Foothill Ranch, CA – Oakley Headquarters (HDR)

If you are ever in Orange County, CA…one super cool spot to see is the Oakley Headquarters in Foothill Ranch.  Oakley is famous for Sunglasses and sport wear. I had seen photos of this place and always wanted to visit!  I have my traditional photographer story…so read ahead. It was a Friday afternoon and I had just finished my day and drove up from San Diego.    Traffic was not fun!  So I arrived at 5 PM. I had about 30 minutes until sunset. I grabbed my bag, camera and tripod and headed inside.  It is very cool!   The whole building reminds me of something from “Terminator”.

As I walked inside there is a reception and I asked if it ok for me to take pics.  She asked me what for and I told her my blog.  She said no problem.  Great! The office closed at 6 PM, so I had a little time to take some inside shots.  I worked inside and occasionally walked out front to take some photos there as it was getting close to magic time.  It was my goal to grab the outside of the building at sunset.  About 30 minutes of shooting…it was getting close.  I set up my tripod directly out front and was saying goodbye to employees as they were heading home for the weekend.

Then a security guard walked up to me and asked me what I was doing. I gladly told him, taking pics for my blog. I also mentioned I owned a sweet pair of Oakley’s(I am a customer) and would gladly blog great stuff about my visit. He said no problem and walked away.  I proceeded to take the photo above (Fisheye).  As soon as I finished my 7th exposure…the guard was back.  He told me that his boss said to shut it down.  It is  private property, so I understand and respectfully packed my gear up immediately.  So I missed my sunset shot!

I think it can be tough sometimes as a photographer carrying pro-looking gear.  I received mixed signals from Oakley this day.  I am not sure if you can or cannot take photos?  I did not see any posted signs.  My guess is that it was an on the spot decision against me due to my gear.  I was always nice and courteous to everyone walking around and near my tripod.  At this time all I can say is that it is a place to see…but you may get hassled if you are taking pics with a DSLR.  Sad Oakley!  A customer taking pics gets booted out….great service!!!   Next time Nike sunglasses for me!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 10.5mm Fisheye
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 10.5 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 7 exposures (+3 to -3)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Viveza, Photo Tools 2.6, Texture
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8 comments on “Foothill Ranch, CA – Oakley Headquarters (HDR)

  1. Wayne Frost says:

    Interesting shot, Pete. Very interesting architecture, I am relatively close to Orange County and had not heard of this building. Had a disquieting experience getting the boot at an outdoor mall recently which I plan to blog about.

  2. theaterwiz says:

    I love my Oakley’s, that really stinks about the guard, I swear I don’t know what the big deal is sometimes, great find Pete

  3. atmtx says:

    Glad you were able to get some great shots. This is a heck of an exterior view.

  4. jbecker85 says:

    Wow. This building looks so alien… Reminds me of Stargate for some reason 🙂
    Impressive shot, will you post some interiors too?

  5. Epic photo, and sorry for the confusion. We do allow photography here but get a little cautious when people start showing up with pro equipment and spending a lot of time. I’m sure we can arrange a shoot for you in advance if you’re interested. Hit us up using the email address on the form if you’d like to arrange it.

  6. carlo says:

    Very nice exterior shot.
    Sad to hear you were booted out.

  7. Wayne Frost says:

    I’m impressed with Oakley’s response, they “get it” in terms of the value of being friendly and accommodating in a world where the media playing field has been leveled by the Internet. You are not trying to trade on their name, but actually bringing more awareness to their brand while expressing and sharing your creative effort.

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