Month: June 2016

Blogging Idea

Unlike Pete, I don’t have to put much thought into what my next blog will be. I don’t really even need to plan them. My blog is and will most likely always be about the images I’ve taken and the project I am doing along with the odd random thoughts like this one………

I don’t have a big following and I put images out across a number of platforms and that is perhaps a bit of a downfall of using various sites; not building a good foundation with an online community. Anyhow, these images are mostly different although there may occasionally be some cross over between the sites.

Well this post is kind of about photography because that is where I come into the equation and it is also what made me think about communication and communication barriers despite having a common language and even a good command of a second language.

Effective communication relies on three things, the words chosen, the intonation and speech pattern, body language including facial expression and eye contact.

I’ve said it before but for the benefit of those that are here for the first time…. I rely heavily on those aspects of communication in my day-to-day work. No I am not a customs and excise officer, no I am not a police officer and no I am not an interrogator for some totalitarian state. I do a very normal job that just needs to have a good awareness of communication skills.

I find communicating difficult when it comes to blogging and social media outlets.

One wants to keep things simple and not too long-winded but without using those small fill words or giving a full back story, the written word can very very very easily be taken out of context.

This was evident today.

On one of the photo-sharing sites I use, I commented on a lady with a chopper!

Some of you will already be smiling. One or two of you may be laughing. Some may be thinking ‘WTF’ and others might be thinking ‘what the f**k’ does WTF mean?!

It was actually a photo of a woman with an axe and my comments were along the lines of ‘most mens nightmare is a woman with a chopper!’

Here is the thing, even between English-speaking countries there are variations in terminology, colloquialisms and slang.

Have a look at this online dictionary for the word chopper.

Some of you get the joke, some of you don’t, some of you that understand the intention behind the wording will be offended because you’ll take it as a slur against trans-gender, semi sex-change persons or what ever term we are politically correctly supposed to be using; even though that is in my mind clearly not the intention.

In the case of the lady holding the axe, a pretty woman with a chopper! This pun may well have been lost in translation despite having a common language with our American and Canadian cousins.

This is just one example….. Okay, You may remember a post about Helmut Newton and another blogger perhaps took this as an uneducated dig. It wasn’t. I just wasn’t struck by the work on display. It was an opinion, my opinion and my opinion is as valid as anyones; in much the same way as your thoughts are. It’s not to say he was not a talented photographer.

This also brings me on to my blog about David Bailey and the disbelief in my class that I could question his greatness. Well, actually there was never any criticism of his ability to use a camera. He, like Newton, knew how to get results and worked hard to get where they are. In the case of Bailey, is it Sir now? I’ll stick with Dave or Mr. Bailey…. In the case of Bailey I simply expressed an opinion that anyone with a good understanding of image taking could be in his position with the opportunities he had at that time. Again, it’s just an opinion.

Onto another photography post, someone commented on a Lee Jeffries  image expressing their preference for a completely blacked out background.

Some people commented and may have just been pointing out that he (Jeffries) is well-known for his style of work and this may have been done assuming that the person commenting didn’t know his onions.

I don’t often read a lot of the remarks under photos, sometimes I do and this time I did. It made me chuckle because I could just picture people’s faces with regards to thinking who is this chap to critique someone considered a master in his field. Not dissimilar to my comments at college about Newton & Bailey.

The guy expressed an opinion and may have felt scoffed at by some of the remarks. I commented that it made me chuckle but of course he does not have the full back story to why I was amused. Simple communication that was easy to resolve but to some extent unavoidable without a big long, even boring prelude to set the scene.

Unless the wording is blatantly aggressive and nasty, I think in most instances comments need to be taken lightly. I definitely think they should be read two or three times and returned to, prior to responding.

Thankfully I’ve not upset anyone today. hopefully I’ll keep it that way.

No photo, no tips and hints, just a thought process noted down for future reference and my own mindfulness that a common language does not mean a common interpretation.

Is this my third post in three days?

Rest assured that is the last one for a short while… I hope y’all have a good weekend.

Jim Jimmy James.

Glengoyne Distillery

It feels a little wrong to leave the G5X without showing some of the better shots.

On a recent trip up north we visited The Glengoyne Distillery en-route to the highlands.

Actually Glengoyne is on the outskirts of Glasgow and is considered to be The Highlands. It is located on the most southerly point, right on the boundary of the highlands. In fact, the whisky is distilled in the highlands and then matured right across the road but in the lowlands.

We had a tour that was very kindly arranged by my wife’s cousin’s husband.  As you would expect, this included a few tipples for myself and my better half was the nominated driver that had the joys of driving a tipsy back seat driver.

