BERNARDO PICTURES: Blog en-us (C) BERNARDO PICTURES [email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) Thu, 07 Mar 2024 01:01:00 GMT Thu, 07 Mar 2024 01:01:00 GMT BERNARDO PICTURES: Blog 96 120 Keeping the walls grey, maybe... Traditional lines and classical details can make any space feel wonderful. New Work for one of our fave interior design clients; Jeff Fiorito Interior Design. 


We were tasked with capturing a space that was fairly monochromatic, tucked away inside of the home, not really exposed to any direct hard light. One would think, easy-right! But, contrary to one would think about shooting light airy spaces such as these, When the incandescent scones are on- they are anything but, easy. Sure, the contrast levels in the exposure will often turn out to be fairly flat and pleasing but, will the colors of the wall remain true to what one sees? It’s never the case. So we did what any good service person would do and gave our client options, we shot one exposure with the lights on and one with them off. 


We tackled the lighting dilemma by adding a little bit of fill light, relying on one 1600 ws Allien Bee head bouncing directly off the ceiling along with an additional Nissin 700 speed light that was fitted with a white shoot thru umbrella off to camera left. We then used a 24mm Rokinon TS lens on our Z6 body to make the single exposure happen. Here an example of one with the lights on and one with them of. 


In the end we feel our client was pleased with both results.



Design by


--Floor and shower wall tile: Marble Experience, Statuario Lux

--Mosaic floor medallion: MIR Mosaic, Skalini Pietra Floreale mosaic

--Vanities: Omega

--Bath tub: Hydrosystems, Marquis freestanding bath tub

--All plumbing: Brizo, Virage series

--Sconces: Schonbek, Habsburg series wall sconces

--Mirrors: Ambella, Palazzo wall mirrors

--Roman shade fabric: Cowtan and Tout, Impero Stripe

--Chandelier: Schonbek, Jasmine chandelier

--Paint: Benjamin Moore


[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural photography bathroom design design interior interior design Thu, 07 Mar 2024 00:59:54 GMT
Hollyhock House Hollyhock House Aerial VideoHollyhock Aerial Video

Hollyhock House in the East Hollywood community of LA was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 20th century, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is the first time modern American architecture has been recognized on the World Heritage List. Aline Barnsdall (the original owner), originally intended the house to be part of an arts and live-theater complex on a property known as Olive Hill, but the larger project was never completed.


As with many of Wright's residences, it has an "introverted" exterior with windows that seem hidden from the outside, and is not easy to decode from the outside. The house is arranged around a central courtyard with one side open to form a kind of theatrical stage (never used as such), and a complex system of split levels, steps and roof terraces around that courtyard. The design features exterior walls that are tilted back at 85 degrees (which helps provide a "Mayan" appearance sometimes referred to as the Mayan Revival style), leaded art glass in the windows, a grand fireplace with a large abstract bas-relief, and a moat. Water is meant to flow from a pool in the courtyard through a tunnel to this inside moat, and out again to a fountain.




[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural architectural photography california drone frank lloyd wright photography preservation Tue, 17 May 2022 23:40:11 GMT
Tide Academy Menlo Park, CA Tide Academy, Menlo Park, California 

A geometrically handsome and forward thinking design, its campus is perhaps, one of the more beautiful modern schools I’ve gotten the pleasure of photographing. Set about 1/4 mile away from the bay shore, its views of the shore and industrial landscape mirror the academy’s focus on technology and sustainability. LPA, Inc. photos by Bernardo Grijalva




[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural photography architecture commercial photographer design drone photography interior design k-12 building photography Silicon Valley photography Thu, 03 Feb 2022 22:21:03 GMT
Highlight of our Fave Assignments and a Look Back at 2021 2021 came and went, we kept trucking away with fulfilling assignment work for our loyal client base. We never say no to anybody in terms of taking on architectural photography work and it's because of this that we were inundated with a spectrum of different assignment, from getting the chance to document a 1920s relic Washington Smith home, to shooting a technology business park that draws its' inspiration from the NYC Highline to getting the opportunity to document an award wining student housing project that's on par with any Las Vegas establishment. 2021 had its ups in the sense that the building and design industry seemed to be really strong, projects were getting complete and ready to photograph. It also had its hiccups in terms of all of the political turmoil and social unrest that was dominating our collective consciousness. 2021 drew us nearer to our fellow Americans that call other parts of country home and at the same time devided us over questions of health care policy, inequality or political ideologies. We saw the dawn of a new period with having a return to normalcy for some while at the same time returning to the strict mandates of the past with all of the new Covid variant resurfacing. 

