Why I always carry a dedicated camera

That's right. A dedicated camera. Not a smartphone with a camera. Not a camera smartphone. A camera that is only a camera. I know -- it's a foreign concept. But I always have my trusty point and shoot with me. It's small, fitting in every purse I have (and I have some tiny purses).  Since I can't always carry around my big DSLR, the point and shoot is always there.

The other morning when I found a hitchhiker on my windshield, I first tried to capture him with my smartphone camera. It just wasn't working at all. It wasn't focusing that close, wasn't getting the exposure right, nothing. I needed something with macro capability.

So I pulled out my trusty point and shoot to capture this little guy:




By the way, he stayed with me on the freeway until I got to my destination. He hunkered down as my car gained speed (at one point I thought he was gone as his little leg lifted), but was a total trooper and stuck it out. He looked a little bit discombobulated when the car stopped, but after a survey of his surroundings, he took off.

As the honey bee populations are declining, I'm happy that I was able to aid in transporting this bee to another part of the world.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane Katrina aftermath Hurricane season is always a question mark for me. Yes, I live in Southern California and am no stranger to natural disasters, but have roots in the South. Namely, New Orleans.

Most of my family lives in and around the New Orleans area, and so I keep the TV on the Weather Channel when a hurricane comes knockin', like Hurricane Isaac has the past couple of days.

I have only been around one hurricane while visiting New Orleans, in which the area was in the outer bands of a hurricane, cancelling all flights that day due to wind. Yours truly was scheduled to leave that day.

I am more familiar with the aftermath of hurricanes. I visited New Orleans in July 2006 for a family wedding, not long after Hurricane Katrina. What amazed me was the areas that were (and still are) devastated.

The area that had a huge impact on me was a visit to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Before I had any type of DLSR with nice zoom lenses, I had point and shoot cameras to communicate my vision. These photos are from that trip in 2006 to survey the damage.

The sensory that has stuck with me all of these years later is related to this image.

Hurricane Katrina aftermath

I can still hear the sound of the fabric whipping in the wind. I can smell the sea air. And I remember how absolutely desolate it felt to be standing in front of this property.

I am happy to report that my friends and family in the area are safe, although at the time of this post, many are without power.

To my Southern readers, be safe!

Thanks for stopping by!


Where have I been?!

Oh yes, it has been forever since I posted here. I have had a slight hiccup with kristinajacob.com. So, I am returning to the blogosphere (do the kids even say that anymore?) on this blogging vehicle. While 2012 has been interesting and monumental, something really cool and unexpected happened last week while I was in San Francisco for a work conference. David Hobby of Strobist, the wildly popular lighting blog happened to be in San Francisco just down the street from where I was staying. He Tweeted to his followers to see if anyone would be interested in meeting up the evening that I got in town, so I had to stop by and say hi (it was just eight blocks away). There was a small, fun group of us, all very diverse but brought together by this really nice guy. It was fun to make new photographer friends and talk to David in a smaller setting...totally different from when I, along with 500 other fans, met him at The Flash Bus tour here in Los Angeles last year. David is very smart and very nice, as well as a very talented photographer.

Our conversation inspired me to do more blogging, since I have been lacking in that area for a few months. Thank you David for unintentionally making me think about my blog!

And, of course, since I got this photo with Joe at TFB:


I had to get a photo with Mr. Hobby, since I didn't get a chance to last year:


Thank you Dave for wanting to spend time with some of your readers/fans!

And thank you to my readers for stopping by!

Talking About Pictures

I was honored to speak to the Lancaster Photography Association last week as their guest speaker for the evening. They are a great group of people and I had a lot of fun showing them some of my images. if you're in the northern LA County area, this is definitely a wonderful and active group of photographers. I had a lot of fun putting my talk together and running across some of my favorite images: Serenity Swan in City Park, New Orleans

Look at me Giraffe at the Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara, CA

Forest for the trees Tree at Earthquake Fault, Mammoth, CA

I loved sharing these images with everyone and being able to talk about my favorite thing: photography! At the end of the night, I was awarded with a really nice certificate of appreciation, and given an honorary membership to the LPA! I look forward to participating in this group and shooting some pictures with these fun photographers.

