Art

March or Die.

It can sometimes be hard to decide what images to share with people. As a photographer it seems natural to want to show ones best images but sometimes the best technical or aesthetically pleasing isn’t the best for the text and story.

That kind of sounds like I’m making excuses for images that people might look at and think the composition and other aspects should or could’ve been done differently.

Yes they could but its about the story… March or Die is the title for a movie about the French Foreign Legion that I have seen but remember pretty much nothing of.

I have just returned from a trip to Fuerteventura and when I spied the landscape ahead of me it was the title of that movie that immediately sprung to mind. The wife didn’t find that very reassuring when I blurted that out as we strolled off into the hills.

DSCF8785

DSCF8676

DSCF8808

DSCF8799

I very nearly signed up to the French Foreign Legion when I was a lot younger. I think at 16/17 years old I was stubborn enough to have been mentally strong enough to cope and I’d like to think at that age I would have managed the physical demands but I was talked out of it. The whys, wheres, and hows are far too long winded for this ‘photo diary/blog’ but I do sometimes wonder how things might have panned out if that was the route I ended up following.

It would be great to have an opportunity to enrol on the training without having to commit time following that training but even if that was possible, I’m a lot older, heavier and most definitely not fit enough; I’d probably end up in hospital after day two. Thats if I’d managed to survive day 1!!!

Anyhow, back to the photos. All taken handheld with a Fuji XT2 and prime 35mm lens.

Thanks for stopping and looking at the images. Constructive comments always welcome.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy or James.

Post Fools Day!

So April the 2nd got me out of Saturday’s ‘Monday morning blues’.

No banana for brunch!! I had a fab breakfast in bed up & out to shoot some rehearsal images for a mates band, out for dinner with the wife & a quick catch up with some friends. All in all a much better day, as were the third and today.

A little bit of axe playing at home, some reading, some photography and I’m almost ready to go back to work tomorrow. Its been nice to have some time off and even have a good nosy around the world wide web looking for a bit of inspiration for my 365 project. Its tough to do. Really tough and I have struggled.

I think it was on flickr or somewhere that I got directed to a blog of a fella that was doing a 365 of selfies. If you know me or follow my flickr, instagram or on here, you’ll know I hate being on the lens side of the camera so when I had a look at this blog here: Idiot with a camera. I did my norm and headed to the beginning. Why? Well I like to look at the images at the beginning and then see how their photographic style and content may have changed. It just makes sense to me, in fact the only reason I have a blog page is primarily so that I can look back over the pages and see how I have grown as a photographer, if at all…….

Anyhow I ended up getting drawn into the above blog partly because the selfies were not the kind that scream Hey! Look at me.

They also appear to be mostly normal day-to-day images and not the elaborately planned style found here. Again, great photographs but for different reasons.

One thing that is very clear reading his blog is that Australia and the UK appear to be worlds apart.

Another person whose life is worlds apart from mine is that of Sir Elton John. I went to see an exhibition at the Tate Modern today The Radical Eye.

Hells teeth he has a lot of important photographs and it was great to see some of these in this format rather than published in a book.

So, hopefully if you followed the links you are not all photo’d out for the day because here is one of mine from today:

DSCF7621

These people had become art as they walked around a smoke/dry ice installation. It was really interesting to see how different people behaved while we observed them.

As always, thanks for stopping.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

 

 

Being explored on flickr

Being explored on flickr (a photo sharing site) is a bit strange. Sometimes on flickr images I have been really pleased with just don’t get many views, few ‘likes’ and most receive only a handful of comments at a time.

I never expect to get explored on flickr and the first time it happened was odd… comments, likes, new followers and so on. It was great to have my photographs being seen by a wider audience and I make a point of visiting the photo streams of anyone that clicks ‘like’ on one of my images.

Most of the photos that have ended up on the flickr explored pages I have been reasonably happy with but one was added on the 20th January 2017 and it has completely baffled me.

For me it is almost a disposable image that was snapped for my 365 photo challenge. To be honest, while I did go through the settings, composition and everything that a “real photographer”goes through; the latest photo into ‘explore’ was also a bit of an experiment with my fuji XT2.

The light bouncing off the table and hitting the flower caught my attention and I just wanted to see how the XT2 would work in the low light.

I’m loving my Fuji and carry it most days… 365 project!

Oh yes my flickr explore image can be seen on my photo stream.

TTFN

Jim Jimmy James

Jim Jimmy James Photography

 

365 challenge update

Don’t sound like much of a challenge does it?

Take a photo every day for a year is as easy as pointing the camera and click! I guess it should be that simple but there is that personal desire to capture an image that I am happy to put onto the World Wide Web. 

This is a personal project so on one hand it doesn’t really matter to me if anyone likes the photos or not. On the other; well its rewarding to feel that your efforts and work is appreciated. 