If 2022 taught us anything - it is that we can never really truly plan for the unexpected but, it's always good to be prepared and ready for the unexpected. Through hard work, training, experience and putting oneself in the most difficult scenarios does one rise to an occasion when any difficult situation need be met. We're looking forward to 2022 and all of the opportunities and experiences it might bring. We wish you love, peace and joy for the new year to come. We look forward to seeing you in the near future.



[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) 2021 AIA architectural architectural photography architecture construction photography design historic preservation interior design real estate photography san jose Wed, 05 Jan 2022 23:14:00 GMT
The new workspace that makes for a fun and creative work environment for gig workers. Co-working spaces should be a place a gig economy worker should find refuge in. After working from my home base over the last year it is good to know that there are still plenty options out there without having to commit to a hefty office lease. For those freelancers that might be wanting to make an upgrade to their professional appearance, these spaces are good options. I had the opportunity to photograph one such space that was a little more fun than a typical co-working space. First of all, it is situated in a premier shopping, entertainment zone in the Walnut Creek / Concord area. Second of all, Office Evolution’s interior space is thoughtfully planned, largely in part to Habitec’s Architecture schematics, the interior is a smart, welcoming environment that offers plenty of well lit ergonomically friendly workstations, glossy conference rooms with all of the hi-tech presentation options, soundproof phone booths as well as outdoor seating for the true Californian work experience.

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural photographer architectural photography Commercial Interior co-working interior interior design photography Mon, 16 Aug 2021 21:31:22 GMT
The Grad 2021 Gold Nugget Awards Winner "WOW, wish I lived in a college dorm like that!", were the judge's reactions to viewing the entry of The Grad for Best Student or Faculty Housing, 2021 Gold Nugget Awards Winner.  Congratulations Daniel Sell, AIA & David Meads, AIA photos by: Bernardo Grijalva

The Grad San Jose, CA The Grad San Jose, CA The Grad San Jose, CA The Grad San Jose, CA The Grad San Jose, CA

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) AIA architectural architectural photography design Gold Nugget Awards Winners Book interior interior design Mon, 05 Jul 2021 19:02:51 GMT
The Highline, a west coast version. Coleman Highline, no doubt the project borrowed its concept and name from the tourist hotspot in New York, the Coleman Highline isn’t necessarily a reuse of something old but, a whole new transit oriented community that will inject life into the old industrial Coleman corridor. Learn more at Coleman Highline  Architecture by Gensler

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural photography Coleman Highline interior design photography san jose Silicon Valley Photographer Wed, 10 Mar 2021 17:21:00 GMT
Oakland Beautiful Oakland Beautiful

Oakland Beautiful A constant experiment in terms of its architectural environment, the city that was once the land of pastoral orchards and farms as Gertrude Stein remembers it is also the land of buildings. Having gone through a gold rush, postwar industrial and in the midst of a shipping era, Oakland has changed its built environment through out the 20th century to meet its civic needs. This is evident in the city’s early transformation during the early 1900’s from its Victorian country like aesthetic to the more worldly architectural styles during our countries modernization. From it's emerald green Art Deco edifices to it's highly ornate theaters, Oakland, California is a menagerie of buildings that exists as memories in time as well utilitarian domiciles and office buildings that continue to serve it’s residents. The Oakland Beautiful photographs whose title pays homage the City Beautiful or Beaux Art movement during the 1890's and 1900's, was a personal journey through the urban landscape of downtown Oakland. Having been raised in an urban setting much like Oakland, the opportunity to explore the city with an almost tourist like curiosity during the night was an existential exercise. The city's rich architectural heritage and built environment served as ideal subject matter for my preferred work method. Often working alone, it is sometimes during the midnight hours that I find moments solace. The night time hours are perfect for observing details, undisturbed by the busyness of city life it’s during the night that shapes, light and texture can be photographed in a manner that show their progression in time. The photographs are meant to show the viewer an intimate, almost dream like vignette of Oakland's architectural history. Through black and white photographs, mostly soft and imperfect due to their traditional film format, it is the viewers responsibly to connect the images to the different areas in and around the city of Oakland through memories and past experiences. Having been working in commercial photography, I find great comfort in creating images that are not always technically perfect, allowing a certain hand made craft to show. It was through the print process and digital manipulation of the traditional silver based medium that I chose a deep rich palette of shadows and highlights that would resemble those of early photographs.


