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!
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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 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 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).