_MG_8612.jpg Photo by Don Jacob

Thank you to the LPA for a fun night of photography and for being such gracious hosts!

And thank you for stopping by!

Lilly Family Portrait Session

The Lilly family is quite near and dear to me, as they are my beloved's family. One year ago, little bro Shane and his girlfriend Kaleigh brought my nephew Connor into this world. He is a happy baby who is always laughing, and it is amazing to see how much he has grown this year. Of course, it was not exactly all smiles for little Connor on the morning of our photos. The poor little guy had some major teeth breaking through, but we were able to coax a few smiles from him using our combined efforts. And Auntie Kristina with a toy on her head while worrying about Speedlites and diffusers.

Here are a few of my favorites:


This shoot was so much fun because I got to hang out with my little nephew and try some things I learned and bought at Photoshop World. I am excited to try out more photo techniques on Connor as he grows up. I'm sure he is even more excited to hear "Look at Auntie" about five million more times.

Thank you to Shane and Kaleigh for letting me document Connor's precious first year!

Thank you for stopping by!

DLWS Wine Country

A few weeks ago, I took part in one of the last Digital Landscape Workshop Series in Wine Country led by Moose Peterson, Joe McNally, Kevin Dobler and an amazing DLWS staff: Sharon Peterson, Jake Peterson, Jeff Leimbach, Drew Gurian, Richard Small and a special appearance by Russell Brown. It has taken me quite a while to post about this workshop because, aside from regaining energy, it has taken a while for me to comprehend the gravity of it all. I still cannot quite comprehend the amount of talent that I was in the same room with.

The workshop started off with staff presentations, which was incredible in and of itself. To hear Joe McNally speak about his Faces of Ground Zero images as he showed them to me and my 23 other newest friends still gives me chills. Drew’s presentation showed us his passion for concert and portrait work, and I think he may be picking up some lighting influence from Joe. Jake showed us his photos, and it was amazing to see that while he shoots right next to his legendary dad, he has a style completely his own. A legend in the making, that kid is! Kevin does quite possibly the coolest thing, he gets up in planes and takes beautiful aerial photos. Right up my alley. Jeff gave us an emotional presentation…his brother was killed in Afghanistan, affecting everything in his daily life which reflects in his photography. Moose ended the evening with amazing images form his body of work. He showed us how an image really can make a huge difference in the world.

They set up some fantastic shoots for us, even though unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with us for our shoots. Between shoots were amazing learning sessions packed with information, tips, techniques and images. Here are some of my photos from Bodega Bay:

Bodega Bay Clouds

Bodega Bay Marina

Our second day had two vintage cars shoots at car restoration garages: Fred Stoke's and Vern Tardel's. Wonderful guys that welcomed us into their shops and let us roam free, allowing for some photos like these: Fred Stoke's Reflection

Ford- Fred Stokes The above photo was critiqued by Moose and seen by the rest of the DLWS staff (Where else could I ever say that happened?!). He gave some valuable feedback that I have been applying as I shoot—in short I hear Moose’s voice in my head. Vern Tardel's On our last day of our workshop, the rain stopped for a bit and gave us a gorgeous day of blue skies and white puffy clouds---perfect for a tour of the family-owned Sausal Winery in Healdsburg. I had some fun with the fisheye (thanks to Jake’s suggestion): Sausal Fisheye 1

The greens were so vibrant after the rains, it turned out to be the perfect shoot to end the workshop with Sasual vineyard

For an idea of where in Northern California we went, here is a map i created of the workshop:

[googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=213471075419522180202.0004a3f8846aa2b6f21a3&ll=38.486097,-122.845171&spn=0.36526,0.457439&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

I met some truly wonderful people and learned from them as well as the instructors.

I want to thank the hardworking DLWS staff for putting a great event together, and thank you to my newest friends for lots of laughs and a great week together.

And thank you for stopping by!


Reflection, originally uploaded by Kristina Jacob Photography.