All photographs are individually printed and framed in the bay area and available for purchase through BG


[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) Wed, 10 Feb 2021 01:05:12 GMT
Stan Field AIA Santa Clara County Chapter’s 2016 Birge Clark Award Winner Stan was born in South Africa and received his Bachelor Architecture at the University of Cape Town in 1967. He received his Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, studying under Louis Kahn. He has practiced in three countries where his work has been widely acclaimed. Stan was appointed Chief Architect to the City of Jerusalem in 1978, was a partner in Moshe Safdie Associates and later opened his own practice in Jerusalem. In 1990, following his appointment as visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Stan relocated his residence and office to Palo Alto, California.

Stan Field AIA






[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) Wed, 26 Feb 2020 17:04:37 GMT
Master Bathrooms Extrodinaire

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural architectural photography design interior photography san jose Fri, 25 May 2018 00:21:26 GMT
Mimicking Mother Nature's Morning Glory Mimicking what’s natural is often easier said than done or my case, trying to create a look of natural light is sometimes a task that pays close attention to not only the amount of light but, the direction where the light is coming from. Most DSLR nowadays are extremely sophisticated in evaluating exposure and giving us a perfectly balanced image that balances the ambient light as well as the amount of fill flash that has to come from the flash to create a flawless image. It’s simply a matter of turning the camera on, putting it in the full automatic (for Nikon users, Green Box) mode, putting the flash in TTL and voila!  A perfect exposure can be creating before we know it! The issue or dilemma with most digital photos and this is partly true for film or analog photos is that the photos shot with an on-camera flash that’s connected to a hot shoe with the light coming directly from the camera in a straight directional manner tend to look very snap shotty or unnatural. There are certain occasions where that look is appealing and some notable fashion photographer have made it their aesthetic like Terry Richardson but, for most of us working stiff photogs or photogs that have made architecture and interiors a passion, we know from working with our architecture and design clients that natural is beautiful.


To cut-to the chase, I wanted to post an image that I shot for a new home builder client that commissioned me to photograph a model home. As always, the sun is never in the spot that I would like to be when I’m shooting as was with this shot. Typically, I like to shoot my interior early in the morning as I find the light to be softer and not as harsh, especially in areas where there are sun spots. In this case it was around 11am and the sun was already high in the sky and the contrast or light ratio between the interior and the brightness of the exterior was already growing significantly. The walls were white and the furniture dark and I knew that the only way to produce an image that was fairly contrasty and vibrant was to try to keep most of the light on the furniture, especially the dark couch that I knew would turn into a dark hole, if I lit the scene evenly or committed the sin of putting my camera in the automatic mode and hoped that my clients would love the snap shot like look, technically, it would be a well exposed photo but, I seriously doubt they would like a photographed that looked like it could have been shot with their iPhone, after all, that’s why they hire me.

Chaquita GroveArchitectural Interior photo of Chiquita Grove Model home by Bernardo Grijalva

Here's a brief description of my lighting set-up, I’ve also enclosed a lay-out.

Around late morning or noon, I know that the lighting ratio or brightness outside is so great that I need a fast synch speed to balance the interior strobes with the exterior brightness, in this case as is in most cases that means that I must shoot around 1/100 to 1/200 of a second, I shot this image a 1/125 of a second @ f 7.1 iso 100. If you follow the sunny 16 rule, the brightness of the exterior make sense since it does appear to be around 2 stops off or brighter. I kind of wanted the exterior not to be perfectly exposed so that it doesn’t look phony or distracting. As for my lights, I employed an Alien Bee 1600 mono light and a sb-28 Speedlight, they were both outfitted with shoot through white umbrellas with the only difference that the Alien Bee (Brighter Light) was placed on the exterior of the house, right outside the left window, barely out of the frame. The intention was to create a look that mimicked natural light fluttering in through the window and at the same time try to add as much light or direct the light towards the dark couch that was turning up as a black hole when I lit the scene evenly. The smaller speed light was set at ½ power and placed slightly right of the camera and directed towards the coffee table and chair to help fill in some of the hard shadows that were created by the large Alien Bee that was blasting through the window. After a brief run through Lightroom were the images shadows were brightened and the vibrance and saturation were punched up a bit, as well a spot glow or high light added the art work on the wall. The image was ready to be delivered. All using some old school flash photography techniques and some very light post-production tweaking, the image was shot one single RAW image.

Lighting Set-up

Trying to mimic the power of mother nature isn’t always easy but, with a little know how and extra muscle (powerful lights) we can sure make it look like we can.




Bernardo Grijalva is an Advertising Architectural Photographer in San Jose, California

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural photography design interior photography healdsburg model home Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:19:33 GMT
5 uses of our architectural photography services 5 uses of our architectural photography services.

