Archive of Scott Loftesness

Scott Loftesness has lived in Menlo Park for over 15 years and is a big fan of most things Menlo. By day, he’s a payments strategy consultant at Glenbrook Partners (on Alma St. across from the Menlo Park Caltrain station). Most days, he frequents Cafe Borrone for either breakfast or lunch – and works out down the block at Axis when he can. During their morning walks together, Scott learned a tremendous amount about photography from the late Chris Gulker– especially about the power of black and white! You can find Scott's personal blog at http://sjl.us and follow him on Twitter as @sjl.

Scott has written 143 article(s) for InMenlo.


A few months back I upgraded to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max primarily for its new camera system. The new system includes three separate cameras and lenses which provide three different focal lengths. Apple calls them wide, ultra wide and telephoto.

Note: It’s ironic with today’s technology that this small handheld device includes three whole cameras and lenses unlike a more traditional camera where a camera body can accommodate different lenses. With the iPhone you get three whole cameras with their lenses.

Last night we attended a holiday event at Filoli in Woodside which began at 4:00 pm and continued into the evening. Filoli is all decked out in holiday lights and trimmings this time of year and, for us, this was the first time we’ve seen it in all its splendor in the evening.

After darkness fell, I had the opportunity to try out night mode on the iPhone 11 Pro with excellent results. When the camera needs to use night mode it switches automatically into that mode and displays a small counter on the screen which tells how long you should try to hold the camera steady which it takes and combines multiple shots behind the scenes into the final image. It’s pretty amazing how well it works and, in typical Apple fashion, how easy it is to make great nighttime images.

Top image is an example taken of the main house at Filoli.

Included also are  a couple of other examples straight out of the camera that were taken earlier in the evening before the camera needed to switch into night mode.

Scott Loftesness is InMenlo co-founder.

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Learning the “Language of Black and White” photography at a workshop in Santa Fe

I’m just back from a weeklong workshop titled “The Language of Black and White” held at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. Taught by Cira Crowell, the week involved a deep dive into the key aspects of black and white photography — a genre that I’ve come to appreciate and enjoy very much. Cira (@ciracrowell) is […]

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Capturing street scenes of Japan with an iPhone

I recently traveled to Japan, visiting two of that countries great cities: Tokyo and Kyoto. As an avid street photographer, I was looking forward to hitting the streets with my usual camera gear — Fujifilm mirrorless cameras. Over the last five years, I’ve been fortunate to visit many cities with this gear and have come […]

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Pumpkin Time

It’s that time of the year when pumpkins start to show up everywhere. We’re still a ways away from Halloween but the orange cousin in the squash family provides an annual reminder of the trick or treats coming soon! This weekend the Palo Alto Arts Center held its annual Great Glass Pumpkin Patch festival. This […]

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Exploring San Francisco’s Embarcadero with my iPhone

I often meet up with my friend Doug Kaye for a couple of hours of street photography in San Francisco. We often meet  at San Francisco’s Ferry Building and head out from there along San Francisco’s Embarcadero towards Pier 24 (which is directly under where the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge heads out over the Bay). […]

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Capture winter scenes of Yosemite easily on an iPhone

On a visit to Yosemite last week, I had some good photography fun. While I had packed my “big” camera (a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with an 18-55 mm zoom lens), it stayed in my camera bag the whole time we were there. I opted instead to go “nimble” and to take photos exclusively with the camera in […]

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Everyone loves a parade – especially when it features a slew of old fire trucks

Earlier today, the Menlo Park Fire District celebrated its 100th anniversary with a parade down Menlo Park’s Santa Cruz Avenue. Under cloudy skies, families were out in force with their kids to watch and wave to the firemen as they paraded and drove a great assortment of both historical and current fire fighting equipment. I […]

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Wandering the cobblestone streets of Rome with camera in hand

In April, I was in Rome participating in a street photography workshop led by Valérie Jardin. It was a very special week with a great group of photographers from Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. The week in Rome was my third workshop with Valérie, having first joined her in the fall of 2014 in Paris and […]

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Walking the streets of downtown Menlo Park with camera in hand

Photographer Jay Maisel tells us to “go out empty” when we walk out to make pictures. Last Saturday morning I did just that as I grabbed my camera on a morning of intermittent showers/rain and sunshine. I was helping my spouse run an errand where I’d have an hour or so of downtime. I thought this would […]

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San Francisco Streets – An Evolution in Personal Style

My interest in photography was rekindled a number of years ago when I bought a Canon Digital SLR and a couple of lenses. That first DSLR was a Canon 30D and it served me well. As often happens with a new hobby, I went in “whole hog” – buying lots more gear along with taking […]

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Classic Color and Cars at the M-A Classic Car Show

I stopped by the Classic Car Show held Saturday at Menlo-Atherton High School, an annual benefit event for the high school’s baseball teams. Lots of beautiful old cars (and drivers!) in attendance again this year. I snapped a handful of photos while taking a walk through the display – shooting with my Fujifilm X100T rangefinder camera […]

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