Dominique James, Photographer

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Go West …

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USS Hornet (Photo by Dominique James)

USS Hornet (Photo by Dominique James)

I knew right away that I’d be staking a place in New York City when I moved to the United States in the fall of 2007. Part of the thrill of being an immigrant, of starting all over again, is that you can be who you want to be. I decided I want to be a New Yorker. At least, that was my plan.

But as you only all-too-well know, plans have a way of not happening as, well, planned.

Though I did live in New York for the better part of 5 years, I actually ended up traveling to many different places all over the continental United States. I traveled by plane, by train, by car, by boat, by bus.

Where did I go? Mostly, I went to places where I knew someone. Filipinos, after all, are really all over, in the US and in the world. With that as my sort-of-guide, off I went merrily gallivanting from place to place, spanning sea to shining sea.

The great state of California, which has the largest geographic concentration of Filipinos in the United States, happened to be one of those places. With a Filipino population of about 1.5 million (according to a 2010 census), it’s not entirely impossible for a Filipino American such as myself not to know someone.

And yes, it so happen that I know someone from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and actually, in most every where else in California—friends, associates, relations even! And along the way, I met even more Filipinos. (Filipinos love to get-together, to hang-out, and to party!)

I have so far traveled to California more than 3 times (one reason or the other), and I intend to keep going back every chance I get. In my trips, I’ve somewhat randomly snapped pictures of places where I’ve been to. I never had a firm photographic plan (not sure if I should regret this, remember what happens to plans?) or theme, for all the places I’ve gone to so far in California, that’s why my collection of pictures look eclectic at best. There’s really no storyline there if you’re looking for one, but rest assured, there’s a Filipino there, somewhere where I went. And  yes, I’ve got the pictures to prove it.

Come, take a look at my collection of West Coast photographs at http://bit.ly/1soVY2r

[Note: All photos from the official http://www.dominiquejames.com photography website are now directly available for download and print order for personal, editorial, and commercial use.]

Camera & Lens Review: Pentax K-30

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Derrick Story, TechHive:

Pentax has created an ecosystem of rugged, weather-resistant DSLRs and lenses. The new Pentax K-30 fills a particular niche, as an affordable, versatile camera that you can take just about anywhere. With its weather-sealed, dustproof, coldproof construction, you might actually wait until the rain starts before you go outside to take pictures.

Written by dominiquejames

December 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Ram, a New York model’s portfolio

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Ram • Portfolio

The main title page of Ram's New York fashion portfolio available for viewing online.

I enjoy working with professional fashion models. I love the idea of creating all sorts of interesting looks. It’s hard work for sure, but at the same time it’s undeniably pure play. Working with a expert team of innovative and professional hair and makeup artists, fashion stylists and some of the fashion designers themselves, the whole process has been a thrill. It is all about bringing imaginative fantasies to visually believable and oddly compelling realities.

I particularly had a blast shooting Ram, one of Ford New York’s prominent Asian male models. In this portfolio, we recently created all sorts of looks, from casual to formal, with the multifaceted Big Apple as the grand backdrop. Take a look at Ram’s complete 50-photo NYC fashion portfolio set. Click here.

Free Hi-Res Photo Download: Lower Manhattan Skyline of New York City

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Free Hi-Res Photo Download: Lower Manhattan Skyline

This is a sweeping view of lower Manhattan's skyline.

This photo that I took shows the grand and sweeping view of a major portion of the Lower Manhattan in New York City. It also shows a little bit of Jersey City in New Jersey, the Hudson River, and at a distance, a tiny view of the iconic Statue of Liberty and the historic Ellis Island.

Download now for free (from this link) the high-resolution JPEG image file (11.41 MB) of the Lower Manhattan Skyline of New York City. You have full, non-exclusive, and perpetual license to the use of this image. The usage license is unrestricted and unlimited in any way for educational, commercial, personal and all other purposes. Please feel free to use, modify, crop, edit, alter, resize, and/or combine this image with graphic designs, objects, materials, other photos, and all other elements. There is no restrictions, limitations or conditions on the download and use of this image. Get this image now and tell others about it.

[Photographed by Dominique James. To get and collect fine art photo prints, visit  the Dominique James Zatista Store. For more information, send email to dominiquejames@mac.com.]

In pursuit of …

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On Golden Pond, a fine art photograph by Dominique James

"On Golden Pond," a fine art photograph by Dominique James featured in Zatista.

