Detroit's East Town Theatre by Adam Jacobs

Continuing my personal project documenting "Abandoned Spaces" across the mid-West of America, I recently explored an intriguing urban relic; a cinema turned rock 'n' roll venue that has hosted legends included Alice Cooper, The Doors, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull on the East side of Detroit. 

Indeed, this once grand theatre when opened in 1930 housed 2,500 seats and was originally intended to be the major cinema on the East side of the motor city. However, within thirty years it quickly evolved to become the city's premier destination for rock n' roll during with the roll call of acts who graced he stage listing like a whose who of every great American rock act of the sixties. In fact, Alice Cooper later quoted that the Eastown was "the best audience in the world. Any other city, people went home from work to put their Levis and black leather jackets for a concert. In Detroit, they came from work like that. The Easttown - those were pure rock 'n' roll times"

However, the venue was was forced to close in in 1973 due to health and safety reasons with drugs and crime being a major issue. Throughout the next two decades, the theatre re-opened under various guises with relative success: a jazz venue, adult movie theatre and even a church. Eventually, the site was completely abandoned in 2009 when no buyer was found for it and the curtain was closed on the Eastown theatre forever. 

Indeed, unfortunately by the time I went to photograph it the once opulent roof with its decadent bright dome (see below photo) had completely fallen in leaving just the stage, facade and back of the theatre remaining. Being in one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in Detroit, I went with a number of friends and was careful when navigating amongst the hazardous conditions; out of the many abandoned buildings I have explored this was in one of the worst states I've seen which, was sad to see especially after seeing some photos of it in its heyday. 

Copywrite of this image Mike Boening 2013

Copywrite of this image Mike Boening 2013

However, I still managed to get some nice shots of the stage and with a bit of clambering around got all the way to the top where I found just a few remaining seats that provided some nice angles and perspectives. It was also interesting to find some old programmes hidden beneath the rubble providing me with an insight to productions that had played at the theatre. 

The formerly opulent entrance to the Eastown Theatre now nothing more than decrepit steps and peeling walls. Despite being so sad I couldn't help but think that this interior would make an awesome location for a fashion shoot.

The formerly opulent entrance to the Eastown Theatre now nothing more than decrepit steps and peeling walls. Despite being so sad I couldn't help but think that this interior would make an awesome location for a fashion shoot.

An alternative view of the entrance.

An alternative view of the entrance.

Behind the scenes of me shooting the abandoned entrance way.

Behind the scenes of me shooting the abandoned entrance way.

The remains of the stage with the rubble of the recently fallen in roof.

The remains of the stage with the rubble of the recently fallen in roof.

A flyer I found amongst the rubble advertising a play held at the venue in 1986.

A flyer I found amongst the rubble advertising a play held at the venue in 1986.

This is perhaps one of my favourite picture of the space as I managed to find some of the old benches hidden amongst the mangled rubble and get a nice perspective of them framed with the stage and steps in the background.

This is perhaps one of my favourite picture of the space as I managed to find some of the old benches hidden amongst the mangled rubble and get a nice perspective of them framed with the stage and steps in the background.

Twisted Wires catching the morning sun.

Twisted Wires catching the morning sun.

The remains of an old curtain in the foreground leading into the main seating area of the theatre.

The remains of an old curtain in the foreground leading into the main seating area of the theatre.

The view from right up top where you can see the extent of the damage caused by the collapse of the roof.

The view from right up top where you can see the extent of the damage caused by the collapse of the roof.

Last Seats: In this photo you can clearly see the last few seats left in the theatre right up on the top tier and how both the roof and one whole side of the theatre has completely collapsed.

Last Seats: In this photo you can clearly see the last few seats left in the theatre right up on the top tier and how both the roof and one whole side of the theatre has completely collapsed.

Under The Lights at Michigan Stadium by Adam Jacobs

Here's one of my big, stitch panoramas that I recently shot at the University of Michigan vs Penn State signature "Under The Lights" game in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The match was attended by a record breaking crowd in excess of 113,000 people and saw the Wolverines triumph 18-13 at the Big House. I've also included a few other shots from the day which give you an atmosphere of this momentous occasion including a particular favourite (the last one) which, hopefully helps you appreciate the sheer amount of people in the stands...it's a bit of a Where's Wally or for the Americans Where's Waldo!  


