Month: November 2015

City of Cranes

Over the last year I have gotten so used to having a camera of some description with me, my phone, a compact or a dSLR.

I had a fault with a compact camera that I previously blogged about and that has now been resolved. I will probably tell you all about that but that its for another time.

City of Cranes is a short play written by PJ – Beetley Pete. I am not writing about the play but have included the link for you to read if you so wish. Its very realistic so I would recommend it.

I’m in possession of my Canon S100 after it being repaired and happened to be on the roof of John Lewis. I was only on one side of the building but it was noticeable how many cranes there were in the skyline.

It reminded me a little of Pete’s play script and naturally was a good opportunity to take some images.

The good thing about the S100 is that its small enough to carry all the time and delivers good quality images. For me, it allows me to practice composition and to get quick images of places I’d like to return to.

Everyone knows the importance of compositional rules but something that only really struck home the other evening at a talk hosted by Photo London was intent.

Intent in composition is something that lecturer Paul Kemp keeps mentioning. I understood what he was saying but it didn’t really strike me until the Photo London talk where photographer Simon Roberts had work on display. Maybe it was the scale of the images or just very skilled composition that made the intent clear, I don’t know?! What I do now know is that I have a clear visual reference of intent in composition.

Roberts formed part of the panel which included Matt Flowers and was chaired by Zelda Cheatle.

As a photographer I got a lot out of the talk and will definitely attend others.

I started to get distracted there but that little fill in about the talk was as relevant as the talk to the images I am about to show and the reason I am chuffed to have my little S100 camera back. (Even if it does make me look like a tourist (Sara Roberts). Sara is a freelance graphic designer that has been really helpful in nudging/prompting me in the right direction to set up a website.

Onto the photos………





Do follow the links above & feel free to comment on the images.

Please also click here for my Canon Showcase and the link below to be taken to my website in progress (“Google analytics gold” PDK: Nov 2015)

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

(Jim Jimmy James Photography)



Just two photos

These two photographs of the same scene were taken while in Berlin. I love Berlin. The place and the people remind me of London and New York City.

That sometimes gets some odd looks until I explain that Berlin is much like my London of the 80’s and it has a familiar feel about it; from the slightly run down areas, redevelopment, music scene and so on………

Anyway, the photos.

They are early attempts at night photography and although technically I would execute the capture differently today… Exposure would be different, focusing would be different and I’m sure the composition might be different; I still like them both.

Maybe when I head back to Berlin I will take these images again although it would be unlikely to have a car parked at the same spot and therefore the story would be very different.

Although I would have done things differently, as I said, I still really like these two images. Mostly because of the mood they create rather than anything else. Personally I have problems picking a favourite between the two; they both have their own weak points but more importantly, their own strengths.

It makes me wonder how photographers ever manage to pick an exhibition set?



So, I hope you like the images.

As always, your comments and thoughts are welcome.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

The genre of ‘Still life’

Okay so I bang on a little about photographic genres but there is a reason for that.

Along with very generic skills & photography knowledge, each genre has its own unique techniques. Yeah Yeah I’ve said that before and you already know that!

However, this is something I like to explore as it makes me a better generalist photographer. I’m not sure if ‘generalist photographer’ is a particularly flattering or accepted term but what I mean by this is that it gives me the ability to cross genres, be more adaptable, flexible and pragmatic in my approach to capturing the image I want to achieve.

So without too much waffle, here are a couple of still life images:

Old bottles rescued from The River Thames.

Old bottles rescued from The River Thames.

You might be wondering what it was exactly that challenged me here…..Its a couple of old bottles that I pointed a camera at and took a photo.

I think that is how many lay people see photography.

I had to select the bottles I wanted to use.

Decide on the background.

Decide how I wanted to position the bottles.

Arrange & measure my lighting to work with the depth of field that I wanted.

Ensure the light was sufficient enough not to make the white paper look too grey, yet ensure that the light was not so strong to cause blown out highlights on the glass. While ensuring the exposure was sufficient to show the age and colour of the bottles.

Do I want any shadows or not?

What should I do in regards to composition? Focal length, point of view and so on….

Bottles rescued from The River Thames.

Bottles rescued from The River Thames.

Other than the obvious change in position, are there any other more subtle differences that your eye detects in my set up?

Something I learned recently is that people don’t necessarily consider the thought process and decisions undertaken for what is essentially a really simple looking image.

I hope you can find something in these images that you like, whether that is the age, decay or focal point…..

I do also have a few questions for you:

Do you like the softness or do you think you’d prefer the images to be sharper?

Would your preference be to have the images more clinical with a clean bright white background?

There is no right or wrong answer.

Here it is just about opinion, but your opinion counts.


Because it informs me of a general consensus of what people like.

Its not going to stop me shooting things the way I want to shoot when it comes to personal projects but constructive critique helps photographers grow.

Although I would like open comments, if you are a photographer look at the images and even if you don’t comment on the post or ping me a personal message, break down what you can see.

Who ever you are, wherever you are, thank you kindly for stopping and having a look at my photos. I hope you’ll have a look at some other posts and revisit some time.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James