An "old" photo that I found on my iPhone. I had passed by this image a few times during walks around my neighborhood, and took this photo as a test shot, thinking that I would come back with my "real" camera when the light was better.

Well when I went back with my "real" camera, the mirror was gone (it had been there a few weeks). It just goes to show that saying "I'll get that later" doesn't always fly.

Taken with iPhone 3GS, edited with Photogene for iPhone.

When you have a moment please...

As you may recall, I recently went on Scott Kelby's 3rd Annual World Wide Photo Walk. This photo won the best image for the local photo walk in Venice Beach, CA, but didn't get too far in the world wide contest. Venice-6

Which is fine, I really wasn't expecting to win. And receive fame, fortune, and a ton of cool prizes. OK, or just the cool prizes.

But you, dear readers, have the power to vote for the People's Choice award:


It is the first photo in the sixth row. Don't be afraid to give it 5 stars all the way.

Thank you in advance for your vote!

And thank you, as always, for stopping by.

ESRI UC 2010

My career happens to be Geographic Information Systems, map making for those of you not familiar with the term. Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map, find me a location..... (Just imagine Babs singing that!) Every year, thousands of my fellow GIS'ers and I attend the ESRI User Conference (the industry conference) at the San Diego Convention Center.

Here are a few photos of my take on the ESRI UC from this year, (July 12-16) recently featured on the premier GIS website, GIS Lounge:


The ESRI logo at the San Diego Convention Center.


Attendee Kelly Minniti solves "Where in the World?"


The new GeoLounge allows attendees to kick up their feet for a much needed break.

Check out the rest of the set and let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by!

Scott Kelby's 3rd Annual WorldWide Photo Walk

Back from being on the down low... I participated in Scott Kelby's Photowalk again this year. I was part of it the first year in Santa Monica, CA, and had a great experience. I couldn't go last year because of a previous commitment,  so I'm glad that I was able to cruise around with my camera this year. I made up for last year and did two photo walks this year: 1) Venice Beach, CA with leader Ken Shelton and 2) Travel Town, Los Angeles -- at the entrance of famous Griffith Park-- with leader Mike Kubeisy (see his guest blog on Scott Kelby's site here).

What is a photo walk, might you ask? It's basically a group of photographers that walk around a specific area to take photos, as you might imagine. The special thing about this one is that the photographer/Photoshop master known as Scott Kelby organizes a worldwide event each year. It's a great way to meet other photographers, and non-photographers can focus on a large group of people with cameras instead of just you by yourself. Today one woman told me that she saw the large group of us and thought we were paparazzi! Hey, it's L.A.

Anyhow, I got some pretty cool photos and met some really nice people. The day started out cloudy with the marine layer and all, but finally the sun came out for us and threw out some beautiful light in the Venice Canals/Beach.  The day ended with some really nice light in Travel Town.

Something that photographers like to do is challenge themselves, and a photo walk is the perfect time to do so. The challenge I created for myself was to not take flower photos. For those of you that know me and my photography, that's a really difficult challenge. And I failed miserably.

Had I gone to Travel Town first, I would have had some hope. But in the canals one and then two bushes of morning glories came up and that was the end of my challenge. I give in to the plants.

Here is the photo that led to my downfall:


And then of course I couldn't stop:


I enjoy these photo walks because they are not like a workshop, where you are taught by a person how to get a shot. We are allowed to roam freely, finding our own shots, making our mistakes and learning from them.

The only drawback to photo walking is not paying attention to where you're stepping. I happened to be so focused on making photos in the pooch-friendly canals, that I didn't realize I had stepped in a canine gift. I'm thanking my lucky stars that I was wearing tennis shoes instead of sandals.

Please check out the rest of my Venice Flickr set here (Travel Town will be uploaded shortly).

A few of my favorites: Venice-6 This is the photo I uploaded for the photo walk contest...I love it because it's a different perspective, due to the 15mm fish eye lens. I imagine that is is the view a fish would have out of the water. **UPDATE This photo won the location photo walk contest! Now onto the big world wide contest! Thank you to all of those who have been supporting me.**

I also love this photo (which happens to be the other side of the above image): Venice-4 I love the colors in the reflection and the pop of color provided by the boats. I went into taking photos here with a vision of capturing something that said "Venice Canals", and I believe that the above image did exactly that.

