Month: September 2014

Pet Hate!

‘Pet Hate’ is a funny old term. It sounds like something we like to hate but in reality it is something that really gets our goat up.

Something that many may find trivial or a minor annoyance but for the individual it is something that is disliked intensely and is a constant or repeated annoyance.

Feet on seats!

feet on seatsjpg

This is actually something that really riles me. I mean it really really does bug me.

I used to make comments to people and ask them why they felt it was okay to walk through all sorts of crap on our cities pavements and then wipe their feet all over the seats where people have to sit.

I also used to point out the faded, ripped seats and the new seats that had replaced the damaged and worn out ones. I’d ask them if they thought the savings made from not replacing these seats that are damaged by inconsiderate peoples shoes, boots….. could be passed on to commuters like us or spent elsewhere on the transport network.

Now I sit there and bristle inside, every now and then one of these unsociable and unsuspecting humans of London makes eye contact and I’ll ask: When you get home at night do you put your shitty shoes all over your own furniture.

They tend to put their feet on the floor and do not say anything. I need to be careful because our society is changing and as someone pointed out the other night, I’m not a young man anymore. Cheeky bloody upstart!

Maybe I should start a photography ‘feet off seats’ campaign showing these peoples faces?!

I’m like a grumpy old man.

I hate it with a loathing and yet, for some reason it is fondly called a Pet Hate!

Jim Jimmy James

Beside the seaside beside the sea.

It is the early hours of the morning and I should be sleeping. However someone is snoring (That will be the wife) and that means I can either lay in bed awake or tell you about our short trip to Dungeness & Rye.

There is not that much to tell, we actually didn’t do much because there isn’t that much to do.

But it was great to escape the city and relax for a few days. I also met a photographer called David Purdie whose work I really liked. I should’ve asked if he was related to Naomi Purdie that I went to primary school with. I wonder whatever happened to her? She was always late for school. As was Kevin Skiosk, Skioski or however his name was spelt. They were nice kids but didn’t really fit in. There are very few people from primary school I’d be interested to know how they got on in life, Naomi, Kevin and a Greek Cypriote kid Andreas (Andrew) are probably the only ones out of twenty odd kids that I’d like to know what happened to.

Anyway, David Purdie, I liked his work, got talking and he runs workshops so I shall be having a look at those and checking my diary to see when I can book myself onto one. Dependent on price.

We also met another artist, a sculpture called Stephanie Rubin. She has a great space and is surrounded by other creatives in their studios in a building that was once a school. Her work was great and she was telling us about a commission she is about to start work on. The drawings were on the wall, a sad but hugely romantic piece. I shouldn’t say more than that about it. We’d like to see the finished peice so I will keep an eye on her website.

I’m due to start a 100 strangers portrait project and if I had a flash with me I guess………. I’m making excuses! I could have used ambient light. I should have asked to take their portraits but then I haven’t finished my 100 candid stranger yet. Just five more to go.

Rye! It dates back to the good olde medieval times, it lays at the junction of three rivers & it is known for providing ships at times of war in service of the King. It is also known for its involvement with the smuggling gangs of the 18th and 19th centuries. It has a lot of history but I’ll let you look that up.


Taken on an iPhone with small adjustments made in Lightroom.

This deliberate misspelling made me chuckle so I thought I would just share it with you.

This telescope also made me laugh. The gardeners need to get out their sheers and do a little pruning.


Taken on an iPhone with small adjustments made in Lightroom.

As it is, the telescope provided a wonderful close up of some bushes and trees.

Rye is in sussex but not far from Dungeness & its nuclear power station. I wonder if the radiation was affecting all the time pieces in the town or if I was stood on some weird and wonderful undiscovered meridian line?


Taken on an iPhone with small adjustments made in Lightroom. 

Dungeness is an odd place. Its home to a nuclear power station, its sparse and I guess it can almost be described as a desert. I thought there was a very slight irony that there is a steam train that runs past the nuclear plant.


Captain UKIP was some way from the sea but one has to admire his/her optimism that their little boat was sea worthy.


I’m also surprised that we didn’t see any scrap metal collectors. The place is littered with with what I presume are old winches that were used to pull the boats ashore and other small collections of metal.



On a more serious note, there is no shade on Dungeness and it didn’t feel particularly hot when we were there. To prevent burning consider sun screening either with one of the many creams available, clothing or maybe just don’t walk as close to the nuclear power station as I did.

I wonder if I will glow in the dark?


I’m already looking forward to another short break but will it be beside the seaside beside the sea?

As always, thank you for visiting my blog.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James


As I started off learning photography I have learnt that the more I learn the more there is to learn.

It was suggested to me that joining a photo sharing website would help me discover what I like and what I don’t like. Basically looking at these sites would help me develop myself as a photographer.

It was also suggested that once in a while I should consider entering a few images into photo contests. I joined ViewBug & I have entered a few competitions. This was really just to gain a little exposure and to get some feedback on my images.

I’ve had a few people like a couple of my photographs but have not had a huge amount of traffic through my page until the other day.

Oddly I started getting email notifications saying that this person liked this image, this person is following you. Another person is following you……….this other person likes this image! As I say it was out of the ordinary so when I got home after a sixteen hour day I had a quick peek at my VewBug profile and it turns out that they had featured my profile on their members page.

I was pretty chuffed. I know for me to be featured on their members page was a totally random selection but non the less it would mean a handful more people might see some of my photographs. That can only be a good thing.