Photographs of great pieces of architecture have a wide range of applications and benefits. Most of their users put them for commercial use. The following are some of the uses of this kind of photography:

  • Selling properties

Architecture is an art that involves creating beautiful pieces of art that come out well as great works of photography. All the work that goes into construction, especially of interior decorations should be shown to the world by the works of experienced photographers. For our clients working on tenant improvement products, great photographs go a long way in helping you get the tenants you need for your property. We use photographs of beautiful pieces of architecture to capture both the exterior and interior of the building in an appealing way to influence the desires of the viewers to purchase or rent out houses. Our clients sell property that is still under construction using photos of similar developments. Architectural photography therefore helps engender in the clients a desire to buy into forthcoming building projects.

  • Shots for commercials

We use photography to showcase the merits of hotels and other commercial venues. These can be photographs of both interiors and exteriors of these buildings. A good collection of day and evening shots can be used to help potential clients imagine how exactly they will spend their holiday. Commercial use photographs of their pieces of architecture to generate sales through commercials. Hotels, on the other hand, can also generate bookings by showcasing the interior construction of their rooms to potential guests.


  • Documenting building projects

Some of our clients have asked us to use photographs of great pieces of architecture that are still under construction. Great architectural photography has been used to record various stages of development. This provides investors and other interested parties of the construction project a record of the progress of the works. Architects and building contractors also use these photographs to promote their work. If the project is one of particular public interest, these photographs might become part of the local historical records.


  • Selling design concepts

Architects and interior designers need to sell design concepts to their clients. There is no better way to do this than using quality photography. We use photography to showcase our clients’ design features and innovations. Most of these photographs are taken in the interiors of prestigious new developments which owners of property under construction can replicate in their own pieces of architecture. They often illustrate the use of new materials or processes. These photographs also help unveil exciting new designers and architects to the wider world.


  • Images for company websites

The advent of the internet has meant that firms have a strong online presence. Great digital images can enhance the general look of a firm’s website. Most firms with websites prefer using images of their premises on their websites. This kind of photography can be done both in the interior and the exterior of the premises. In the long run, this helps reinforce the company’s identity with its customers.

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural california construction design jose photography san Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:52:55 GMT moved its’ headquarters to downtown San Jose’s Opus center back in 2015, situated at the 225 West Santa Clara.

Known to many as “the”, listing service for technology related jobs. The technology employment search site has taken it a step further with its’ aesthetics as far as making technology brands and icons not only the requirements that are posted on their client’s job listing but, also using the icons as simple décor for the interior of their new Silicon Valley hub.

Here are a couple of the outtakes from our shoot with one of Downtown San Jose better known firms for design tenant improvement,



Bernardo Grijalva is a commercial architectural photographer based in the Silicon Valley and Greater San Francisco Bay Area

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architecture bernardo center design grijalva habitec improvement interior jose opus san tenant Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:45:32 GMT
An Ode to the Bauhaus Although Splunk’s new campus bares a similar look to the one modern campus that Walter Gropius envisioned as the school of the future that would educate and train the artisan and designers of the new industrial age, the new Splunk building is a far cry from the Bauhaus campus of 1917. The Bauhaus school campus’s simple use of geometry, material and light were created with the minimalistic principal that less is often better, more practical and possibly more aesthetically pleasing. Where Splunks new campus is situated in the heart of the south bay shopping mecca known for an architectural landscape that is far from simple. It’s good to know that Gropius’s simple forms and use of glass are being replicated in common commercial architecture. A drive down any of the Santa Clara Valley expressway, it’s really common to run across one of these clone-like version of the Bauhaus icon.


Splunk is a data analytics company better known by techies and wall street business types for its public offering. The company has moved its central base of operations from San Francisco to San Jose’s Santana Row.


Camera Geek note’s

Camera Nikon 600 Nikkor 16-35mm lens , 1 second f/9 @19mm


photo by Bernardo Grijalva

photo by

photo by Bernardo Grijalva

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) Bauhaus architectural architectural photography san jose Thu, 26 Jan 2017 01:30:05 GMT
A White Palette is Elegant A White Palette is Elegant

Julie Miller from Julie Miller Designs based in Orinda California is a fun and light hearted client to work with so I didn’t feel any hesitation in letting her know my thoughts of her design sensibility. “White”, I told her, “all of your kitchens are white”. Thinking of her as the Richard Meire of kitchen’s she was quick to correct me and let me know that there was one kitchen that we shot that wasn’t white, between me and you, the kitchen was very close to white. Regardless of the narrow selection in color when it comes to Julie’s Kitchen’s she makes up for it in her use of stone and tile selection as well as her simple use of elegant lines and hints of traditional aesthetics.

Here are some samples from our Walnut Creek shoot earlier this month.