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend photo Project 365 #52

The weekend was just gorgeous in Southern California, and I got a chance to get out and do some landscape photography PAD52-Feb21

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160) Aperture: f/7.1 Focal Length: 73 mm ISO Speed: 400

Taken with Canon 24-105mm EF-L lens.

I tried a few different landscape shots, and loved this one the most because of its multiple layers. I chose to shoot this at f/ 7.1 because I wanted the flowers to be the main focus of the photo since they add a nice pop of color, and liked the idea of the mountains blurred in the background.

I ordered puffy white clouds in the background, but they didn't come in.

Next time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Adding stuff...

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am experimenting with my blog. One of the things you may have noticed is a newer page called "Resources". This particular page will constantly be added to, as I am always finding information about photography that I would love to share with you, my wonderful readers. I am also working on some things to change up the blog a little bit. I'll be putting up polls on occasion for some reader reactions and opinions.

Of course you can always leave comments for me, or contact me directly.

Oh, and here is today's project365 photo #50, which just happens to be more flowers:


Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.05 sec (1/20) Aperture: f/3.2 Focal Length: 5.9 mm ISO Speed: 200

These little flowers were picked by my co-worker, and they made her happy (It was sort of a glum day in SoCal, and these little flowers perked everyone up--actually, taking photos of them perked me right up).

Taken at my desk. The back lighting from the window wasn't helping my little point and shoot do its macro thing, so I borrowed a lamp from another desk to throw in some more light on the cute little flowers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Project 365 Day 47

I'm experimenting a bit more with the look and feel of the blog, what do you think? I had this flower as my photo for the other day, but decided to take a shot from this angle:


Again, only had my point and shoot.

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60) Aperture: f/3.2 Focal Length: 5.9 mm ISO Speed: 160

I love the texture of the petals from this angle, as well as the contrast of the pink against the green. I have been seeing this side of the flower from my desk since Day 41, and like the alternate view.

Thanks for stopping by!

Inspiration strikes...

OK, this is something I just have to share. Sometimes when something catches my eye, it just catches my eye, no matter where I am.

It was going to be Saturday's photo of the day (Instead this was), but I love the story behind this photo, because it demonstrates Joe McNally's most recent blog post about how photographers are always seeing photos, "We Just Can't Help It..." .

So, I took this photo in the produce section of the grocery store (yup you read that right):

And then I hear, "Excuse me! Is there a problem?". I turned around, and at the other end of the produce section is a store employee, giving me a weird look.

Apparently, photographing the produce in a grocery store isn't allowed, and would only happen if there was some sort of issue with the veggies.

I didn't know this. The employee wanted to know why I was taking photos of brussel sprouts.

I showed her the image in the LCD, and proceeded to show the employee how beautiful the brussel sprouts looked with the water on them.

I don't think she saw the beauty quite the way I did. I don't think she believed me either. But I do think that she told the other employees about our encounter. And to keep an eye on me.

And yes, I know I'm a little nuts. I call it part of my charm.

Thank you Joe McNally for making me feel comfortable enough to share my story, and to know that it's OK, I'm not alone in the world.

Thanks for stopping by!

Project 365 Day 39

Yet another gorgeous winter day in Southern California...blue skies, low 60's. So I took another little stroll at lunch with my trusty point and shoot. I tried a few different photos, but nothing really worked for me. On my way back to work, I caught sight of a brick wall with leaves growing on it. Here is the photo I ended up with:

Project 365 #39: Backlit leaves

I loved the lighting coming in through the leaves. I first tried the leaves straight on, but at noon that was not working. So I moved my feet and voila!

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100) Aperture: f/9.0 Focal Length: 5.9 mm ISO Speed: 200

Thanks for stopping by!

