Adam Jacobs Photography is proud to offer San Francisco based photography workshops to both companies and individuals within Silicon Valley, San Francisco and the Bay Area.Read More
I've recently got an IPhoneX and have been really impressed with the quality of the camera. I therefore wanted to test it more thoroughly on a trip last week at one of my favourite locations, the Big Sur that is situated on the Pacific Coast Highway and is perhaps the most dramatic stretch of coastal road in the whole US. I shot all of the photographs direct from the phone using the in-built black and white filter and wanted to see how good the dynamic range was at capturing high contrast scenes. The selection you see below are therefore all completely unedited and native straight from the IphoneX.
My thoughts have been with all of those affected by Irma and Harvey and I feel very lucky to currently be blessed with almost constant great weather and Californian blue skies (especially being a London native!)
However, last night we had our own dose of weird and wonderful weather as an electrical storm passed through San Francisco. I quickly got to the best vantage point I knew for blue hour, making sure I had as much of the city skyline and the new Salesforce tower (soon to be the tallest skyscrape in the city) in frame and managed to catch this bolt of lightning flash across the sky.
I really like how this photo evokes the energy and vibrancy of such a fast moving and innovative city.
I have been blown away by the quality of light in California on my trip here. Yesterday, I took a short trip out of San Francisco to Ocean Beach and spent a hours just observing people wandering along the beach as beautiful light refracted, reflected and bounced off the ocean casting all kinds of shadows and interesting shapes and lines.
These three images were some of the favorite that I shot with the figures showing the scale of the beach and the ocean; this is especially noticeable in the photograph of a sole man wading in the Pacific (the middle one) which is perhaps favorites . Black and white conversion helped accentuate the strong highlights and shadows and really bring out the dynamic range in these images; I just can't get enough of those rich, velvety blacks.
I've had a lot of fun the last few months experimenting with Manfrotto's new lens filter suite which works with the Xume system. Essentially, the system means that you can attach filters to your lenses much faster and more efficiently using magnets rather than having to waste time screwing them on, risking breakages or damaging equipment as with conventional systems. Take a look at this video I made below:
Here's an article I also wrote explaining a little bit more in depth on the system and how it can be used practically in the field to help you take better photos and not miss that perfect shot...just click on the photo below!
I'm fortunate enough to be in Lake Como at the moment teaching some workshops. The beauty of the scenery here is breathtaking. I'll be sharing lots of shots in due course but here are two 100+ stich panorama that I took just a few hours apart. The first was taken as the fog rolled in magnificently between the mountains and the second during one of the most spectacular sunsets that I've ever seen.
High up at 9000ft in the meadows of one of my favourite National Parks, Yosemite in California it was amazing to see the Milky Way clearer than I had ever witnessed before. Using a long exposure and manually focusing the camera to infinity, my camera was able to bring out the wonder of the sky above that was so clearly visible given that I was away from the light pollution of the city. I included some foreground elements to contextualize the grandeur and vastness of our universe. This shot is going to look great blown up big!
Below is a behind the scenes video made by my trusty assistant for the day Tutti Del Monte. We spent the day shooting The Concession Golf Course in Sarasota, Florida for a feature for the largest golf magazine in the Arab peninsula, "Middle East Golfer" that involved mainly photographing the signature holes of the Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin designed course but, also some of the delicious food offered in the award-winning restaurant that guests can enjoy after their round. We also got to taste some of the delicacies once we were done.... Yum! Thanks to The Concession for their kind hospitality and accommodating all of our requests.
I recently decided to take some time off commercial shooting and traveled to Northern Norway to photograph the Northern Lights. After extensive research, I decided to base myself out of Tromso. This small university town sits about 300 miles inside the Arctic Circle, is appropriately cold (about -17 degrees Celsius!) and has a healthy reputation as one of the world’s best places to see the Aurora Borealis; a natural phenomenon caused by the collision of solar charged particles and atoms when entering the earths atmosphere and magnetic fields.
You need three things to see the lights: clear skies, minimal light pollution and maximum solar activity. On arrival, things were not looking promising as my flight was delayed by a huge blizzard and as my cab took me the short cab to my hotel visibility was no more than five feet…this was not going to be easy.
I had done a lot of research beforehand on Google Earth and OS maps to see where the best places might be in order to get good photographs of the lights; I wanted to ensure that I got some water in my shots to achieve some reflections from the lights. However, on the first two nights I was out until 5am having driven 3 hours out of Tromso in search of clear skies and saw little more than the shot below due to inclement weather. This photo was taken on the Eastern coast looking out on the Atlantic Ocean and although the green activity of the lights is JUST visible behind almost 100% cloud cover in camera, it was barely visible to the human eye. Also, it was taken in gale-force 35 metre per second winds (the strongest I’ve ever experienced). In fact, the wind was so strong that it stripped some of the paint off my 14-24mm lens. Needless to say I was already planning my return trip next year with my spirits dampened by two nights of failed attempts of chasing the lights.
Determined not to give up though I headed out the next night with a different strategy to head west towards the Finnish border having seen on radar that there was the possibility of the clouds parting and some clear skies developing for a few hours just before midnight. Fortunately, as I got further and further away from civilization I began seeing stars until the whole sky was covered in constellations as I sped eagerly towards a Fjord that I had identified could potentially make for a good photo spot. I couldn’t have timed my arrival any better as I pulled over, looked up and began seeing one of the most phenomenal sites I’ve ever witnessed in person. Words cannot do it justice as you see flashes of coloured lights meander and manouver their way across the sky; it as if God is playing with a paintbrush. The show lasted about four hours and I’ll let my pictures describe the scenes better than my words.
I was very lucky as I have spoken to numerous photographers who have spent weeks in Tromso and seen very little. On the other hand, you could turn up for a day and see a far better show than me; you really are at the whim of nature. Nevertheless, I left more than contented. Thanks to Arctic Guide Service for their help and advice.
p.s. I also got extra lucky on my SAS plane on the way up to Tromso when speaking to a flight attendant and telling them about my planned trip. They happened to be able to see the Northern lights from the cockpit during the flight and invited me into the cockpit! Even better they let me take my camera in (you never know unless you ask) which I was amazed at; truly blessed and an unbelievable experience to be able to see them from the air as well as ground. The below shot was therefore taken by resting my camera on the dashboard of a commercial 737 at 37000 feet with the towns of Northern Norway below whilst my camera was resting on the cockpit making an impromptu tripod.
Please contact me if you are interested in seeing more or purchasing prints.