Look Back at early (2007) Google Street Views On Your Phone

Traveling back in time with Street View 🕰️

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 8.28.42 AM
I'm using this all the time for preservation and HABS pre production scouting.
From the Google blog... Starting today on Android and iOS ... travel back in time right from your phone. Here’s how it works:
When you’re viewing Street View imagery of a place, tap anywhere on the photo to see information about the location. Then tap "See more dates" to see the historical imagery we’ve published of that place, dating back to when Street View launched in 2007.

Introduction to (landscape) Photography video now available. (Free)

I just uploaded a new video of the Landscape Photo educational webinar from Nov, 10, 2021.

HALS Photograph by Stephen Schafer
HALS Photography of the Lovelace Garden by Stephen D. Schafer. This Historic American Landscapes Survey project was featured in the video.

You never know when you volunteer for an online presentation, but I'm really pleased with how this webinar came out and that CPF made it freely available. And also really honored to be included in this short educational photography session sponsored by the California Preservation Foundation (californiapreservation.org) and the California Garden and Landscape History Society (cglhs.org). Photographer Millicent Harvey and I share our methods for photography in general, and landscape photography in particular, and since our approaches, techniques and clientele are so varied, the two presentations and lively Q&A show the diversity of our styles, and the range of creative approaches to photographing the landscape. 


Millicent and I have been working as professional photographers for over 30 years, and we both clearly love what we do, but from start to finish our process is different (except when it's the same). It was a fun, spontaneous, presentation and an unscripted Q&A that should be educational for everyone  who wants to learn about what career photographers do.



If you’d like more information about HABS/HAER/HALS photography take a look at our website.


Stephen Schafer, Architectural Photography,

Ventura, California

Ph: 805-652-1000

E: schaf@west.net



MODERNISM WEEK: The Preserving Los Angeles book tour: A Kaleidoscopic Tour of L.A.’s Built Heritage


Screen Shot 2021-02-04 at 11.22.13 AM
Ken Bernstein and Stephen Schafer, author and photographer of the Los Angeles Times bestselling book, Preserving Los Angeles, will be sharing an engaging visual tour of how historic preservation has helped transform Los Angeles, and can do the same for other cities. 

Extending beyond well-known Midcentury Modern dwellings by renowned architects, Preserving Los Angeles highlights hidden Modernist gems that will surprise even longtime Angelenos, while showcasing the city’s rich and varied built heritage, from bungalow courts and roadside landmarks to modest structures that reflect the social and cultural history of the city’s diverse communities.


Los Angeles has become a testament to the power of adaptive reuse, repurposing historic structures to revitalize its Downtown, create new sources of affordable housing, and transform residential neighborhoods.

Preserving Los Angeles showcases every community in Los Angeles, reminding us that remarkable architecture and cultural history is all around us, often in unlikely places. The book is an authoritative chronicle of urban transformation, a guide for citizens and urban practitioners alike who hope to preserve the unique culture of their own cities. 


Ken Bernstein directs the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources, which is responsible for Los Angeles’s historic preservation policies and programs, and was previously Director of Preservation Issues for the Los Angeles Conservancy, the nation’s largest local non-profit historic preservation organization.

Stephen Schafer is an HABS* photographer with a preservation distraction, who crisscrosses America documenting historic buildings, landscapes and engineering. 

A book signing will immediately follow this presentation.

At Modernism Week 2022, February 19, 2022, at 9:00AM.

The Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record and Historic American Landscapes Survey are US federal government programs administered by the Heritage Documentation Program Department of the National Park Service (abbreviated HABS/HAER/HALS). Photographic documentation for these programs meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Architectural, Engineering and Landscape Documentation (SIS Doc Standards). In short, these programs document the historic built environment and cultural landscapes in America and work with the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division to archive the architectural plans, reports and photographs for the public in perpetuity. HABS, HAER and HALS are considered the gold standard of photographic documentation programs.


For more info to take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website if you’d like more information about HABS/HAER/HALS photography.

Stephen Schafer, Photographer
Ventura, California

An Introduction to Landscape Photography | California Preservation Foundation

In partnership with the CGLHS, we are pleased to offer a free introduction to landscape photography, presented by landscape photographer and CGLHS member Millicent Harvey and HABS/HAER/HALS photographer Stephen Schafer.

Using a camera to capture the beauty of a plant or place is just one aspect of photography. Capturing a historic landscape requires an intentional approach behind the camera, whether the goal is exhibition or documentation. Harvey and Schafer will share insights into their professional yet distinct practices and examples of their work at a free lunchtime talk on Wednesday, November 10th at noon. A Q&A with the photographers will follow the presentation. 

About our speakers

Join me in November...

Book Club For Preserving Los Angeles Book

Book Club Event August 17th, 2021...

Link To CPF Page


Screen Shot 2021-08-12 at 6.23.17 AM

“Preserving Los Angeles" BOOK CLUB hosted by CPF
Aug 17 @ Noon
Join author, Ken Bernstein and photographer Stephen Schafer as they discuss Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places Can Transform America's Cities. We'll be hosting a trivia quiz to challenge our audience with your knowledge of historic Los Angeles!

