Innovation at the Speed of Light
The energy of Hot Matter animates large companies, small businesses, and solo operators. Take the case of Dennis Chamberlain.
As a Dallas CPA, Chamberlain spent 20 years serving a diverse clientele ranging from low-income people to small businesses to affluent types making up to $20 million a year. The work was often stimulating and the financial rewards were healthy.
But as the years went by, Chamberlain found his attention increasingly focused on two hobbies: artistic photography and playing guitar in rock bands. “I always felt there were other parts of my mind and my heart that just were not being nourished,” says Chamberlain.” As he neared retirement age, he knew he wanted to make his hobbies the central focus of his second life.
So, four years ago, Chamberlain and his wife moved to Corrales, New Mexico, where Hot Matter helped him to reinvent himself. Today, Chamberlain has turned his avocations into a vocation, working as a creative photographer and a successful musician and songwriter.
Chamberlain created his style of photography, which he calls “Beyond the Edge,” by combining his artistic imagination with the technological finesse made possible by two Adobe software programs, Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom serves as his “command central,” managing and quickly finding just the right photo out of the thousands he has taken.
“Let’s say I’m looking for a photo and all I remember is that it was taken perhaps in 2001, 2002 or 2003,” he says. “I know I used my Nikon D100 to take it and I remember which lens I used. Lightroom can find it in a second or two and tell me which drive it’s on.”
That ability to search and retrieve images at lightning speed is essential to Chamberlain’s artistry. Late at night, when he does his most creative work, he puts together groups of photos to create composites. Looking at the expression on the face of one of his models, he might recall a misty photo taken at Caddo Lake in Texas and another photo of a car emerging mysteriously from a tunnel.
Then the magic happens. A mood will emerge; to best express that mood, Chamberlain plucks images from his vault of 65,000 photos and combines them to form an intriguing, sometimes haunting new creation. The process is an almost literal expression of the “innovator’s palette” discussed elsewhere on this blog.
Chamberlain notes that Lightroom is much faster than Photoshop because the artist doesn’t have to load the image and then save it. Instead, he can work on a small thumbnail of the image; any adjustments he makes – such as cropping, lightening or darkening, or adjusting the contrast or intensity of the color – are applied to the image file when it is sent out to be printed or designated as an attachment to an email. After doing the primary adjustments in Lightroom, Chamberlain turns to the heavy-duty tools of Photoshop to go “beyond the edge” with his composites.
Chamberlain has a website, dcphotoartistry.com, and he uses Facebook to promote his current work and the art gallery where he shows some of his creations.
“I’m constantly amazed at how this innovative technology makes it possible to bring my visions to reality,” Chamberlain says of his Hot Matter innovations. “It’s like having a garage with every tool imaginable and constructing something no one has ever seen before.”