Hello World

Hello World

Hello World is the default post that a new WordPress site starts with. I have the feeling that in the virtual sense I’m shouting HELLO WORLD in an empty forest. But shouting when nobody can hear you can also have a cathartic effect.

In any case here I am, and you are too (you are reading this after all!)

I have a number of blogs, all of which are focused on my business related subjects. There’s my primary blog @ SiliconValleyStock that aims to update potential clients about my Bay Area stock photo endeavors (and a sister site that crashed called SanFranciscoStock.com). I thought a photo tech blog would be fun and came up with the clever domain Lensbusters.com. And recently one of my wife’s clients was looking for somebody to blog about Alameda- and what did I do? I started yet another blog to test that idea (it’s here if you’re that bored.)

Guess what I’m trying to say is from the outside it would seem I need another blog like another hole in my head. Yet somehow I feel compelled to scream in the forest, if only for its therapeutic effect. As an atheist, perhaps this will serve as a substitute for confession. Though I have no intension of anything too personal, I’d like an outlet to share what I’m thinking. Not concentrating on the dark thoughts or things too controversial. You likely won’t hear me go off on some of those subjects those who know me have heard me rant about.

Why here? I have a problem with social media services such as Facebook. Like everybody, I have friends and relatives that share stuff that seems inappropriate. If you do choose to read what I write, here it won’t be sandwiched (literally) between pictures of relatives every meal. You won’t have to sift through bigoted racial or ethnic remarks, or calls to burn down a town that didn’t find a police officer guilty. You can read my random thoughts in a sterile, boring setting at a completely random interval.

And on a note of clarification….

This domain MHalberstadt was a bit controversial with some. Setting up this WordPress site I was reminded that I have had this domain for about 15 years, whew! Though I’ve signed most paperwork with my first initial M followed by my surname Halberstadt since I was a kid- I’m not famous or even a historic footnote like my grandfather Milton was. Though everybody called him Hal, he was known in the art world as M Halberstadt and that’s how he signed his prints. I never meant to compare myself to him, or profit from his fame.

Maybe a little discussion about Hal is in order. To be honest, he wasn’t a warm or fuzzy grandfather. Hal, and that’s what we all called him, including his grandsons, was a rough guy to be around. But he and his history were very interesting. I could imagine why he was so tough. He was wounded in WWII, and was missing a few fingers and had a wounded leg. The story I remember of his injury was that his was navigator in a bomber flying over Yugoslavia and was struck by a German shell that hit his hand but stopped in the lucky dollar in his pocket that saved his leg.

He’s known for his early photography at the “Bauhaus West” in Chicago, and later for his commercial work especially food photography he did in his studio on Vallejo street in San Francisco in the 1960’s 70’s. The University of California Davis now has his photo archives. My uncle Piet has also put together a fantastic resource highlighting the work of Hal and his peers at Community of Creatives. His name comes up with people you (at least should) have heard of like Ansel Adams, Laszlo Moholy-​Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes, Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, and Edward Weston etc.

My dad Hans and I were with him in his hospital room when he succumbed to cancer in 2000. His obituary is available on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website still here.

Frankly this was something of a strange start, I didn’t mean to go on about Hal like this but his is an interesting story.


A cartoon of Halber STATt Picture Takers (of Milton "Hal" Halberstadt) by his friend, artist and illustrator Jack Keeler

A cartoon of Halber STATt Picture Takers (of Milton “Hal” Halberstadt) by his friend, artist and illustrator Jack Keeler

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