Dominique James, Photographer

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The blue of distance …

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Airscape #2

Airscape #2 • Photography by Dominique James

Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide To Being Lost:

The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.

For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains.

Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world.

I’m very pleased to share with you, these—come, take a look at a set of 22 photographs I call “Airscapes” at http://bit.ly/1neW8XU.

Also, if you aren’t subscribed yet, please consider signing up (and invite others to sign up as well) to my free short-and-sweet monthly photography email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/QBGCv. Thanks!

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

Thank you!

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Dominique James Photography

Dear, dear friends! Thank you, and a very warm welcome, to all new subscribers to my photography email newsletter. I truly appreciate your support.

You can expect the upcoming newsletter very soon. I hope you’ll like the pictures that I’m very excited to be sharing with you all.

To those who haven’t subscribed yet to my personally handcrafted newsletter, you can still sign up at http://eepurl.com/QBGCv. It won’t take a minute. Also, please feel free to ask others who might be interested to subscribe as well.

And, to make sure you see both new and previously unpublished photo collections, please visit my photography website at www.dominiquejames.com.

As always, I’d love to hear from you; email me at dominiquejames@mac.com.

Again, to both new and current subscribers, thank you! You guys are awesome!

An invitation …

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Dominique James Photography

Hello! I am pleased to invite you to subscribe to my photography email newsletter.

It’s a brief, no-fuss personally handcrafted newsletter that you’ll get once or twice a month. It features one picture and one very short paragraph.

Please sign up at http://eepurl.com/QBGCv if you aren’t subscribed already. It won’t take a minute—you’ll then receive a confirmation, and you’re done. Also, please feel free to ask others who might be interested to subscribe as well. Rest assured that I take privacy of subscribers very seriously, and there’s always an option to unsubscribe any time.

This photography email newsletter is my way of reaching out to you. I’m excited to be able to share new and previously unpublished pictures from my personal and professional body of photographic works that’s going to be showcased on my photography website at www.dominiquejames.com. I hope you are excited as I am with my growing and evolving collection of fine art, editorial and commercial photographs.

As always, I welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. Feel free to email me at dominiquejames@mac.com. I read and reply to all. Thanks!

30474

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30474

Gazebo By The Lake

In the fall of 2007, I migrated to the United States from the Philippines. I moved in with my family in the small town of Vidalia in Georgia.

My stay in Vidalia lasted only a couple of months. I went on to travel to several other American cities in both the East and the West coasts. Eventually, I settled in New York City.

By way of Interstate 16, Vidalia is nestled somewhere midway between Atlanta and Savannah, approximately three and two-hour drive each opposite way.

Vidalia’s zip code is 30474. It is one of two assigned to this somewhat sleepy American southern municipality. If you must know, the other is 30475.

Vidalia, the principal and largest city of a micropolitan area (as opposed to metropolitan area) in Toombs and Montgomery county, has a population of 10,971 living in a total land area of 17.4 square miles—that’s according to the year 2000 census, the latest available. It is serviced by one Wal-Mart superstore, open 24 hours, in a location rumored to be where the first sweet Vidalia onions were grown.

Yes, if there is one thing Vidalia is famous for, and appropriately recognized by the food channel and the cooking network, it is the sweet white onion. Vidalia’s sweet white onion is in fact guaranteed by an official trademark. From historical accounts, we have farmer Mose Coleman to thank for, who in the early 1930s, made the observation that the white onions he was growing in Vidalia was much sweeter than any grown elsewhere.

Each spring, around mid-April, in honor of Coleman’s discovery, the annual Vidalia Onion Festival is celebrated. This year, it will be its 37th—with a parade, a rock concert, a cooking contest, and several other onion-themed activities—all in sweet anticipation of the bountiful harvest of the state’s official vegetable. Of course, Vidalia is also very well known for pecan and tobacco, but somehow these two other crops have been eclipsed in popularity by the incredible sweetness of its white onions.