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Michigan Stadium Under The Lights Adam Jacobs Photography3
Michigan Stadium Under The Lights Adam Jacobs Photography
Michigan Stadium Under The Lights Adam Jacobs Photography

 


 

Photographing in Casinos by Adam Jacobs

Where we can and cannot shoot as photographers is always somewhat of a grey area; this is especially the case when it comes to casinos and other gaming locations. Having recently returned from a trip to the States, I was reminded of a shooting assignment to Las Vegas. On this trip, I was fortunate enough to photograph some of Las Vegas’ most iconic locations including Ceasars Palace, The Wynn and the MGM Grand where I was commissioned to shoot the casinos along with some of the rooms in the hotels and golf courses.  However, in advance of doing so I was required to obtain a permit to shoot within these casino locations or request the permission of the resort’s PR team. Below are a couple of my favourite shots from the trip:

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Indeed, if you are looking to shoot still photography or video in a casino resort whether in Vegas, Macau, Atlantic City or any location worldwide where gambling and gaming occurs, you will more than likely run into a burly security guard asking you questions and be asked to put your equipment away, especially if carrying a professional looking SLR and tripod.  This is true even if you’re just a tourist looking to photograph some holiday snaps as a souvenir to take home with no intention of swindling the casino or selling the photographs for commercial gain.  In fact, you may find it difficult to shoot any kind of photographs in gaming areas with slot machines, roulette tables and other casino equipment present even with a smartphone or newer piece of technology such as Google glass. It is therefore only natural that so many people have veered towards online casinos including Gamingclub.com which have risen in popularity as opposed to land based casinos. 

My suggestion for photography would therefore be to stick to the communal areas in such locations which, still make for beautiful photographs as can be seen in this shots below of the lobby area of Ceasars Palace and the enormous pool complex.  Also, as always, it is beneficial for us as photographers, to do our research before shooting in such locations to ensure you don’t run into problems and can enjoy making great photographs without worrying about potential consequences. 

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Billy Huxley by Adam Jacobs

I recently shot Billy Huxley for Moss Bros. You may recognise Billy from Models1 as he is very much the model of the moment with his combination of distinctive tatts, groomed beard and distinctive features meaning that he has appeared in a plethora of campaigns globally. Styled by the wonderful Minna Attala, here are a few of my favorite photos from the shoot.

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And a couple I had a bit more of a play with in post production...

Adam Jacobs Photography_Billy Huxley Model Suit Moss Bros 2



Desmond Tutu by Adam Jacobs

It's mid July and the sun should be shining. Instead, it's grey, damp and pretty miserable outside. What better way to cheer myself up then digging through my archives and posting a picture of the most jovial man I've ever shot, the legend that is Desmond Tutu. His charisma and vivaciousness for life truly is infectious. 

Desmond Tutu Photography Portrait_Adam Jacobs

Andy Murray by Adam Jacobs

With the disappointment of defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray being eliminated at the quarter finals stage, I thought I'd trawl back through my archives and resurrect one of my favourite shots from when I was fortunate enough to photograph the British number one . He was such a top bloke, full of charisma, charm and not too shabby at tennis; definitely still got it in him to secure a couple more Grand Slams. Come on Andy!!! 




Two Hours In New York with the Fuji x100s by Adam Jacobs

Sometimes you just don't want to lug around a hefty SLR with you and recently while in New York I experimented shooting some street photography with the incredibly stylish Fuji x100s. However, this pocket powerhouse has more to it than just a retro shell and packs some impressive sensor technology behind its exterior. 

Veering away from my usual style of shooting landscapes (primarily HDRs) of large skylines and buildings and inspired by the blog Humans of New York, I took to the streets for a couple of hours and explored the Lower East and West Side to shoot some street photography...Cartier-Bresson style. 

It is always fun to set assignments and challenge yourself to shoot new things especially as the Fuji I was using had a fixed focal length lens of 35mm which, makes you really think about composition and framing on each and every shot. 

Below are a few of my favourites from some of the characters I met on my walk.