward to both photographing with and photographing (it’s that pretty!)

To quote Randy Newman: “I Love L.A.”

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* German Democratic Republic (shortened to GDR in English, or in German DDR or Deutsche Demokratische Republik- but known to most English speaking people as “East Germany”)

** Ostalgie is two German words mashed together: Ost (East) and Nostalgie (Nostalgia)