photography

Picture Of Life Exhibition - REP Birmingham May 2017 by Adam Jacobs

I partnered with Manfrotto and BID (one of the UKs biggest charities to help the deaf community) to create the Picture of Life programme which was designed to help young deaf people who had experienced difficult situations and social exclusions. We wanted to use the power of photography to help participants learn a new skill set, improve their confidence and help get them into the workplace. I have taught many workshops but creating ones for the deaf community I thought would create some challenges. Notably, how I would be able to communicate concepts and theories and get the participants to really engage and enjoy photography. However, with the help of two fantastic signers (It's amazing how quickly these guys can interpret what you say), communication barriers were quickly broken. 

Indeed, the project has far exceeded our expectations and an exhibition of photography work created by the deaf talented participants has just launched in central Birmingham showing the exceptional work that they managed to produced. The exhibition will also show behind the scenes images to give some insight into the project, and the participants will be available to discuss their experience and answer any questions on the night. The project is one of the most rewarding I have done in my career and it was amazing to see how photography has the power to quite literally change lives. 

Below is a short video about the project that also shows some of the phenomenal photo results taken by participants as a result of he workshops. You have to bear in mind that when they started the course with very little confidence and marginilized from workplaces (ridiculous given that they are normal, people just like you and I), no one in the group knew how to hold a camera, put a battery in or insert a memory card. However, by the conclusion of the course, they were all taking professional quality results as well as blossoming as people and personalities in terms of their confidence; incredibly rewarding for myself as an educator and teacher. 

Below are also some of the press releases from the exhibition along with some behind the scenes images from in studio and on location around Birmingham: 

 

http://www.bid.org.uk/latest-news/latest-news/post/143-invitation-to-the-picture-of-life-photography-exhibition-at-the-rep

 

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Bubbles at St Pauls by Adam Jacobs

Whilst teaching a photography workshop along the Thames in London last weekend at sunset, I was emphasising the need to always be prepared as a photographer as you never want to miss a moment. As I was explaining this we stumbled across a guy using a slingshot type machine to blow huge bubbles right by Millenium bridge. This was a great opportunity to create something fun, colourful and artistic using the iconic St Pauls Cathedral as a backdrop. After firing off quite a few frames below was my favourite...

Adam Jacobs Photography St Pauls Cathedral Fine Art Photo London

We also had time to turn around and capture people scurrying across the bridge as the sun set behind the bridge silhouetting them against a gorgeous sky. The beauty of photography is wherever you are, It's amazing what opportunities can present themselves...you just have to be ready to take advantage of them. Happy Snapping!! 

Adam Jacobs Millenium Bridge Sunset Photograph Fine Art London

Latest Press by Adam Jacobs

I've been getting a lot of press recently which is great ranging from photography blogs writing on my work, being interviewed on the radio including Ireland's largest talk and the attached piece which was just published in the Daily Mail/Mail Online. Just click on the picture to read the story: 

Making Dreams Come True With Rays of Sunshine by Adam Jacobs

I have been honoured to work closely with a charity Rays of Sunshine which grants wishes to terminally ill children and those with severe disabilities for a number of years. I recently helped on a wish with a charming young man named Lewis who had asked to be accompanied by a professional photographer to learn how to photograph wildlife, specifically his favourie animal giraffes. Despite the slightly cold temperatures, we therefore took him, with the wonderful staff from Keech House Hospice, to Whipsnade Wildlife Park just north of London which is a drive through safari and allows you to get very close to many different animals. 

To start the day and to Lewis' total surprise, we presented him with a DSLR camera. The look of surprise and joy on his face was priceless and it was extremely fulfilling seeing how happy the gift had made him.  I then preceded to show him how to use his new camera, demonstrating the various settings and explaining the fundamentals of digital photography before we set off to photograph some wildlife in the field. 

Of course, we headed straight to the giraffe enclosure (no surprises there!) where the surprises kept on coming. Lewis to his amazement was told that he had adopted one of the giraffes and presented with a certificate. We then spent a lot of time photographing that giraffe to his delight as I continued to help him make better pictures through talking him through framing and compositional techniques. We then continued around the park photographing everything from hippos to rhinos to lions before heading back to the cafe for a much needed warm up and to review the photographs taken and buy Lewis some gifts from the zoo store. 

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It is Lewis' dream to one day produce an exhibition of his work. Indeed, who knows one day I could be there as the person who provided him with his first camera and contributed in some way to help his dream come true! 

Royal Navy Portraits by Adam Jacobs

Part of the thing I love about being a photographer is the diverse and eclectic mix of exciting assignments you often get asked to do. An example of this was a commission I was sent on for The Royal Navy aboard one of their newest ships, the HMS Diamond. Working on an active, military ship presented some challenges, notably setting up lighting in extremely confined spaces, movement at sea and a severe lack of sleep! However, I got to spend some time getting to know those working on the vessel and was blown away by the work and dedication that these men and women show on on a daily basis and left with a new found respect for all those who serve in the armed forces. Below is a photograph of the HMS Diamond courtesy of the Royal Navy along with a few of my favourite portraits that I took aboard the ship.

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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.

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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