I have been posting black and white images onto tumblr so that I can keep the album together in one place. 

I have lots on at the moment and the biggest issue isn’t taking the photos but finding he time to get them edited and onto the site. 

If you’d like to have a peek at the album so far here is the link Right Here.

As always, feel free to like, comment, email questions and so on….

Kind regards, 

Jim Jimmy James 

Its art Jim (Jimmy James) but not as we know it!

I’ve just been to Kent for the weekend to attend a pals wedding. I was probably the worst guest in the world. On the Friday night I was in bed by 20:15 and on the wedding night, I was out of there by 21:00; nursing what I had hoped to be the end stages of Man-Flu.

Unfortunately it is now a chest infection and I’m unlikely to out and about much. Anyway, a while ago I published a post about art and asked what is art and what is not.

At the hotel there were some abstract paintings that I liked and they grew on me for the couple of days we were there. To be honest if the other half had of liked them I might have even asked if they would sell them or at the very least taken details of the artist.

It got me thinking about that question ‘What is art and what is not’. I’ve told you before that I struggle with this and in particular; when it comes down to photography.

We entered the black wall tunnel as I was pondering this, so I decided to take some abstract photos and see what I could produce from the passenger seat.

So, there are intent in the following images, framing settings and post capture. Is that enough to make them art.

dscf1332

Blackwall Tunnel 1 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

dscf1325

Blackwall Tunnel 2 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

dscf1326

Blackwall Tunnel 3 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

Thanks for stopping and looking. Please feel free to give your opinion: Art or Not?

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

21 of 365

21 photos into a 365 day project… Three weeks in and I can definitely see why photography teachers say get out there and use your camera.

I’ve not had any specific break throughs but my god, it really does make you look around and think. So, I would definitely recommend it.

Its tough with shift work and I guess it will be made harder now the nights are starting to close in. However, the biggest problem so far hasn’t been taking the images but processing them, deciding which to go with and getting time to upload them.

If I’d joined a project where I had to upload daily I would have failed miserably. Thankfully this is not a rule attached to the flickr group where I am posting my selected images.

dscf1105

It feels a little lazy to have shot at home but, it was shoot this or nothing… well I guess I would have found something else but its simply a question of time today.

If you’d like to see the images selected so far, they can be viewed in my 365 album.

Feel free to like or comment and if you are doing a photography project, share your link.

As always, thanks for looking,

Jim Jimmy James

Fuji XT2… Scratching the surface!

I’m only just scratching the surface with my Fuji XT2 but I’ve gotta say that I am finding the XT2 a great camera to carry around and I’m looking forward to seeing just what I can get out of this camera.

Here are a couple of images taken today while looking for an image to add to my 365 day photo challenge that can be seen here on flickr.

dscf6262-edit

Westminster trip hazard! ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

dscf6263

©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

dscf6277

Lemmy by Martin Häusler http://www.martinhausler.com

This portrait of Lemmy by Martin Häusler is fantastic and should be seen in a setting where you can see the original. Currently on display at The Sanctum Hotel in Soho.

I also post images on Instagram & Tumbler.

Thanks for viewing, Jim Jimmy James.

Whats art & what ain’t?

As a photographer I still find myself questioning what is art and what ain’t. I say ain’t cos thats the way I talk. It should in fact be ‘isn’t’ & it should also be ‘speak’ instead of talk… thats the English lesson over.

That was early for one of my slightly distracting rambles!

So, I sometimes; actually often find the question of art difficult. Who decides what art is?

Why is it that one person can pile up a load of broken disused plastic dolls limbs and it is classed as art selling for thousands of pounds and yet another person presenting the same concept is just some bod that has piled up a load of discarded plastic limbs.

Don’t get me wrong, I see art and think that is art. Its art but I might not want it in my home but I also see things and think ‘how is that art?’.

I struggle with photography being art. I get how some photography is classed as art but can not for the life of me get my head around it all being considered art.

Take this photo:

dscf2002

Image taken on Fuji XT2 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James

I decided to leave the dust on the tuning nuts, not to reposition the tuning head with the reflection and on other aspects of the composition such as the depth of field and so on. However, is it just a photo of my bass guitar with lots of depth of field or is it art?

Artistic, yes! Art? I don’t know. What do you think?

A friend of mine, artist Gal Marin has an exhibition at the 1963 Gallery in London I took a number of photographs for him to use as part of his very complex self portrait project. This closes on the 11th September 2016.

Gal has photography, sculpture, ink drawings, chalk artwork and other items. Its art, its obviously art and it is interesting. It has taken him a long time to put the project together and I’m very flattered to have been part of this project that only Gal knew where it was going and had visualised the final presentation.

But what makes my images and the other photographers images art? Again they are artistic but I really struggle seeing my photos as art.