Los Angeles has a diverse collection of historic resources, reflecting both the legacy of notable architects and the variety of its inhabitants. The city has broken new ground in its approach to historic preservation, identifying and protecting the places of social and cultural meaning. Preserving Los Angeles illuminates a Los Angeles that may surprise even longtime Angelenos—highlighting dozens of lesser-known buildings, neighborhoods, and places in every corner of the city. Preserving Los Angeles is an authoritative chronicle of urban transformation, a guide for citizens and urban practitioners alike who hope to preserve the unique culture of their own cities. Bernstein’s informative text is richly illustrated with more than 300 full-color images by Schafer, a nationally acclaimed architectural photographer.

Join the CPF team as they explore this ground-breaking book, and hear some 'insider' insight into capturing and communicating the little-known corners of some of California's most unique and insightful historic places. We will end the program with a discussion and Q&A. You can purchase a copy of the book from Angel City Press and other established retailers. Check out our registration page for this event for more information about Ken and Stephen.



Architecture Photo Workshop with Stephen Schafer- October 2021

I'm teaching my in-person architecture workshop on October 17th, 2021 at the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP):

Architecture on Location with Stephen Schafer
Stephen-Schafer-LACP Architecture Photography Workshop

Mastering architecture photography is a complex yet rewarding process. Like people, buildings have their best side, and choosing your perspective, composition and camera placement for both interiors and exteriors will be a focus. In this workshop we will examine the intricate relationship between architectural design, natural light and the weather, and explain approaches to artificial and natural lighting...

LACP Architecture Photography Class October 17, 2021 (In the evening so we can do a HERO twilight photo in Culver City.)



Stephen Schafer, Photographer
Ventura, California




LA County Hospital HABS photography by Stephen Schafer.

Perfect light... here's a Los Angeles HABS project just transmitted to the Historic American Buildings Survey for the Library of Congress this week. HABS-CA-2952-B.

HABS-CA-2952-B-2 a vertical view of the front facade of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Coroner Building

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Building is part of the LAC+USC Medical Center campus in Lincoln Heights. This spectacular building was the original LA County hospital – built in 1878 – it later became affiliated with the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1885.

HABS-CA-2952-B-1 a horizontal view of the front facade of the 1878 Los Angeles County Hospital building

In 1878 the Los Angeles Hospital had 100 beds and 6 staff members, the main hospital administration building at 1104 North Mission Rd. is now used by the County Medical Examiner-Coroner. I was working on a documentation of the LAC+USC Women's and Children's Hospital next door when I saw the light on this building from the middle floor of the adjacent parking garage, I just couldn't resist.


Stephen Schafer, Photographer
Ventura, California

Preserving Los Angeles Book


The book Preserving LA by Ken Bernstein (with photos by me) will be delivered to book stores in April 2021.  See below for the publisher's blurb and website to pre-order.

Preserving Los Angeles Book, Bernstein and Schafer
Preserving LA Book by Ken Bernstein

Preserving Los Angeles – How Historic Places Can Transform America's Cities – A book by author Ken Bernstein, photographed by Stephen Schafer.

Los Angeles has developed one of the most successful historic preservation programs in the nation, culminating with the completion of the nation’s most ambitious citywide survey of historic resources. Across the city, historic preservation is now transforming Los Angeles, while also pointing the way for other cities to use preservation to revitalize their neighborhoods and build community. Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places Can Transform America's Cities, written by Ken Bernstein, who oversees Los Angeles’s Office of Historic Resources, tells this under-appreciated L.A. story: how historic preservation has revived neighborhoods, created a Downtown renaissance, and guided the future of the city. With more than 300 full-color images, Preserving Los Angeles is an authoritative chronicle of urban transformation, a guide for citizens and urban practitioners alike who hope to preserve the unique culture of their own cities. 

Younger than many American cities, Los Angeles has a remarkable collection of architectural resources in all styles, reflecting the legacy of notable architects from the past 150 years. As one of the most diverse cities in the world, Los Angeles is breaking new ground in its approach to historic preservation, extending beyond the preservation of significant architecture, to identifying and protecting the places of social and cultural meaning to Los Angeles’s communities. Preserving Los Angelesilluminates a Los Angeles that will surprise even longtime Angelenos—highlighting dozens of lesser-known buildings, neighborhoods, and places in every corner of the city that have been “found” by SurveyLA, the first-ever city-wide survey of Los Angeles’s historic resources. The text is richly illustrated through images by a prominent architectural photographer, Stephen Schafer. The photography-heavy appendix devoted to SurveyLA, can serve as a field guide to hundreds of the city’s most notable locations.

  • 256 pages
  • 300+ images
  • 9"h x 9"w
  • hardcover; ISBN 978-1-62640-075-7; $50.00

This book will be published April 20, 2021. Order at Angel City Press:


Schaf Preserving Los Angeles Travel Map
The photography trips mapped on Google Maps.

The book release was originally planned for late 2020 but some minor Covid-19 delays impacted my ability to travel freely into Los Angeles to take the more than 400 photographs of historic places and SurveyLA discoveries, but I have seen the proofs and the book looks pretty terrific, worth the wait and the extra trips to LA.


-Stephen Schafer