At the end of the tour we (I) had a couple more generous drams in the old watchman’s house while we were told a bit more about the distillery’s history, their whisky and a few funny stories.

Its a much smaller place than I expected it to be but I’d say its worth a visit.

Here a couple of shots taken on the day. This time if there are any focusing issues it could be down to the whisky!

Glengoyne Distillery

 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James / Glengoyne Distillery / Canon G5X

The main entrance to the distillery and visitors centre.

Glengoyne water!

©2016 Jim Jimmy James / Glengoyne Distillery / Canon G5X

The small pond at the back of the site is fed from the hills above. This water was once used in the whisky but is now only used as part of the cooling process in the whisky production.

Glengoyne single malt

©2016 Jim Jimmy James / Glengoyne Distillery / Canon G5X

One of several vats used in the magical process of distilling the whisky.

Glengoyne casks

©2016 Jim Jimmy James / Glengoyne Distillery / Canon G5X

Casks on the lowland side of the Glengoyne Distillery. I believe they said they are used a maximum of three times and that this gives some difference in flavour and colour but I’d have to ask someone that wasn’t drinking.

Do visit the centre if you have an interest in the distilling process. Its a quick tour but interesting and the staff were really very nice.

Thats my final images I will share that were taken on the Canon G5X. For a one inch sensor I think they are pretty good. However if you are thinking about buying this camera, it does have limitations so please take a moment read my other posts.

As always, Thank you for stopping, looking at the images and reading my waffle.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James



That Canon G5X

Yes its that camera again. The Canon G5X….

Well I wanted it to work out well but it hasn’t. It was no good for my street photography project and I feel I wasted valuable time trying to find the positive in this little powershot camera; there are positives but it just isn’t the camera for the project I had at hand.

The real deal breaker was when I decided to look at the possibilities of using this camera as a shoot from the hip kind of thing while using hyper-focal distance as a focusing option.

So what I needed to do was figure out what my focal lengths are.

There are no markings on the camera and the focal lengths in camera are marked in centimetres. Its just a little bit math one thinks quietly to ones self… Simple, its a 2.7 crop factor, what on earth could be difficult to work out!?

Well, you knew there’d be a well didn’t you? There had to be a well; the sentence and subject could only lead to a ‘well’. (I’m sure some clever grammatologist [is that a word?] or equally clever person might suggest otherwise).

Well…. It wasn’t making sense. It was frustrating the hell out of me. I looked online and had a peek at some forums. No joy!

I emailed Canon who reply with a standard cut and paste response giving me the details that anyone has access to via any page selling this camera.

I thanked them for pointing out the obvious and then explained the problem to them again.

Amusingly their next response was in regards to the cameras sensor size and images would not be of the same quality as the full frame sensors. What on earth warranted that response was confusing me even more. So I read the email I had sent them and replied, asking them if they could actually look at the question instead of sending random replies about sensor size and sensitivities. (I’m not one of those men that is worried about sensitivities or size!).

The long, and, short of it (no pun intended), was that Canon were unable to tell me how to set particular focal lengths and informed me that the camera measures in units of 5cm increments.

If you are interested the 5cm setting shows up through four nudges of the focal length switch, 10cm has one setting, 20cm has two, 30cm has one and finally 40cm has two options on its focal length.

I still though I could work it out but what I discovered was that although the camera gave me 24mm to 100mm equivalent view of a 35mm camera, I could not set and use the more standard focal lengths of 35mm, 5omm and 85mm. This was important for me because I am using different cameras on this project and being able to standardise my focal lengths would help with framing and overall aesthetics of the final project.

The G5X looks great on paper, it feels great in the hand and actually is very pleasing on the eye. It just did not live up to expectations and I don’t think my expectations were particularly high.

I can’t say that the Canon tech support or customer services filled me with any confidence that they know there product either.

I’m really disappointed this camera was such a let down and I can’t help but feel that Canon might have rushed this camera out for a christmas release date rather than holding onto it for another six months.

It seems Canon were perhaps a little lazy and happy releasing an average camera rather than putting in a bit more effort and tweaking an okay camera that has real potential to be a great camera.

The folks at Canon can rest assured that they will get no more emails from me in regards to the G5X, it has been part exchanged for a Fuji.

Here is the disclaimer: I am not paid by anyone to put this post out & Fuji don’t sponsor me. However if Fuji want to sponsor my ongoing education please feel free to contact me.

Likewise, if Canon would like to let me have a play with and test an updated version of the G5X or would like to discuss what I think worked or didn’t work in detail, simply send me a message.

Also, hello to my first visitors from Guatemala and Panama.

Thank for you, yes you, for  stopping and reading.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James