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