About Photomatter Blog

Photomatter Blog is an extension of Photomatter.com's Photography web site featuring photos by James Markus. The blog will focus on photography, business practices, equipment, new photographic creations, important photographic news/information, recent work, and my occasional posts.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

In a New Groove

The transition to a home based business has gone better than I expected. This has been my busiest July ever, and I really like the different atmosphere. Today I finally had time to refresh my web site. I put a fresh 90 images on the home page, and a new awards page. Check it out!

Photomatter (my web site)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Enjoying the details

Sometimes all you have to do is look to find aesthetically pleasing things. Here is a small sampling of a walk around the perimeter of the cabin up north.

There are seven more from this series, and you can see them all here


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stitchin' Seattle

I enjoy making panorama's, but a really enjoyable horizon makes them so much better. During a recent visit to Madison Washington (a suburb of Seattle) I pressed into service an old 500mm Reflex-Nikkor - C f8 lens from the early 1980's. It's a catadioptric lens design which is brilliantly small, and light. Though it lacks contrast, and can produce weird dough nut shaped highlights - it completely lacks any chromatic aberration. The above image is 24 vertical images stitched together and it is sized from it's 40,000 + pixel size down to 2000 pixels. Even 60 miles away, Mount Rainier dwarfs lake Washington in the foreground.

This nine vertical image stitch shows the new lake Washington bridge being constructed. It is suppose to be finished by 2016, and I believe they intended to just sink the floating portion of the bridge in the foreground of the above panorama. Click either photo to see a larger version.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Art & Beyond

A friend let me know about a trade magazine (Art and Beyond) that is exclusively distributed to art galleries, museums and art institutions. They have an annual "Special Digital Art and Photography" issue, and they held a competition to be a featured artist. I got word in early March that I was one of the featured artists selected to be in the magazine (page 21). The link below is to an online version of the magazine. (I'm ordering some hard copies)  However, you can see my entries (above) and those of the other 15 featured artist in this link. I would suggest you make it full screen to see it better.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

FM Monthly Assignment Win - Theme Antique

Had another win in Fred Miranda's monthly assignment (#118). The topic was antique - the top five finishers can be found HERE
I've had 16 wins doing these "Assignments" on FM. (Which you can see here)  However, some of my favorite images only made it to second place (19 times), or even third place (18 times). But, the best thing about these "Assignments" is getting out there shooting, and doing your best to convey the topic. It sharpens your skill, and the reward is another likely keeper for your portfolio.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FM Weekly Assignment Win - Theme Electricity

Had a win in Fred Miranda's weekly assignment (#597) - after a long dry spell. The topic was electricity - the top five finishers can be found HERE.

Titled: "The Human Touch"

Fred Miranda's web site (Linked HERE) is one of the most aesthetically pleasing photo sites on the web. There are resources for photographic information, and encouragement in the forums and other areas of the site. Over the years I have participated in both the weekly and monthly assignments to motivate me to continue to hone my skills. I believe participating in these assignments can help anyone; and gets you out shooting photos and thinking about ways to convey it visually. Try it!

The image is available in my conceptual gallery for prints, products, and commercial publishing HERE.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Children Photo Contest "Award of Excellence"

I just received notice that another photo of mine received I Shot It's Mark of Excellence award. However, it is not the whole story. I was imaging some photos from a family event in which Sam went from happy to not so happy in a short period of time. I liked both images, and entered them in the contest.

I Shot It Judge Lisa Alessandra Kutzelnig's comments about the awarded photo.

ohhh, these eyes and the expression on his face! In German you would call him a "Lausbub" (a little rascal). A good portrait should transfer emotions and reflect the character and thats what is does! I like his cheeky facial expression and also the way you cropped it.

 Apparently happy wins, but I still like the second image as well!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Style Photo Contest Win @ Photo.net

This photo co-won (tied for first) in Photo.net's Style Photo Contest out of 131 entries. 
However, there is more to the story. This dress was made by my mother in the 1940's. It is an emerald green silk with a yellow silk liner. The hat and gloves are also from my mother, and date from the same period. The necklace and earrings are genuine emeralds. The contest info on Photo.net's site is located HERE.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Leica February Surprise

Earlier this month a mysterious box appeared in my garage. It didn't have the usual markings or labels, but I noticed it was from Germany, and it mentioned I Shot It. When I opened the box - inside was a brand new model of Leica, that was introduced in late October 2013 - the Leica C. I had selected the Dark Rose finish for my I Shot It Food competition winning photo, and promptly forgot all about it. After using it a bit, I must say, it takes really good photos, and has some surprising features - besides looking good. Here it is...

A week later a bill came from the US mail carrier for US Customs, and some other fee. But I am not complaining!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

FREE Concert tonight

Scenes from Sunday's Open House...
There was a wonderful community turn out for Jenison's new art center Sunday December 1st. The space has to be seen in person to truly appreciate the wonderful design. But here are some teaser photos...
 So, come tonight at 7:30pm (earlier for better seat selection) and hear Jenison's first music concert, and performing arts in their new facility.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jenison Center for the Arts

It is really heart warming to see my community invest in the arts. Jenison has been hit extremely hard by the 2008 economic crash, but I couldn't agree more with the priorities the community decided a short while ago in a bond issue to invest in the schools infrastructure, and the arts. The project was funded by a combination of voter-approved bond, state, and federal money. The arts center has a 1200 seat auditorium, a costume and scene-building area, school administrative offices, and event or convention space.
 In just a few days the center will be open, and in use for the Jenison High School music programs, performing arts, art, and it has been reported that Meijer Gardens has entered into a partnership to display some contemporary art in the facility.
 Jenison doesn’t really have a defined downtown area. However, Tom TenBrink,  Jenison Public Schools superintendent, said that he hopes the performing arts facility will be a center of activity for the area, and help revitalize community. He was also quoted as saying..."This was one of our glaring needs, not only in the school district but in the community. For years, we’ve had to rent space from area churches for our theater and music programming. Our students deserve better.”
 The center is booked with school groups through May 2014, after which the door is wide open for programming. There is an sneak peak Sunday December 1st 2-5pm, and a Ribbon Cutting + Open House on December 2nd 6:30-9pm

Monday, November 11, 2013

Landscape "Mark of Excellence" award from I Shot It

I received this morning a notice that I had won another "Mark of Excellence" award from the web site I Shot It. It was almost a year ago that I decided to shoot on my way to the studio, because of the fog.
 Here is the awarded landscape photo.
Judge Duncan MacArthur wrote..."Nice country scene taken in foggy monotone conditions. The road leads a strong line to the tree and the sun through the fog completes the game of shapes. I expect this was a spontaneous shot… Well spotted, composed and executed. Well done, one of my favourites.

You can see the awarded photos at this link HERE.