Photo Geek Schematics

One Alien B166 on a shoot through umbrella pointed in the kitchen, two Nikon SB speedlights on camera right and left, bouncing into the ceiling without any diffusion. F7.1 @1/100 iso 200, Raw photo processed through Lightroom

Julie Miller Designs Walnut Creek KitchenJulie Miller Designs Walnut Creek KitchenJulie Miller Designs Walnut Creek Kitchen photo by Bernardo Grijalva

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural area bay bernardo creek design grijalva interior kitchen photography walnut Wed, 30 Nov 2016 01:16:18 GMT
Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School Some times I get asked to shoot for some of my client's pro-bono or non-profit clients, I always approach each project very carefully in terms of architectural projects, since most projects that require any type of financial assistance are typically projects that I probably wouldn't want to photograph, simply because the building or dwelling is in probably pretty bad state or if it was new construction, was probably built very efficiently, with little care for the quality of the parts or materials put into the project.
Not so was the case for a new private high-school that caters to some of the city's most under-served and brightest students.

Barry Swenson Builder and Studio Current donated services to help construct the high school's smart new campus.


interior design,architecture,architectural photography,barry swenson builder,private high school,cristo rey,studio current,san jose,caCristo Rey High SchoolCristo Rey High School Administration Office


[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:49:39 GMT
Whimsical Study in a Classical San Francisco Home San Francisco Classical Studyphoto by Bernardo Grijalva San Francisco Classical Studyphoto by Bernardo Grijalva San Francisco Classical Studyphoto by Bernardo Grijalva

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) architectural bernardo design francisco grijalva interior photography san Tue, 01 Nov 2016 23:25:04 GMT
Leave the big lights at home! My speedies got this! Some recent outtakes from a shoot we produced with a couple of simple speed lights.

After having created a certain relationship with a client and knowing what their sensibilities are for the types of images that they love and they simply trust your vision, it is simply golden when you don't have to worry about all of the logistical stuff about the production and go in light with out the need of a large crew, sometimes even, with the need of a tripod.

Santana Heights Santana RowSantana Heights Santana Row, Architectural Lifestyle shoot photos by Bernardo Grijalva

[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) santana row Bernardo Grijalva architectural photography san jose Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:02:24 GMT
Cohousing as Living Neighborhoods

Mountain View CohousingMountain View Cohousing by Bernardo Grijalva Mountain View CohousingMountain View Cohousing by Bernardo Grijalva Mountain View CohousingMountain View Cohousing by Bernardo Grijalva


[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) Bernardo Grijalva architectural photography mountain view multi family Sun, 26 Jun 2016 22:32:26 GMT
Adding a Little Glamour to the Typical Architectural Shoot What happens when you get an assignment with a former runner up to miss California and the shoot is scheduled for the  next day, you or I in this case cowboyed-up and started putting a plan together to get the images my client needed. A residential property management company that prides itself on providing luxury apartment and town home communities to people seeking all of the amenities of a small urban village living needed images that more or less glamorized some of the architectural elements of some of their units and community. On a previous assignment they had commissioned, their initial request was for straight architectural shots, simply beautiful details and interior photos of the units they planned to use for their marketing collateral. Normally I would jump on the assignment, no problem, no pre-shoot site visit needed, it's what I've been doing for years. Set-up my camera, wait for the light to be right, move a couple of strobe lights to provide some fill for the dark shadowed areas maybe also move some furniture around to provide the perfect composition in the foreground, a cinch, right. Until, I suggested - how about using some models or people for the photos, not really thinking a head of where I was going to find the talent on such a short notice. My client came back to me with, maybe we can use one model, depending on their rate. Thanks to a referral from a fellow women's swim wear supplier, Zanna was able to make it to the shoot and having the former swim suit modeling experience under her belt, made my client super happy, they were especially happy with the pool photos and as such requested another model for my latest assignment. This time instead of finding of having me scramble to find the talent, my client went directly to one of their preferred talent agencies that they have dealt with before and the next day former Miss California contender Ashley was at the site, towering in her pumps, she hovered well above my 5'10 diminutive size in comparison to her. With no assistant for the day, I went light, I mean, literally light. No large production equipment, simply a couple of Nikon speed lights and a manfrotto tripod, working quickly, checking my levels every time I switched camera angle or a light. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I was pressed for time since they only contracted Ashley for 2 hours. Luckily after all of the photos were checked off of the shot list, and having Ashley be willing to stay a little extra, I was happy, my client was happy and walked away with some great images that I was certain were going to turn out, just ok.



[email protected] (BERNARDO PICTURES) san jose santana row architectural photography commercial interior Sun, 05 Jun 2016 01:16:00 GMT