SiliconValleyStock.com Sightings: The Guardian – Silicon Valley is still the best place for your startup

 (Michael Halberstadt)

Here is a photo from SiliconValleyStock.com used in the Guardian. It’s a piece by Mikkel Svane chief executive of Zendesk pointing out Silicon Valley’s strengths in tech start ups over his native Europe.

Silicon Valley, San Jose and the South San Francisco Bay Area as seen from the East Foothills (Michael Halberstadt / SiliconValleyStock.com)

 

Another Really Big File: San Francisco

 (Michael Halberstadt)

We here at SiliconValleyStock.com have been busy again making big files. Here’s a panorama cityscape of San Francisco. At 72dpi this image could be enlarged to about 10×40′ and still look good.

 (Michael Halberstadt)
Panorama of San Francisco measuring ca. 35,000×9,000 pixels (Michael Halberstadt)

Amazon Goes Retail

Amazon Pop Up Store at the Westfield Shopping Center in San Francisco (Michael Halberstadt)
Amazon Pop Up Store at the Westfield Shopping Center in San Francisco (Michael Halberstadt)

At this point, pretty much everybody has ordered from Amazon.com by now. But after growing by leaps and bounds they’ve been adding other services. They have grocery delivery in some US Markets now. What I didn’t realize until stumbling upon it the other day, is that Amazon also has pop up stores in malls. Not that I spend much time in malls, or I would have known it. But after a stop at Westfield in San Francisco I got a few photos for my stock photo library. Nothing fancy, but likely to be used to illustrate a news story judging by what else sells.

AmazonFresh delivery, San Francisco (Michael Halberstadt)
AmazonFresh delivery, San Francisco (Michael Halberstadt)

Coming Soon: Really Big Files

 

 (Michael Halberstadt)
(Screen Capture showing resolution-Michael Halberstadt)

Some time ago, I purchased a software/hardware integrated device that is capable of creating huge images. It can be tricky to use, and is always cumbersome and takes a fair amount of time. However it’s possible to make very large files.

People typically talk about billboards when discussing really large files. But I think billboards actually don’t need such high resolution since they are typically viewed from a distance. These images would be suitable for covering walls in stores or offices and the like. Situations where viewers could see the whole image from a great distance, yet walk right up and see a nice clear picture.

Some photographers simply up interpolate a smaller image, meaning they just add pixels- and that won’t help much in an extreme enlargement. For a huge print to look good close up, the minimum native resolution should be 100, maybe even 72 ppi. That’s about the same as your typical computer monitor. That wouldn’t be appropriate for “fine art” type prints, but would be more than acceptable for a ca. 8×20′ (2.5×6 meter) wall.

Creating such large photos and prepping them takes a lot of time, but I’m gradually adding them here.  At present the finals I’ve created are layered tif files, and through a quirk with Photoshelter they display strangely. I’ll have to sort that out, but there’s also a screen capture with the resolution open in Photoshop.

More Silicon Valley Shtick

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

After a gig in the South Bay I made a few stops to the regular hotspots today. First stop was Intel in Santa Clara. They’re basically the visitor friendliest tech company in Silicon Valley. Just happened I was driving past and thought for lighting reasons and to test out one of my lenses it might make a good stop.

My day started out a bit earlier than usual, and due to the angle of the sun and slight overcast, I thought it would be a good day to revisit the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley”, the HP Garage in Palo Alto. And once again I looped by the Googleplex, and found the cute little autonomous car nearby. And as usual they didn’t like me photographing/filming. I find that whole bit kinda funny- one of the world’s richest companies, testing their new product in a public parking lot. And not just any product, but a self driving car, news about which would interest a substantial portion of the world’s readership. Ironically given all the controversy of the Google Buses, there was a sign (I wish I photographed) prohibiting them. And Imagine if you or I were to drive a car with no plates in a public lot to test out ____?! Guess if you have billions of dollars you can close off a disused public parking lot and do pretty much anything 😉

In any case (and pardon my rant), it seemed today they were testing the new Google X car for bike and pedestrian safety. A couple of young women were apparently pretending to text and ride a Gbike in the path of the car. Another young lady appeared to pretend to be texting as she crossed an imaginary intersection. I’d be very curious to hear how all that works, not that they’ll discuss any of it with me. Like how can the car can figure out how fast a bike’s trajectory could enter the path of the self driving car.

