Glyphs of Time :: a blog by jarvis grant

July 25, 2011

2011 Black and White Spider Awards

From time to time I Google my name to see what the attempts I’m making with SEO are panning out. Last Friday I decided to check the “Images’ tab just to see what images were coming up. Well, to my surprise I discovered I was nominated for The Black & White Spider Awards. One image was in the Photojournalism Category and the other was for Nature. To be honest, I had forgotten I’d even entered this competition. I do remember that back in May that there was an online Awards Ceremony, but since I hadn’t received any kind of notification, I just looked at it  as an “Oh well, maybe next year” moment. Yet,  I thought I did submit some pretty strong work

Although I didn’t place, it was a great ego booster. While I had two photographs chosen for the exhibit, Sacred Reflections at the Driskell Center on the campus of the University of Maryland, it’s always good to get recognition from your peers about your work. So here are the images I was nominated for, The Amusement Prisoner and A Bed of Leaves.

The Amusement Prisoner

"The Amusement Prisoner", nominated in the Professional Photojournalist Category. ©Jarvis Grant

 The Amusement Prisoner was shot on black & white medium format film. I’ve always loved the moody aspect of this image. The scanned negative was brought into Photoshop to do a little tonal mapping for  making new prints on an Epson 4000 printer.

Bed of Leaves

"A Bed of Leaves", nominated in the Professional Nature Category. ©Jarvis Grant

A Bed of Leaves is part of an ongoing series of botanical subject made in the city. It doesn’t make any difference what city as I always have a camera with me. This was a digital RGB file converted to monochrome. Even when I use Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro, I still go through some type of “Layer Voodoo” to control the depth of tones and space in the image.

I working with some new images now. Well, I should say I’m editing existing work into series now. Getting ready for the fall and winter season’s photo competitions. I’m working hard not to wait until a day or even a week before deadlines to do this work. It’s part of my New Year’s resolution of making  me my most important client. These nominations really help to keep me on point in that regard. Case in point, when I was uploading images for this competition, in true fashion, I waited until the very last minute to upload my stuff, and was locked out of the competitions system after the first two uploads! So I think there’s an important lesson there!

All photographs, ©Jarvis Grant


May 19, 2010

A Few New Botanical Image Ideas

Filed under: Folio,Gallery,Observations,Photography — Tags: , , — Jarvo @ 2:34 pm

I’ve been working on some new work from scans,. Mostly from dried flowers that I’ve had laying around. Photographing them has allowed me to at least throw them away! For the past month I’ve also been using my scanner as a macro camera. I amazed at how much detail there is to objects. I’m looking froward to doing more this summer on this idea.

I wasn’t thinking about Dreams, when I was taking those photographs. That idea came later, and was in the moment.

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May 15, 2010

New Self Portrait, sort of…

Filed under: Digital Tech,Folio,Observations,Photography,Photoshop — Jarvo @ 1:03 pm

Well, this really isn’t new. I shot this about three years ago. I was testing a process that my students at the Ellington School of the Arts were about to embark on.  We were working on a project with the National Portrait Gallery here in Washington, DC, commemorating the photographer Gordon Parks. The students were to use a 4×5 view camera to photograph their family, then digitize the negative to make 11×14 fine art pigment prints. I needed to work out all the bugs so this would go as smooth as possible

Self Portrait - Jarvis Grant

A newly rendered Self Portrait

While the students loved the magic & professionalism of working with the view camera and the studio lights, they found the process slow, because of all the camera prep before the actual shot is made. Yet, it all worked out just fine. The process slowed them down enough to consider what they were doing, instead of their usual joy ride approach in making photographs.

OK, back to me! We were using a Calumet Cambo 4×5 camera, Rodenstock  150mm f/5.6 lens and Polaroid PN/55 film.  For the lighting we used Calumet Travelite 750 monolights with a large 36″ 48″ Chimera softbox. I used a 16″ cable release for  triggering the exposures.

The reason for this image to be labeled as new is because I needed a head shot for a brochure that the Panasonic Digital Photo Academy is producing.  I sent them the one I normally use, which looks like an ink rendering, but thought I’d look at the others that came from that session. Well, during that session I shot with a Nikon  and forgot about those 4×5 shots I made. So, it now they looked pretty fresh, snarl and all! Since I’ve been playing around with NIK Color Efex Pro, I opened it up in Photoshop to see what I could come up with. I like the look of  the Pastel sub-filter. It reminded me of a Cyanotype, and I went with it. The frame on the image is the natural residue from the Polaroid PN/55.



May 14, 2010

Queen of the Night

Filed under: Folio,Gallery,Observations,Photography — Jarvo @ 1:18 pm
Night Blooming Cereus: First Discovery

On First Discovery

Last night while in my studio, I could sensed a familiar sweet faint aroma. I thought, “Hmmm, I didn’t see any pending blossoms from my Night Blooming Cereus, yet when I looked up, there it was.  I’ve had this plant for over 30 years, and it still fills me with a sense of wonderment. This cereus, which is a member of the cactus family, blooms for one night only.  I have often photographed these blossoming events, from the the first beginnings, to the finality of  its dried pods. Since my Panasonic LX3 was on my desk, I took several snaps. With its small size and outstanding macro capabilities, I was able to manuever it to get shots I couldn’t with my big Nikon.

I wish this camera was able to take time lapse automatically. It would be nice to make a video from the stills. I’ll just have to wait for a bloosm to be in the right place for me to use a tripod or even my little Joby Gorillapod, so I can do the time lapse manually.

Night Queen: The Morning After

Night Queen: The Morning After

I enjoyed making these photos. I started out just to take a couple of quick reference photos, then just really got into it. Winded up taking a liitle more tha a roll. (I still think in terms of rolls of film – 36 exposures+) The shot to the left is looking up from my desk.  The shot to the right was made the next morning.



May 8, 2010

Three New Dogwood Scans

Filed under: Folio,Gallery,Photography — Jarvo @ 2:39 am

Last week a sent off some new work to Panasonic’s Digital Photo Academy for their Earth Day newsletter. Here are the three I sent.


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