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Daniel Escobar is a Google-certified 360, and drone, photographer.
Daniel Escobar creates “tiny planet” photos of landscapes and everyday things.

Being part of the Nuclear Security Enterprise takes skill, smarts, and determination. From research scientists developing innovative new technologies to administrative professionals organizing day-to-day operations, it’s no surprise that our workforce is filled with impressive people. What some members of the NNSA family accomplish in their spare time, however, is truly unexpected.

Daniel Escobar is a senior security specialist who conducts oversight of multiple security programs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and serves as the facility security officer and inquiry official at the Livermore Field Office.

A fun view of a tiny planet.
A fun view of a tiny planet. (Credit: Daniel Escobar)

What is your hidden talent?

I am a Google-certified 360, and drone, photographer. When I am not uploading my photos to help make Google Street View better, I use them to create “tiny planet” photos of landscapes and everyday things. 

How did you get into that hobby?

I’m a tech nerd that became a dad. Soon after my first son was born, my wife told me to get a camera. Traditional cameras only capture a small fraction of what is going on. With 360, you see everything and can re-live that entire moment if you use Virtual Reality headsets. Then I learned about the Google Street View certification and it really took off! 

What is your creative process?

I carry my drone and cameras with me everywhere. The cameras can fit in my pocket so I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting scenes to make into tiny planets. A stack of apples looks awesome in 360! I also always must be mindful of where the sun is and the time of day to get the lighting right if shooting outdoors.

What inspires you to continue to take photos?

571,000 people have used my photos in Google Earth, Maps, and Street View. I like to think I’m helping make the world more accessible. At the very least, I’m helping folks plan out a trip.

How does your talent relate to your day job?

Being a 360 photographer makes you more aware of your surroundings. You’re constantly looking for, and remembering details like street or public art, or floor patterns as you walk around. Those same skills come in handy for security oversight and management. Knowing about drones helps me quickly narrow questions down when someone witnesses one on site.

Goofing around with photography.
Goofing around with photography. (Credit: Daniel Escobar)
A view of Washington, D.C.
A view of Washington, D.C. (Credit: Daniel Escobar)