DOMINIQUE JAMES

Every now and then, as I sometimes foray aimlessly into the endless wilderness that is the Internet, I stumble upon gems that serves to enrich my experience as a photographer and as a visual artist. I’m sure my experience is not unique.

What with the incredible wealth of information all around, it is hard to imagine anyone in today’s world living a sustained creative life in a vacuum. However, I can still say that the way I go through the morass of materials, the meandering path that I take, the serendipitous nature of my discoveries, the mental coagulation that takes place and whenever things fall into place, are all uniquely mine.

Creativity, like most everything in life, must be nourished and nurtured in order to grow. And what with the Internet’s big pipes, among other things, we are mercilessly subjected by the strong currents of great swirling forces of creative influences all around us—all the time. There’s almost no way of turning it off.

About the only reasonable thing we can do with the deluge of information is to allow ourselves to open up to the countless bits that scurry along and pluck upon those which we feel matters the most. It’s almost like picking the pieces of huge puzzles floating aimlessly all around in a huge vat of information pool.

So, we build our lives today by bits and bytes, actually just like for the most of our past, but in a more intensely interesting way than ever before.

[Note: To view some interesting results of the visual, and sometimes philosophical, mish-mash of such “influences,” visit the Dominique James online gallery of fine art photographs over at Zatista. Thank you.]

Free Download: The Statue Of Liberty

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The Statue Of Liberty

The Statue Of Liberty

BY DOMINIQUE JAMES

The Statue of Liberty is a universal symbol of freedom. It is a beacon of hope to countless people from all over the world—including myself. When I moved to New York three years ago, it was one of the first things I wanted to see. But as I went about my new life, I would only be afforded, from time to time, a very distant glimpse of her. It wasn’t until recently that I finally got the chance to see her up close. She is every bit as magnificent and as inspiring as I thought her to be.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Lady Liberty:

“The Statue of Liberty (French: Statue de la Liberté), officially titled Liberty Enlightening the World (French: la Liberté éclairant le monde), dedicated on October 28, 1886, is a monument commemorating the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, given to the United States by the people of France to represent the friendship between the two countries established during the American Revolution. It represents a woman wearing a stola, a radiant crown and sandals, trampling a broken chain, carrying a torch in her raised right hand and a tabula ansata, where the date of the Declaration of Independence JULY IV MDCCLXXVI is inscribed, in her left arm. Standing on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, it welcomes visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans traveling by ship. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue and obtained a U.S. patent for its structure. Maurice Koechlin—chief engineer of Gustave Eiffel’s engineering company and designer of the Eiffel Tower—engineered the internal structure. The pedestal was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper in the statue’s construction, and for the adoption of the repoussé technique, where a malleable metal is hammered on the reverse side. The statue is made of a sheathing of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf (originally made of copper and later altered to hold glass panes). It stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is 151 ft (46 m) tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is 305 ft (93 m) tall. The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world, and of the United States. For many years it was one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants and visitors after ocean voyages from around the world.”

On my visit to Liberty Island, I took many pictures of Lady Liberty. I didn’t really know what to do with all the pictures I shot, until I thought it makes perfect sense to just give one away for free.

So, as a way of saying thank you to the readers and followers of this blog, I’m giving away a free high-quality, high-resolution, full-color image of the Statue of Liberty. This is the first time that I am giving away a professionally-created photograph. You can download this high quality, un-watermarked picture in full 7. 57 MB JPEG image file right now from my Flickr gallery. Just click here and download the largest file size available. You can do whatever you want to do with this photo. I impose no restriction whatsoever. As they say, you can get it with “no strings attached.” You can use this picture for whatever purpose—personal, educational, and even commercial. It’s nice if you can credit me as the photographer, and if you can provide a link, but that’s something I’m not requiring you to do. This is the first of many more free images I’m planning to give away. To find out when I’ll be giving the next free photo image, follow me on Facebook or Twitter. And, if you want to check out what other kind of free images I might be giving away, visit my fine art photo print collection over at Zatista.

Thanks, and do tell all your friends to come over and download this professional quality Statue of Liberty photo image file for free!

At last, now available at Getty and Zatista

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Photographed by Dominique James. Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.

BY DOMINIQUE JAMES

Armed with an array of some of the latest and the greatest ever-evolving digital tools I can lay my hands on, I’ve been posting my photographs on the Internet since the digital revolution got on its earnest way. I must admit that there’s a certain kind of thrill in showing off all sorts of pictures online to the point that sharing photos can quickly calcify into a habit, one that I can see myself happily doing for a very long time to come—something that someone who may be so inclined to look will be happy about.

