Category Archives: Recent

We have wings…well, propellers anyway

di-40651

Parc Telegraph, San Francisco – Shot for Sun Valley Solar

Late last August the FAA finally came out with rules and an exam solely focused on the UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) otherwise called drones. This is called the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate that allows non-pilots to legally fly for commercial work if you pass the exam and register the aircraft.

di-40670-editParc Telegraph, San Francisco – Shot for Sun Valley Solar

I am proud to say that I have passed the exam, registered my quad copter and am now offering aerial services to my clients. This really expands the photographer’s toolbox. The quad copter offers angles that are impossible to get any other way. They are more cost effective than a helicopter and can fly from 1′ to 400′ to get the right perspective on your buildings and property. The quad copter features an integrated camera offering a live view while flying and can shoot camera-raw stills and 4k video.

Also posted in Photography

West Portal Wine Bar

My longest lasting architectural client Stephen Elbert, AIA had a wine bar remodel out in the West Portal neighborhood called Vin Debut.  As per usual, it was a dark location with plenty of glass, mirrors and shiny stainless steel for those uncontrollable specular highlights.  And just to make it extra special; it’s open 7/365 forcing an after-hours shoot.

However, Stephen did a wonderful job in designing the interior! Although it presents challenges, it’s quite a beautiful venue and I was honored to shoot it. Besides if it wasn’t a challenge he could just get anybody to shoot it. Stephen is a renowned photographer in his own right so he was familiar with the challenges. Fortunately for me Stephen acted as art director and did all the thankless work of staging the site which was no small feat.

These days I shoot with a number of speedlights for the additional lighting. They are light, battery powered and allow me to move through a space quickly. That turned out to be very helpful because there was a slight hiccup in the shoot; the owner couldn’t make it back that night to lock up. So we went from a 5-hour shoot to a 2-hour shoot. Fortunately, we were able to get the core shots we needed within that time frame with just a little sweat.

In the end I think, and more importantly, Stephen felt, we got it done.

Also posted in Photography Tagged , , , , , , , |

Video for Architecture

More and more of my clients have been asking for video on their architectural shoots. I have been shooting video for years but it was always separate from the architectural still work. Fortunately, the equipment has progressed to the point where it is reasonably affordable. As a matter of fact, I now shoot both the stills and video on the same camera.
Video offers that sense of immediacy and presences that stills just don’t convey. Not only do objects in the frame have motion but the camera movement gives an ever changing perspective on the space.
Internet broadband now easily supports large format video and having them on your site actually increases your organic Google ranking -they love video as rich media content.
Below is a sample we did on an Olson Kundig remodel of a classic Mid-Century Modern house in the Berkeley Hills.

Please contact me for more information about architectural video.

Also posted in Video Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Website Wall Paper Shoot

Website wallpaper shoot for Local Voice Over talent: Michael Saunders.

Occasionally, I’ll get the odd call to shoot a still life in my studio in Jack London Square. Although it’s small it’s surprisingly versatile. We’ve shot as large as a 3-piece furniture set there.

I got an unusual call from a local voice over talent; Michael Saunders. He is redesigning his website and wanted some photographs to act as wall paper (the page background). We kicked around a couple of ideas until we alighted upon a desktop motif. He brought over some of his gear and we set up a mock VO desk set up.

We wanted an overhead as if the talent was looking down upon the table. In order to make the background as unobtrusive as possible we went with a dark, muted tones and very softly lit approach.  We took some of his gear, script, cell phone, pencils, etc. and artfully formed a fulcrum in the center.

We spent quite a bit of time rearranging the objects with micro-movements but eventually we got it to where we both said “Yeah, that’s it”.

It was a fun shoot and Michael was great to work with.