I looked a little deeper and they have done the same thing for over four thousand photographers!

I’m no longer feeling as flukey as I did a few minutes ago but I still feel extremely privileged that I have 81 new people following my posts.

So, this is just a quick and public thank you to the viewbug admin team for the extra exposure.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James.

K.I.S.S. A book review! #2

As a newbie to the world of photography I was pointed in the direction of Zack Arias by Matt White.

Since then I have emailed him (Zack) and was surprised that I got a reply that very simply clarified something for me. Because of this, I looked a little more at his online presence and ended up buying the lighting course.

I thought it is reasonably priced, he has been helpful, why not? It would be the right thing to do.

I don’t know the bloke from Adam, he is a busy fella but took a few minutes out to answer my email, or maybe he had an assistant do it?! Either way I got a response. So the man went up in my estimation and I got the online lighting course.

Funny thing is that the online light course covered some of the things I had already covered in a short DSLR course but for some reason, although it covered more, it seemed clearer, easier and made me feel a tad more confident about using a flash. How can that be? How can a short set of video lessons give a better understanding of light than a course in a class with people? Maybe it was just revision of the topic. Maybe it was because there were non of the distractions we can have in a class. Maybe it was his KISS approach? (I will explain more about kiss in a minute).

As I have said before, I started off photography with one intention, to take better images of friends and family. Something to keep as an aide memoir to remember the good times. The times that will in the future be my past.

I’ve moved on a little from that point. I now want printed images. I’m actually in the process of signing up for a one year course. I was not sure about City & Guilds or a BTEC but I’ve committed to a one year long course of that I hope will make me a better photographer.

The reason I signed up for the course was because I didn’t get accepted onto a DEDPXL project that Zack and his wife are currently involved with, whereby they are giving a monthly subject and feedback. Ideas and feedback, perfect!

Just what I needed, however it didn’t happen. I can only guess I did not sell my self when I sent off my email expressing an interest in taking part in the project. I was honest, I told them I had no idea where I want my photography to take me & I’d love to just take better than average images.

I’d now like to take great images, I would really really love to take an iconic image. It would be awesome to take an image that someone would be happy to pay for. But the icing on the cake would be to take an image that someone falls in love with.

So, a one year course at college. Ideas and feedback!

I hope over the next year anyone following my progress will see some marked improvements. Committing to this part time, three hours a week, college course is going to be a pain in the jacksie [Our American cousins would say ‘ass’]. I have a full time job that is shift based, a family life and a social life that are all going to need to be juggled. But the desire to take better photos is enough to put up with having to make lots of shift changes and moving my days off around. Along with doing shift swaps with colleagues, meaning I will have to work extended hours some weeks. I keep telling myself it will be worth it.

Anyway, while I wait for the course to start I thought I’d buy ‘Photography: Questions & Answers’ because there might just be something useful in there.

The book looks good, the cover also feels kinda nice too but guess what?

You know when your hear something and you think ‘well duh! thats just common sense’ this book is full of the obvious, it is just common sense but its the kind of common sense that is obvious only once you think of it, ask it of yourself, digest it and formulate the answer.

The book is straight forward, honest and helpful. You may find most of it in his blog but I personally prefer to hold a book & as I said this book does feel kinda nice. Go find a copy a hold it. Tell me I’m wrong. I don’t think you will. 

I found the book really useful and it is one to keep.

Can I also offer you one piece of my own advice, if you want a good nights sleep, do not do what I did and settle down late in the evening on the sofa with a pint of tea to read the book.


You’ll be up all night emptying your bladder and go to work feeling knackered.

Oh yeah, Zack didn’t use the term K.I.S.S. It is something a lecturer taught me a long long loooooonnnnggg time ago & it ties in nicely with Zack Arias’ teaching method and approach…… Keep It Simple Stupid.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

Just watching.

While I was out and about at work I grabbed a sandwich & a brew (Tea) at a cafe,  when a chap dumped a bag next to me. He was joined by another fella and a girl.

They opened the bag, the girl started getting some clothes out and the first man (very scruffy in ill fitting track suit bottoms) started setting up camera equipment. 

Being a nosy sod I tried to eyeball the kit. A decent looking tripod, the lens looked like it was a 15-80mm, but I couldn’t make out the manufacturer. He wasn’t using a lens hood but did look like he had a clear UV filter fitted.

The camera was a canon but I could not see exactly what it was.

A couple of minutes latter the woman re-appeared dressed in the clobber she’d pulled out of the bag, now showing off her midriff she changed into high heels. 

The second chap pulled out two pairs of sun glasses and the couple started posing for photos. You know the stereotypical “wearing sun glasses and looking at the sky” type pose.

I was there for forty minutes before I had to leave and they were still at it, same clothes and nothing else really happening. They moved about two feet away and looked into the camera. That was it. 

I don’t know what to think really. I wasn’t overly impressed and it didn’t look terribly professional but then he (The photographer) may have wanted something very specific. Who knows? Also, what does professional look like. He is probably the next Zack Arias and starting off in a coffee shop. It was all no nonsense and he’ll probably have some great images. 

It might have been a few friends putting a portfolio together? However, you may surprise me and say ‘those models are so and so, their the next big thing” or “OMG! you know who that photographer is………”

If they had spoken a word of English I may have engaged them in a little conversation rather than just watching. 

Good luck to them. 

The Shoot

Quick snap taken on my iPhone. Greek Street junction with Bateman Buildings. Soho. London.