Compared to a lot of other American cities and towns, there isn’t that many pictures of Vidalia, and the ones that you will most likely come across are typically of obscure historical nature. Very, very few, if any at all, are pictures of contemporary Vidalia. It’s as if people just didn’t bother enough to take any picture at all for quite some time. There is a palpable gap.

And so, after returning from New York City where I lived for almost 4 years, I decided to undertake a personal project: to take pictures of Vidalia. I went around a few days merrily snapping away with a pocketable Leica, all the while doing my best to ignore the often curious stares of locals peering out of trucks, perhaps baffled by what it is exactly I’m doing, pointing and shooting at all directions and all angles. In any case, my primary goal was to give Vidalia its cache of contemporary images.

From this, I was able to produce a modest collection of color images of present-day Vidalia, my personal photographic ode to a city so named by Central of Georgia’s president, William M. Wadley, at the time when the town was first founded in the 1880s, in honor of his daughter, Vidalia Wadley.

The resulting collection of Vidalia photographs from my little excursion is by no means exhaustive. I don’t even have a picture of onions! There’s more to Vidalia than a few days worth of photo go-arounds in a single season by a single camera-toting individual. What I came up with is a glimpse of what and who she is. I’ve managed to capture only a facet, so to speak. Hopefully, Vidalia residents and visitors alike with cameras will be inspired to follow suit and take pictures in order to come up with a bigger, more complete picture. For sure, and in time, many fascinating, intriguing things will be revealed.

There is one song you may have never heard of that pays tribute to Vidalia—the city, not the daughter—a 1996 song by Sammy Kershaw entitled, what else but, Vidalia.

Hopefully, though not musical by any means like Kershaw’s tribute, but through a visual essay, I am able to pay tribute to Vidalia as well.

So, come and take a look at my pictures of Vidalia, here.

[Note: All photos from the Dominique James Photography website are now available for download and print order for personal, editorial, and commercial use.]

To receive, and also to give …

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This is an unabashed open letter of appreciation, a love letter if you will, to my online friends:

You, my online friends, many of whom I happen to personally know offline, are truly, truly amazing! You make me want to always hit up Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of digital social spaces where you and I are connected.

Despite what many might consider to be a magnificent waste of time going through endless posts, the next best thing to actually being around friends like you is to go through what you share online.

I really do take the time to look at your posts. I marvel at them. I am always eager to read your status updates, to see your pictures and to watch your videos. I enjoy finding out about the extraordinary things you’re doing, the wonderful places you went to, the interesting stuff you bought, the cool fashion you wore, the amazing food you ate, the thirst-quenching beverages you drank, the myriad of emotions you felt, the ideas you espouse or debate, and in between, all the other fascinating posts you re-share. I become one with you—in the joys of your celebrations, in the triumphs of your accomplishments, in the agony of your defeats, and in the pangs of your sorrows; in the wistful throwbacks of your yesterdays, in the measured, descriptive states of your todays, in the bright multicolored hopes of your tomorrows. Though separated by distance and time, and even if only through the prism of your selective online narratives, I do appreciate your in trust me, enough to be shared with, encompassed in your cultivated online circle. I marvel whenever you freely share whatever about you.

Because I am inspired by your thoughtful sharing, in turn I want to do the same. As you have shared, I too, want to share.

For quite some time now, I’ve been privileged to have been able to show you some of my pictures, among other things, and I can only hope to show and share more.

The way I see it, each picture I put up encapsulates a facet of my experiences too. I’m sharing my pictures because I feel it’s the best I know how to do online. I’m not good at jokes. I’m not good at memes. I’m not good at much of most other stuff. But I’m really all about pictures, and I hope you like them.

And so, for all the sharing that’s going on all around, from you to me and from me to you, I thank you!

P.S. I now share pictures mostly at http://www.dominiquejames.com, and I announce new stuff through my newsletter at http://eepurl.com/PPYpT.