Also posted in Photography Tagged , , , , , |

Yosemite in Winter

Turtleback Dome is just beyond the tunnel on 140 and a short scamper places El Capitain next to Half Dome

Turtleback Dome is just beyond the tunnel on 140 and a short scamper places El Capitan next to Half Dome

A friend and I were aching for years to get to Yosemite during the Winter. Fortunately, the El Niño of this year brought much needed rain and snow to the Sierra. So we hastily planned a three-day excursion. Winter in Yosemite is a completely different experience than in the other seasons. It’s almost what I would consider “uncrowded” -certainly by Summer standards. The Valley which is normally choked with smoke from the RV campers is nonexistent as the campgrounds are closed. And, if you listen hard, there are actually sounds of nature that can be heard in the Valley. Although it wasn’t really blanketed with snow, there were still many beautiful snow scenes to be had. We couldn’t have gotten luckier weather-wise, we arrived just upon the clearing of a storm and had two exquisite days of High Sierra sun.

 

Also posted in Travel Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Oregon, the In-Between State

Wizard Island framed by the woods

Wizard Island framed by the woods – Click image for gallery.

For years I had pretty much skipped Oregon in my West Coast travels. I would fly directly from California to Washington or points further north. It wasn’t an intentional slight; I just didn’t know better! However, upon hearing a friend’s mesmerizing description of the amazing beauty described one night at dinner, a trip was planned within the week.

We took the route up Highway five with a long overdue stop in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Then on to the Coastal Dunes, Salem and Portland, not forgetting the Columbia River Gorge. Then out to Bend, Crater Lake and finally one last stop at Mt. Shasta on the way back. It was a very enjoyable road trip -but 10 days is woefully too short a time for such a beautiful State and we’ve vowed to return.

Also posted in Travel Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Photos for Visualization

Early this year I was contacted by Robert Becker Visualization and asked if I could get photos of a parking lot where a new potential building may be erected. He contacted me because of my architectural photography background and would need the images to be perspective corrected with focal length data in the metadata. He would then take the photos, insert his rendering and various other items to give it perspective. These images are then used by developers to get approval from the cities and communities to build in these locations.

Broadway lot

Broadway building

Since then, Rob and I became fast friends and I have shot a half dozen or so locations since then. He’s found it helps the renders when the locations are professionally shot and they have more verisimilitude with the people making the decisions.

Also posted in Photography Tagged , , , , , , , |

The Paragon: Tech Housing for Fremont

My client bought out another multi-family residential company and as a result needed an image refresh for their site. Fremont has long been a haven for many of Silicon Valley’s engineers especially those from South Asian descent. It is a well designed mega complex spanning over two full city blocks. As most of the units followed similar floor plans I was only required to shoot the amenities and a one bedroom model. Although the units themselves were a bit generically boxy the amenities and exteriors were well designed and appointed.

DI-28977.jpgDI-28987.jpgDI-28994.jpgDI-28998-Edit-Edit.jpgDI-29015.jpgDI-29049-Edit.jpgDI-29053-Edit.jpgDI-29059.jpgDI-29086.jpgDI-29106.jpgDI-29121.jpgDI-29125.jpgDI-29130.jpgDI-29134.jpgDI-29137.jpgDI-29141.jpgDI-29146.jpg

Also posted in Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

The Mosso

The San Francisco’s ever insatiable need for more high-end housing seemingly knows no limits. As a result, housing is selling out before construction is even completed. I am often required to get imagery of what they have finished at the time with the hope of returning to complete the shoot. The Mosso was one such project. With the enviable address of Folsom and 5th, it was selling like hot cakes even before it broke ground on the adjacent building. I was called in to shoot a one bedroom and the amenities and then called back to get some roof shots. Hopefully, the Mosso will require more and more images and the building process continues.

DI-26113-Edit.jpgDI-26126.jpgDI-26138-Edit.jpgDI-26153-Edit-Edit.jpgDI-26156-Edit.jpgDI-26163-Edit.jpgDI-26177.jpgDI-26197.jpgDI-26247.jpgDI-26276-Edit-Edit.jpgDI-26577-Edit.jpgDI-26643.jpgDI-26659-Edit.jpg

Also posted in Photography

Hero Video of Russell Abraham

My colleague and studio mate hired me to make a hero video for his website update. We shot an interview in the studio and I employed his images as a pan and scan for imagery. We also added some footage that I got during one of our jobs together.

Also posted in Video Tagged , , , , , , |