Next stop was Facebook. I wanted to get a few shots of the sign from a few different angles. Not too exiting, but that’s my life.

Cheers from Silicon Valley….

SiliconValleyStock.com Sighting: Oakland Magazine

My first published travel writing piece was in the most recent Oakland/Alameda Magazine. It’s a short piece (with many thanks to Oakland Magazine peeps for their editing help) about tech tourism and Silicon Valley. Hope this is the beginning of more such work! The photo they choose for the article is of Hoover Tower on the Stanford Campus.

 (Michael Halberstadt)
(Exploring the Tech Attractions of Silicon Valley/Michael Halberstadt)

 

Stanford (Palo Alto) California (Michael Halberstadt)
Stanford (Palo Alto) California (Michael Halberstadt)

Book Cover Concept: Girl with Bike

Girl with Bicycle Book Cover Concept (Michael Halberstadt)
Girl with Bicycle Book Cover Concept (Michael Halberstadt)

One of the sources for image requests I subscribe to was looking for a photo of a girl with a bike. They had a sample photo that looked promising: it was that of a girl, face not visible and a black English three speed bike almost identical to the one I had in storage. They wanted it to look like spring. The sample photo also showed blue skies and a patch of green sorrel in the foreground- something easily found at the park near me. As it happens I have a girl (my lovely 12 year old daughter Ella.) The request called for spring dresses, something Ella didn’t have, but my wife Bridget sent out an email to friends for said garments (ironically several of the mothers in our group wear the same size as my 12 y/o daughter!) And within a few hours we had a selection of spring dresses. Regrettably my seemingly perfect bike in storage turned out to be unacceptably rusty. I’ll have to have it fixed up, it’s my all time favorite bike. Fortunately I had yet another similar bike- a modern copy of a Dutch bike (made in Taiwan for what it’s worth.) Bridget did a little art directing, I think the photos turned out pretty well. We’ll see what happens!

SiliconValleyStock Sightings: The Telegraph-95pc of Britons Concerned About Safety of Driverless Cars

Found another photo of mine used in The Telegraph. This is one of my stock photos of Google’s driverless SUVs- in this case two passing each other in the opposite direction.

 (Michael Halberstadt)
The Telegraph-95pc of Britons Concerned About Safety of Driverless Cars

 

Google Mountain View (Michael Halberstadt)
Google Mountain View (Michael Halberstadt)

SiliconValleyStock Sightings

Finding where my photos end up being used can be tricky. I license photos directly, but also through third parties. I found this photo used in the Swiss newspaper Der Bund. It’s a photo of a street sign that leads into Google in Mountain View.

The title of the article in English reads “Half of the Jobs Disappeared”. It is an article interviewing the German journalist Christoph Keese about a book he wrote about Silicon Valley. Interestingly he was an exchange student in Silicon Valley in the 1980’s- I grew up in Silicon Valley and was an exchange student in Germany in the same time frame. Small world 😉

 

 (Michael Halberstadt)
(Michael Halberstadt)
Google Headquarters, Mountain View, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Google Headquarters, Mountain View, California (Michael Halberstadt)

A Couple of Tech Companies in San Francisco

Adobe Software, San Francisco
Adobe Software, San Francisco

I decided to ferry/bike to an appointment in San Francisco recently and take my camera with me.  Last time I drove through SF I noticed Mozilla had an office in what back in my day in San Francisco was Gorden Biersch brewery and restaurant.  And Adobe has a presence in my old neighborhood near the train station.  Not the most interesting of subjects, but glad to add more to my library.

Turns out the ferry/bike combo works well for stock and hope to do more soon.

Mozilla Foundation, San Francisco
Mozilla Foundation, San Francisco

 

San Francisco, CA (Michael Halberstadt)
San Francisco Ferry Building, CA (Michael Halberstadt)