Project 365 Las Vegas (Days 35-38)

I have been in Las Vegas this past weekend. Now, Vegas is home to all kinds of debauchery, but also all kinds of interesting architecture. You can visit Venice, Paris and Egypt all within two hours. Day 35- February 4, 2010 Vegas is just a short flight from my home in the San Fernando Valley (45 min). I love looking out of the window when on a plane, and usually take a bunch of photos. I LOVE aerial photography, and this was one of my shots that I used for my project 365: Project 365 #35: I fly SWA I LOVE the clouds and the snow-capped mountains. And the wing makes it look like a nice ad for Southwest.

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000) Aperture: f/4.0 Focal Length: 8.7 mm ISO Speed: 80

Day 36- February 5, 2010 There is ALWAYS construction in Vegas, no matter what the economy is like. And trust me, Superbowl weekend there shows that there is no recession. (Speaking of Superbowl, did you know that the SAINTS WON??? GEAUX SAINTS!!!!!) Anyhow, one of the newest additions to Vegas is the HUGE City center, which is a shopping/hotel/casino area. This is a photo of the outside of the HUGE shopping center called Crystals: Project 365 #36: Crystals It was a really cloudy day, but I really loved the reflections.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640) Aperture: f/6.3 Focal Length: 45 mm ISO Speed: 3200

Day 37- February 6, 2010 One of the higher end hotel/casinos is the Wynn by none other than Steve Wynn. The hotel/casino Encore is a newer addition to the Wynn, and this weekend was my first time seeing it! well, everything is over the top (of course), and one of the small details is actually a rather large crystal peacock. You read it right.

Project 365 #37: Encore peacock detail

Of course, mark would have worked so well here, but all I had on me was my little camera. Camera: Canon PowerShot SD780 IS Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60) Aperture: f/3.5 Focal Length: 7.2 mm ISO Speed: 200

Day 38- February 7, 2010

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and so it was time to fly home. But that meant more aerial photography for me:

Project 365 #38: Oat Mountain

The mountain in the photo is Oat Mountain. Here is a terrain map of the area--we flew in from the West. The lake that you see behind the mountain in the photo is to its East on the map:
View Larger Map

A wonderful Vegas trip, aerial photography, and the Saints WINNING THE SUPERBOWL all made for a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!

Project 365- Into Month 2 (Days 32 & 33)!

Alright, well you have stuck with me through month1! And if you are just joining me for month 2, welcome! January was my first month of this thing called Project 365. I am proud of myself for starting it and sticking with it so far. It has been a learning process, and I am still evolving what exactly I want my project to be. Some days it's the best photo that I get that day, and sometimes I am just experimenting. And sometimes, I want to explore the beauty of the ordinary.

Anyhow, 11 more months! Let's go!

Day 32- February 1, 2010

Project 365 #32: Backlighting

Remember I said sometimes I experiment? This particular photo is an experimentation with backlighting from the fireplace and glass.

Taken with Canon 5D Mark 2, Tamron 90mm lens, 1/60 at f/4 ISO 4000 .Tungsten light to right of camera, and fire directly behind glass stones.

Day 33- February 2, 2010

Project 365 #33: Sunset

I was at work on the 2nd floor of the building, fixing a huge printer (aka a plotter) that didn't like the paper I was loading. I kept noticing the sun dipping behind the clouds. As soon as I got the beeping from the plotter that the paper had been accepted after 5 times, I grabbed my point and shoot and took this.

Taken with Canon SD780, 1/400 at f/5.8, 17.9 mm, ISO 100.

Thanks for stopping by!

Project 365

I have decided to do a photo project 365, which means that I will be taking 1 photo per day for 365 days (hence the name), and upload it to my Flickr set. Why would one impose such a chore on themselves? Well, I have heard about these types of projects, and since my New Year's resolution is to get my photography out into the world more, I figured this is a good way to do just that. Maybe some photos will even make it onto this blog (ultimate goal is one per day). Here is my photo from today, January 3, 2010

This was taken not far from my house in the late afternoon. I loved the lighting on the fence, and the lines of perspective of the fence and the sidewalk. Here is the Flickr page for this photo.

Thanks for stopping by!