Pao Hua buddhist temple in San Jose

Buddhist Temple in East Side San Jose, California (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)
Buddhist Temple in East Side San Jose, California (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)

The suburbs can be more interesting than we give them credit. One of my favorite photo locations in San Jose is near where I spent much of my youth in the eastern suburbs of San Jose.

Surrounded by beige stucco houses and strip malls full of familiar chain stores is the Pao Hua buddhist temple.  Typically there are a monks around in orange robes sweeping. And unlike much of Silicon Valley, this is a photo friendly spot, they encourage photography!

A few views of California’s Central Coast

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, Monterey County, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, Monterey County, California (Michael Halberstadt)

Above is a slightly different view of the iconic Bixby Bridge on California’s Central Coast. I went down shooting stock photos and ended up stopped on a dirt road behind the bridge marveling at how much the weather changed in the short couple hours I waited for the light to change.

Model Released People: Howland

Model Released Portraits of Young Woman (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)
Model Released Portraits of Young Woman (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)

The young woman above, Howland, posed for some stock photos. I think she has a really nice look. I’m still in the process of adding model released people to my stock photo library and hope to find more like her.

Model Released People: Joe

Model Released Portraits of Young Man in San Francisco (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)
Model Released Portraits of Young Man in San Francisco (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)

I photographed Joe a while back as part of a stock photo project. It was quite a coincidence that on that same day I photographed another young woman (Howland) on the same day who was the same age and a lefty. What are the odds?!

Model Released People: Angeline

Model REleased Photos of Young Woman (Michael Halberstadt)
Model Released Photos of Young Woman (Michael Halberstadt)

One more in a series of model released people I’ve been working on for my library. This is Angeline, who worked out really well for our shoot. She had a great look, and the light overcast weather really made for a nice natural outdoor lightsource.

Model Released People: Aaron

Model Released Photos of Young Man (Michael Halberstadt)
Model Released Photos of Young Man (Michael Halberstadt)

Here’s another addition to my model released people stock photo archive. Aaron posed for a few stock photos with and without tech devices. We even lucked out with a bit of fall color.

Model Released People: Pat

Stock Photo of Woman (Model Released) (Michael Halberstadt)
Stock Photo of Woman using Smart Phone (Model Released) (Michael Halberstadt)

When I have free time, I’ve been hiring some models for released stock photos. The above stock photo is Pat using a smart phone. I’d seen a number of requests for people using technology and hoped to build up my library. Pat has a smart business woman look that seemed to work well.

Above Silicon Valley

San Jose, CA (Michael Halberstadt)
San Jose, CA (Michael Halberstadt)

Perhaps the best views of Silicon Valley are from the Historic Lick Observatory. The observatory is high above the valley in the East foothills. Technically it’s still part of San Jose, but the observatory is actually run by the University of California Santa Cruz.

Luckily, I had some clear weather. Silicon Valley’s air quality is usually pretty poor, which makes for a thick layer of smog. The other technical challenge getting a few good stock photos up there is that the wind gusts are amazingly powerful. Fortunately I had a very sturdy tripod.

Google’s Self Driving Two-Seater

Mountain View, Silicon Valley, California, USA - 15 October 2014: Google Self Driving Car Prototype being Driven in Silicon Valley Parking Lot. (Michael Halberstadt)
Mountain View, Silicon Valley, California, USA – 15 October 2014: Google Self Driving Car Prototype being Driven in Silicon Valley Parking Lot. (Michael Halberstadt)

Google has been busy on their self driving cars. I was lucky enough to get a few stock photos in a Silicon Valley parking lot where this steeringwheel-less two seater was being tested. This is without-a-doubt the cutest of Google’s self driving cars. It allegedly has a maximum speed of 25mph, and I thought it wasn’t street legal in California- but that wouldn’t be this car appeared to violate. Of course if you’re a multi-billion dollar company, you don’t expect to abide by the same rules the rest of us do. 😉

Google’s Self Driving Prius

Google Self Driving Car (Modified Toyota Prius), Silicon Valley, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Google Self Driving Car (Modified Toyota Prius), Silicon Valley, California (Michael Halberstadt)

Feeling pius in a Prius….

Google’s Prius version of its self driving car lineup is shown above. This is part of my stock photo collection of Silicon Valley that also includes the Lexus and their made from scratch two seater (sans steering wheel).