The Oliver Photography Blog

Photos and blogging by Oliver D. Capturing the images of the Western U.S.

Author: TheOliver

Exploring Local Architecture in California

California is often thought of as one of the forefront leaders in many areas of life. Whether it be clothing styles, music, entertainment, technology, and architecture, much of the latest trends start in California. So, I decided to give myself a little field trip and see what some of the latest architecture throughout the states is made of.

I started my journey in the heart of the valley in Modesto, California following around an old friend of mine admiring some of his latest concrete construction work. He is primarily a residential contractor where his specialty is in colored stamped concrete. The people who want the finest looking properties seem to always turn to him and his team. Below is one of the front yards that he had just finished for a client when I showed up.

concrete modesto

Next on my journey, I had a drive up to Sacramento where they had just finished a new stadium for the local NBA basketball team, the Sacramento Kings. The stadium is called Golden 1 Center, and it marks a point for celebration where the local town was able to keep their team in Sacramento after a local group of investors tried to strip the city of the team and take them to Seattle. The Golden 1 center is an architectural marvel for the city, the state, and the basketball association as a whole. The newest NBA arena constructed looks like it is light years ahead of all of the current arenas in town. It consists of an open and shut mechanism for the front entryway, the first of it’s kind for the NBA. It also has solar panels on the top and nearly all of the arena’s power comes directly from those. The Golden 1 Center is something that must be seen in person to take the most appreciation out of it.

golden 1 center sacramento

Next on my list, I drove a short distance over to UC Davis where they have just constructed a brand new art museum, called the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis. It is made up of glass walls, a concrete precast, and aluminum beams that cover the ceiling of the one story building. It’s an architectural marvel and the inside of art pieces is not something you want to skip if you head over to the Davis college campus.

uc davis art museum

That’s it for this installment of The Oliver Project, tune in next time!

Your Friendly Tourist Guide to Taking Good Pictures in Chicago

Despite not being much of a city person, I made a trip to Chicago with my boyfriend last year, to celebrate our one year anniversary. And I’ll be honest: I was fully prepared to take a plethora of sappy couple photos. Just typing that sentence, I can already sense the judgment coming. Cut me some slack, it was our anniversary trip. Of course I wanted some photos; maybe I could print and frame them later.

trip to chicago

Well, emphasis on maybe. I’m not the most productive person I know. It’s not much of a surprise to me that I still haven’t printed and framed them.

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The Zion Experience

Disclaimer: if you don’t like clambering up sandstone “steps” (they’re more like uneven slabs of slippery rock) with a 1400 foot drop on either side of you, and only a metal chain to hold on to, Angel’s Landing is probably not for you.

zion national park

Yes, it was amazing to see the entire valley of Zion National Park laid out beneath you. Yes, the pictures you get just from being up there are absolutely gorgeous. Would I climb up to the top of that mountain again? Probably. It offers an adrenaline rush that before I did it, I had yet to experience.

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Dear Red Bridge

The ‘Red Bridge’, that’s what I call it.

Growing up, I’ve always wanted to visit America. As a cinaphile, consuming Hollywood films day and night has been part of my life for a long time. Fast forward a decade, I have just graduated from film school in the UK and I thought, “I will visit America and pay my respect to the most prominent bridge in Hollywood films, The Golden Gate Bridge”.

sf golden gate bridge

After saving up a few hundred pounds, I bought my return flight tickets to San Francisco as soon as the cheap flight promotion came about. From Cardiff, I traveled to the London Heathrow Airport via bus and flew off a couple hours after that. I boarded the plane and flew off to the Land of Dreams, America.

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The Day I Visited Mos Espa

I know, for certain, that I am a Jedi.

While waiting for my graduation day, I had an ample of two months’ gap from my last day of studying at the university. So, I decided, while living on the other side of the world where I’m originally from, the beautiful country of Malaysia, it was a dream come true to not only visit a new continent, but also pay a visit to the sacred land of Star Wars film location, Tunisia. Hence, I explored ways to see this country through the Internet and with the Devil’s luck, I stumbled upon an internship application for a travel log filming in the country.

tunisia salt flats

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Discover The True Nature of Berkeley, CA

california map topographyThere are so many different environments throughout California. That is the principle reason for why I came to the West Coast. Throughout my youth, many of the movies that I watched took place in California. After many years of continued movie fandom, I started to catch on that this California is actually a real place. For some reason, up until I was about 12 years old, I thought California might actually be some sort of fictional land. What with the beautiful beaches with the beautiful women of the southern west coast, the overpopulated cities of Southern California, the hot dry deserts of Central California, the cloudy atmosphere of the bay area, the mountainous regions of the Sierra Nevada, and the dense forests of Northern California. All of which brought me to Berkeley, CA, a tech-friendly city smack in the bay area.

berkeley downtown view

Berkeley has all of the magic that I had hoped for. The mindset of the people around me were just what I was looking for, and I found an apartment on the corner of the building that allowed me to overlook both the bay area as well as much of downtown Berkeley. The view in and of itself was enough to make me feel okay with having dirty neighbors and a cozy relationship with the local insect exterminator company. But the fabulous pictures that I was able to capture from my apartment in Berkeley wasn’t the only thing that brought me to the bay area. Let’s talk about what other photogenic spots are around Berkeley. Continue reading

The World-My Photography Playground

One of the best parts of being retired from an intense photography career working for great companies, is having the ability to travel the world on my own time. Traveling around the world, to countries and continents I only learned about in school has been life changing.

planet earth nature

The whole planet has an abundance of beautiful animals, people, buildings, nature, and events to capture. Travelling has given me the second lens to see the extraordinary I could only imagine. It was tough to decide on the first few places to travel to, but I made up my mind. Thailand, Puerto Rico, and Kauai were the first places I decided to adventure in.

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The Five Media Giants- I Worked For

Hello, I’m Oliver Eckel. I created this blog to create a like minded online community for any aspiring, current, or veteran photo geeks to share tips, advice, and tricks of the craft. A couple different photo stories wouldn’t hurt anyone either.

I’ve been a photographer in the greater Los Angeles for over 20 years. Throughout my privileged photography career I’ve worked for several different heavy-hitting media companies like: TMZ, Disney Communications, MTV, and ESPN.

los angeles skyline media

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