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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dishwater Dreams

Vision of the future, and reality are two very contrasting themes in my life. Dreaming is no problem, but
the reality is usually far less colorful. When I think about the 1960's I remember an explosion of colors.
Colors we had never seen before outside of nature - like fluorescent shades of various primary colors showed up in publishing, and the culture. While experimenting with common tap water and dish soap I found little areas of this explosive color. I set out to capture one of these fleeting intersections of color. Here is one of the intersections, and a 100% crop of a piece of the image. Lets hope our futures become as colorful.

Both of these were shot with a Nikkor 105mm f1.8 ais manual focus lens, and extension tubes.
Click to view a larger versions

Monday, July 20, 2015

Time Travel

A convergence of old...

A couple months ago my mother gave me this pocket watch. Its value is that it belonged to my grandfather; whom I never meet. However, I was born on his birthday and share his first name as my middle name (Paul). Yesterday, I gave the stem a twirl, and the watch leapt to life. The rhythm was amazingly precise, and I thought about how to capture that accuracy. This is a 150 second slice of time as recorded by the watch. Notice the perfect spacing of the minute hand. So, what is the "convergence of old"? Well, first there is the old man that took this image, me. Next, I employed a 35+ year old manual focus Nikkor lens (105mm f4.0 ais micro), and of course the watch itself.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Whimsical Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

 Title: "Chili Fire"
 The expression by David is exactly what I was going for in this humorous image. It is a straight forward shot requiring no Photoshop special effects. Just timing, some preparatory work, and simple lighting.

Photo.net's "Whimsical Photo Contest" guest judge awarded my entry the grand prize a couple weeks ago. The prize is this really cool wireless 2TB portable hard drive. It has a battery that can last up to 20 hours, and a SD slot. The judges' comments can be found HERE as well as the other winning entries.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Road Less Traveled

  Jerry Seinfeld is quoted to have said "Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason". Today, I literally went down a road less traveled by me - 36th street SW. Evidence of the recent economic crash was shockingly apparent. A sky-walk to nowhere.

This sky-walk once led to one of the largest factories in Wyoming Michigan. It filled a city block - probably close to half a square mile of space. For some reason GM (General Motors) left this sky-walk structure in place after completely wiping the ground clean where the factory once stood.

 It seems a gesture kind of like giving the middle finger to the community where thousands toiled to make GM millions of dollars. I can't imagine the number of  lives destroyed by this decision, but it is a very good reminder of the actual stewardship and care that a large corporation has for the local community. There is a reason that some roads are less traveled, and 36th street is now one of them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Monthly Project Win on Photo.net

 In January there was a monthly project on Photo.net that was about DOF (Depth of Field).
I had just acquired a beautiful used Nikkor 105mm f1.8 ais lens off the popular auction site which proved perfect for the project. So, I shot the nearest model available...Charlie.  Here is the lens...

There was a prize for the project, and I used it to purchase a canvas print of my tribute to Vincent Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" - though my version is an antithesis of his sunny bright yellow - live flowers - round vase etc. The unfortunate thing about the tribute is I shot it with another ancient Nikkor - the 35mm f2.0 ai, but I sold it a while back. I wish I had not sold it. I think of lenses as brushes...at least I got to use it a few times. Here is my "Vincent".

 If anyone wants a discount on a canvas print - Canvas Pop does an excellent job. I have a 2' x 5' print in the receptionist area of my studio that I look at everyday. Discount is HERE

Monday, January 26, 2015

Warm Rosemary Herb Bread

provided the inspiration for another food photo award from I Shot It this month. Barb had purchased a delicious Rosemary herb bread, but she improved upon it. Here is the result. This loaf only lasted about 10 hours. BTW Barb also made the bread board. Link to judges comments is below.
Click here to read the judges comments at I Shot It

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Food Award

Had some really tasty biscotti the other day - which is the equivalent to falling off the wagon for a diabetic like me. Usually I can't stand sugary things, because they are so cloyingly sweet. Biscotti with dark chocolate dipped in nice hot black coffee is another matter. The binge only lasted a short while, and I thought that entering an image into a food competition was actually fitting. Well, it must have hit the judge on some level, because he awarded a "mark of excellence" award in "I Shot-It's" latest food competition.

The I Shot-It judge's comments can be found in HERE.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

One redo, and one new

I revisited this ArtPrize installation again, because I wanted to capture the feel, and didn't think I got it last time. This time a little boy gliding around the room with his arms out, and an awestruck couple passionately discussing the piece gave me the context I was looking for.

This scene slapped my face and screamed "shoot me". I almost didn't get my camera up in time, and then it was gone. There is so much going on here - click the photos to see larger versions!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Like seeing an old friend...

Was checking out the art last night in Grand Rapids, and I found an unofficial entry. Sam kindly shot a photo to commemorate the occasion. I think this is my first image at iso 25600...impressive! Found another piece that is also impressive.
I haven't been participating in the art contest the last few years, and it has changed quite a bit. The vibe is different, and some venues don't seem invested in the competition to the same degree as in the past. I will continue to visit additional venues, and art over the next couple weeks.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Couple Awards

I got notice this morning that this photo was given an award of excellence by I Shot It.
With Angus moving out, and Sam becoming more reclusive - the house seems very quiet now-a-days. Nothing like the constant "Will you stop touching me" days of not so long ago. Quiet is nice! Here is a link to the I Shot Competition CLICK HERE


About 5 weeks ago I won another Weekly Assignment at FM with the topic being "Old School" which was conveyed by this image. Angus provided the hand modeling.
Here is a link to the Fred Miranda Weekly Assignment competition. CLICK HERE

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The wing wherewith we fly

When I started this blog the hope had been to write something that had some value. I don't think that has occurred in the way that I had hoped. Shakespeare writes with such an economy of words that span centuries. His words with substance (this blog's slogan) are the inspiration for this photo. The photo is titled "The wing wherewith we fly", but it is merely the heart of the Shakespeare quote: "Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven." Pictured is two of a six volume set of large sized, and illustrated complete works of Shakespeare.