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.

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.


https://issuu.com/art_beyond/docs/art_beyond_special_digital_art_2014/32?e=0

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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Seattle Center Double Feature

There are two installations within the Chihuly exhibit at the Seattle Center. You really should go and experience it in person. Here is a teaser for Chihuly's absolute mastery of glass making from a room full of bowls...
 
 I thought I would post some images from the Seattle Center Chihuly installation since they are allowing photography, and I did want to encourage people to go see it for two reasons. Chihuly glass is like the Fuji Velvia of the photography world. The colors are simply amazing. Here is just a part of the ceiling of one room...
The amazing artwork continues for room after room until you are outside, and then it continues outside as well. This is a massive installation.  I talked to some of the cleaning crew about the many hours that are spent each and every night (approximately 5 hours) cleaning and polishing this exhibit. Some pieces are literally the size of a tree...
But, there is another incredible photography related treasure at the exhibit. In the very first Chihuly room, on the right hand wall as you enter...is what appears to be volume nine of Edward Curtis's "North American Indian" photos cut into individual prints covering the entire wall  with about 50 or 60+ photos.
Edward Curtis had the foresight to photograph many disappearing tribes, cultures, and other native American ceremonies. He even made thousands of audio recordings. It is probably the most epic and thorough photographic anthropological record of any culture ever undertaken. There were only about 250 of the 20 volume sets ever created with approximately 2100 total images published. Curtis' life's work spanned 30 years, and ultimately cost him his marriage. There is a great documentary about him on Netflix called "Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians". That I would highly recommend watching. Anyway, to actually see one of these volumes was simply amazing, and very unexpected. Additionally, there were dozens of native American blankets, and exquisitely woven baskets.

I witnessed the rapt awe in a child's face while there - as she drank in a hanging Chihuly work from her stroller. His artwork hits at a very basic level that even a toddler can appreciate.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Shot It Food Photo WIN!

It was a little less than a month ago that one of my photos won a  "Mark of Excellence Award" in a I Shot It competition. This morning, another entry of mine won the "Food Photo Competition 2013 No 2" contest. This time there was cash and prizes...YEAH! Here is the winning photo.


Judge Duncan MacArthur's Comments

Beautiful warm colours, tones and shapes, the gas flame and the pot in the
background all make this scene so real. An everyday subject from everybody's
kitchen, beautifully composed and so simple. Great food shot and this round's
worthy winner. Congratulations !

my response...
My name is James Markus from James Markus Photography, and Photomatter.com located in Michigan. What a wonderful surprise - thank you.  Judge Duncan MacArthur's comments are spot on.  It was about colour, tones, and shapes. It is "real", because that was my breakfast cooking there.  I shot it in my kitchen. Camera was the Nikon D800 in manual mode. Lens was a manual focus 28mm Nikkor f2.8 ais.  Royalty free licenses, products, and prints are available in my "Food" gallery... (See Link Below)...Thanks again!

My Stock Photo Galleries
markus.photoshelter.com/gallery-list

I Shot It Competition Link
http://www.i-shot-it.com/competition.php?id=51e47026ad2ef

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Phoebe comes home

I picked up Phoebe from the vet today. She got spayed. When I got home she wouldn't let me out of her sight. At one point she balanced on my left foot with three of her feet...closed her eyes and purred for 10 minutes (I didn't dare move). I decided to take her to work with me. Phoebe immediately took up postion between me and the computer monitor.

She chased the cursor, walked on the keyboard, stole cough drops, rubber bands, my lunch, and laid on my mouse hand. All day she was my shadow, and very little work got done. She needed this contact with me at all times, and she never stopped purring.
We all are happy to have Phoebe home sporting her shaved belly, and new tattoo.