Jacob Rankin: Manipulating the Light and Illuminating the Dark


Jacob’s photography is a snippet into his world and illuminates his curiosity with light and his wacky style. His photos capture what we may wander past every day, but we don't really see what Jacob shows us in his work. Some of his work captures a world around us but shines a tranquil light on a seemingly simple street corner or street sign. His photography is an eclectic collection that began from humble beginnings with a self timer and a camera.

“I was just bored and was living at my parents house on the Gold Coast and I didn't know anyone yet so I was just trying to figure out how the lenses worked and just setting up a self timer and playing around”.

His curiosity with photography grew from National Geographic magazines and movie stills and has since moved to setting himself a challenge to shoot on his phone.

“I just sort of fell into it. I was into like National Geographic when I was a kid I would read National Geographic and just basically bought them for their pictures so that was probably the first time I was like ‘yeah photos are sick’”.

Carrying a massive camera around and shooting landscapes and even people can be somewhat daunting for photographers starting out, so shooting on your phone seems to be a much easier task. “I originally challenged myself to just shoot on my phone because I always thought that carrying a big camera around is a pain in the ass. Its heavy and yeah you sort of know when you first start out you don't want to be walking around putting your camera in people's faces if you're out on the street and stuff like that”.

For a lot pf photographers, lining up the shot and having an idea in mind is the way to go, but more often than not they find the most interesting and natural shots on a whim out on the street. Although some purists may see photography as a raw art form, and it may be that 99% of the time, however being able to enhance an image and even give it a different tone after you’ve shot it will only bring out the action more.

“I think a lot of the time I spend after I've taken the photo because I’ve always been into Photoshop and editing and stuff.... I think I took a class that was just for the purpose of slacking off in high school but I didn't have any expectations of it whatsoever. I just wanted the class that sounded easy with me my mates. As soon as I got in it everything clicked”.

Jacob’s shot’s feature a lot of skill in post production that brings out his unique take on the content of his shots. They bring out the natural hues of colour in each image and bring forward the centre point of each.

“I love to shoot the light. You can do so much with the light alone, it makes a far more dramatic photo and makes it look more like a piece of art.”

Jacob’s design skills on Photoshop have brought him to designing the graphics for a small clothing company called Goofball Friends Club. His endeavour in the clothing industry stemmed from the need for more inclusive clothing and they support local printing businesses in Brisbane.

“I wanted a Sportsgirl shirt that the employees wore and they didn't have any men's sizes. I liked the colours and I was like fuck it, fine I'll print it myself. Then I was like oh this is easy I'll just find a supplier and make them… I just started going into shops, especially H&M and larger retailers, because it's just a cool design on a piece of very shit fabric”.

“I try not to make it about money. When I think of a cool shirt, I'll just make one. I support a local business over the other side of town. Help them out and they’re just a Corporate T-shirt printing business but basically all the money goes to them. So I'm proud about that”.

Over the Christmas period Jacob is shooting his first portrait shoot and taking his style in a different direction. His work is definitely something to keep an eye out for and his nostalgic 1990’s designs with Goofball Friends Club would be a great last minute Christmas gift.


Check out Jacob’s photography in our gallery!