Through the years, the world has seen a proliferation of amazing online photo-sharing platforms, some of which I’ve had the opportunity to use in showing my pictures. I’ve tried many thus far and I’m most certainly game to the idea of trying out whatever new ones come along. As a matter of fact, I think it is always a good thing to keep finding out new ways of sharing photos online. Whenever something good comes along, I’d most likely be one of the first to give it a shot. This allows me not only to discover different styles of showing pictures online, but also to find out more interesting ways to engage my viewers. While there have been a lot of photo sharing trials and experiments that did not work out for me and for my audience, there are a few that, to this day, I’m still using. The most enduring ongoing web-based photo sharing site that I’m still using to this day is something that I’ve started more than 10 years ago. And the newest is something that I started just months ago.

Most professional photographers like myself, which is probably also true for the countless amateur photographers, would most likely prefer to just have a single place online to put up all the pictures all the time. The goal would have to be a single, magnificent online presence. That would be really tidy. It would simplify a lot of things. And it would be the ideal. But nowadays, a single online presence just seems impossible, and impractical. From day to day, photographer or not, pro or not, we now all make all sorts of pictures that we want to throw up and out there that just wouldn’t fit into a single online presence.

There’s our family snapshots, party pictures of friends, photos of commercial work, and fine art photographs. Each one of these is different from the other, intended for very targeted audiences and for very specific purposes. If I try to bunch everything up in a single place online, hoping to appeal to a very broad everybody, I’d sooner than later turn off every single one. The best approach is to apply the old slice-and-dice trick and then pray hard to keep things neatly organized. Put one type of photos here, another type over there, and another one over there, and then, keep the distinction clean and clear. Things have a way of getting messy as the days, weeks, months and years roll on. Images have a way of crossing over into places where they shouldn’t be, and we have to be forever vigilant to keep things in place year after year. It’s a little difficult at first, but once you get the rules right, and the habit going, it gets easier.

Since I’ve been sharing photos on the Internet for a very long time now and for so many different intended reasons, I’ve happily somewhat become at least more consistent in socking photos in all the right online niches. I’ve managed to cobble together some sort of systematic way when it comes to uploading everything in a fairly organized manner. So far, so good. But as I survey the online landscape of my handiwork, I discovered a gaping void—one thing I’ve never really addressed throughout the years of photo sharing—and that is, to offer easy access to anyone online to get to my photographs. For the longest time, I was happy enough to just show everyone who’d care to look at what I’ve been doing. But, through the years, I’ve been asked quite a few times how anyone can actually buy my pictures. I’ve thought about this for some time, and I think I was able to work out a solution.

Beginning just a few months ago, since I decided to make it easy for anyone to get my pictures. I did two things—first, to make my pictures available as downloadable stock photos, and second, to make the pictures also available as a fine art photo print.

In making the photos available as downloadable high-res image files basically for commercial, editorial and other uses, the first step I took was to survey the myriad of online stock photography agencies and choose which one to latch on to. Luckily, at about that time, I received an offer to sign up with Getty Images. So now, if you have a need for commercially available thematic stock photographs for your advertising campaigns or for editorial use (and even for personal use), you can now easily get and download my stock photographs via Getty Images.

After that was all set, I went to work on the second step, which is to find a site that will facilitate the easy availability to my limited-edition, signed and numbered fine art photographic prints. There are many out there that offers all sorts of solutions that will allow me to do this. And in looking both far and near for one that fits my needs, I’ve decided to go with Zatista. Once I’ve signed up and was confirmed, I initially opened a secure Zatista storefront with a few recent black-and-white photographs. A few days later, I decided to quickly add color photographs as well. These pictures are from my New York City photo series. And, more will be added soon.

How has it been so far? Looks like I’m all set with both Getty and Zatista. The feedback I’ve received, and the sales I’ve made, have been tremendously encouraging. I’m happy that I am connecting with more and more people who are finding me and my photographs online through Getty and Zatista.

So, if you are looking for readily-available and downloadable high-resolution digital image files for commercial, advertising and editorial use, look me up at Getty. And if you want to hang original contemporary photographic art in your homes and offices, check out my offerings at Zatista. (Hey, you can even send someone my photographs as a gift!) And, of course, I still accept commissioned assignments.

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