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.

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.

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!