Written by dominiquejames

March 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Homeless, no more …

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Screenshot 2014-02-28 10.50.45

For a longest time, my pictures online can be seen here, there and everywhere, but in fact, nowhere. I can point you a link here, there and everywhere, but where to really look can get really very confusing, really very fast.

The way it’s been going on, and the way I’ve been carrying on, you can say that I’ve been squatting online in too many places for far too long.

Of course, I’ve always wanted to have one of those incredibly beautiful, professional-looking online photography websites that many famous photographers have, where you can go and see all of my pictures. And believe me, it’s not because for the lack of trying. I tried it this way and that way, and then another way. But it just didn’t happen quite like I wanted it to.

I’ve known all along since early 2008, when I was living in New York City, that there is this one perfectly elegant way for me to do it.

The very first time (and the only time) I attended a group meeting of a small, special-interest photo club in New York that I was thinking of joining in the fall of 2008, Allen Murabayashi happened to be the guest speaker. He gave a talk about the best way for a professional photographer to establish an online presence. Yes, he was pitching PhotoShelter, of which he is the co-founder and chairman, but everything he said made very apparent sense to me. His talk definitely resonated with me, and I must have decided more than a hundred times thereafter that I’m going to go with PhotoShelter. Of course, it helped that Allen was so good-looking in his freshly-pressed white shirt when he delivered his talk.

I don’t know how many of the dozen or so people listening to Allen that afternoon signed up with PhotoShelter’s service, but I did sign up, and I did try their 14-day free offer. However, I didn’t follow through. Somehow, I was skeptical and hesitant, and I resisted the idea for as long as I can. I was always coming up with excuses, which was (thinking about it now), unnecessary and senseless. But all those times, through several photo projects and a number of photo industry events where PhotoShelter was represented, from New York to Atlanta, I never stopped thinking and considering an online presence with PhotoShelter.

In fact, I went on to constantly compare PhotoShelter with the many other online offerings of doing the same thing; and the more I did, the more I was convinced that going with PhotoShelter was not only the right way, but it was the best way. Always, and in comparison, all the other services fell short.

And so, about 5 years down the road, fast-forward to today, I told myself, enough of putting up pictures here, there and everywhere, but instead put everything together already in one, single place—a certain place online where you can see all of my pictures all at once, both new and old.

That place online, my place, on PhotoShelter, is now up. You can see it at www.dominiquejames.com.

With PhotoShelter’s Beam, each and every photograph in my portfolio is beautifully exhibited. But other than just providing an “exquisite wrapper” for my pictures online, PhotoShelter is doing many behind-the-scenes heavy-lifting that makes it easy and practical for an independent professional photographer such as myself to have a really amazing online presence. What’s more is that I can now focus and concentrate on being a photographer. And, more importantly, viewers now have a beautiful experience looking at my pictures, and directly from within my website, an easy, convenient and safe way of ordering photo prints and licensing the images for personal, editorial and commercial use.

Yup, my online squatting days are over.  I’m proud of my new online home. With PhotoShelter, my pictures are homeless no more.

How to minimize noise in digital photos

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Dave Johnson, TechHive:

In the days before digital photography, seemingly every corner store had rack upon rack of film on display. Each roll of film was marked with a speed—measured in ISO—such as 100, 200, or 400. Higher-speed film was handy for low-light photography, but it had a serious disadvantage: grain.

Film grain was every photographer’s nemesis. Instead of smooth, natural textures, grain put ugly blotches all over a photo. And though the days of grainy photos are far behind us, digital photos have a similar problem: digital noise.

You’ve undoubtedly seen noise in your own photos. On the plus side, noise tends to be very small; and when you view a many-megapixel photo on a computer screen, pixel-size noise is so small that it usually disappears into the background. You might look at a very noisy photo and not even know it. Noise becomes apparent, though, when you zoom in—if you crop it down to a small detail, for example, or if you attempt to make a large print. Let’s learn how to control noise.

Written by dominiquejames

April 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM

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