What has prompted me to write this blog post, well I read a tweet about an article on Nicholas Serota by  Charlotte Higgins via the photographers gallery and it makes me think that actually, modern artists, including photographers are very lucky to have people fighting their corner.

What are your thoughts?

 

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

The Crème de la Crème this year….

In my last post I mentioned my punk singers portrait & interview project. One copy will be auctioned for charity once it is signed by the artists. I had great fun with that project and it was really good to be working on something that meant a lot to me personally.

I also mentioned The Crème de la Crème this year….

As photographers we find genres that we enjoy. Personally I’ve always liked to look at concert & photojournalist images. I’ve also enjoyed the challenges of live performance photography.

I like the challenge of changing light and movement. If you think its easy to take concert or performance photographs, go try it; especially in smaller venues.

Along with gig photography I have somehow fallen into the genre of portraiture. This is something I did not expect when I started out and thankfully I can say there isn’t anyone I have not enjoyed photographing. I’ve had a couple of shoots where it has felt awkward and uncomfortable, even hard work but the results have made it all worth while.

I’ve even dabbled a little with photo-journalism and been published.

So, that is a little background for those that are new to my page and hopefully explains why I got excited about my latest shoot and why for me, it is The Crème de la Crème so far this year….

I was introduced to someone at The Rambert Dance Company and contacted them with regards to a college project that would include editorial style photography with some portraiture and I was hoping to include full dress rehearsal with stage lighting.

Pretty much giving me the chance to indulge in everything I’ve come to enjoy about being a photographer.

I had a tour of Rambert’s home on the Southbank; clean, organised, minimalist, modern and functional. The few people I met seemed passionate about their work and the performers were being put through their paces.

While I was walking around I could easily visualise the project I wanted to shoot.

Unfortunately they were already mid way through a production and for a number of other reasons the project had to be temporarily put on hold.

Disappointed but with no intention of abandoning the hope of shooting a project with Rambert, I had planned on approaching them later in the year to seek permissions to shoot a project.

Move forward a couple of months…. I have a few days off and I’m getting some equipment ready to shoot a gig. Two cameras cleaned, lenses cleaned and numerous batteries being charged. Then I get a text followed by a phone call and I’ve agreed to a very very short notice shoot. A shoot that ties in with the type of thing I want to do; the type of shoot I thoroughly enjoy. The type of opportunity that only a complete baffon would turn down.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out but just in case you’ve not kept up, it is The Rambert Dance Company looking for a photographer to shoot their performers and senior artists from Mac Cosmetics Creative Team.

I would love to tell you that they had always planned to use me because they liked my work, were aware that I was featured as a canon showcase photographer or that a photograph taken at Illamasqua received over 10.000 hits on the internet within a few days. However, thats not the case. Yes one of the Rambert team was aware of me, they needed a photographer at short notice and I happened to be available.

I’m not going to pretend to be über cool and blasé about the call; I was very excited about it. Come on, how could I not be?!

If they like me I might get the chance to shoot a production from start to finish. If they like my work I might get the opportunity to work with them again. If Mac Cosmetics like what they see, they might even contact me at a future date.

Then the slight panic that I don’t have much of a brief, I have an idea but I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to need because I’ve had no time to plan.

Like I said, I’d like to say that it was my style and my work that made me the first person they thought of but it was actually more to do with being local and available. Yes it really was that short notice!

Right, a fixed 50mm, fixed 85mm and a 24mm – 70mm… do I take a 70-200? I didn’t but I would have used one if I had it with me. [Note to self: take the 70-200mm]

Lighting stands and modifiers; what am I going to need? There is going to be a cosmetics company so I guess they will have decent lights…. what if they don’t?

Okay, I decide I will take two flash guns and a couple of lighting mods but I’m feeling a little anxious because I’m not 100% sure what to expect when I arrive. However, I’ve got cameras, I’ve got flashes, I know what I’m doing and my job that provides my main income has taught me to be level headed and pragmatic (apparently that is also an Aries trait). I also felt quietly reassured because I know there is a local hire company that could deliver if I needed anything.

I arrive at Rambert and was greeted as warmly and friendly as the day I was shown around. I’m introduced to their team and given more of a brief.

I ask a little about the production to get an idea about lighting, they are filming so I ask if I can use flash photography and I get the go-ahead.

Due to the make up demonstration within the area I was working there was no room for light stands and modifiers so I had a couple of options with regards to lights. Thats something I have learned and something you will always read, no matter how limited you are with space, kit and options, you do have options and that is why it is important to know what and how to get the best from your equipment.

For me, shadows were going to be an issue but looking at the make up design and the fact the dancers will be under stage lighting I opted for some direct hard light and bounced light; shadows were going to be an issue so it would be best to use them and make a feature of them. Provided the client has clean well lit photographs of the performers, their photo editors would be able to easily deal with back ground shadows if they were not happy with them.

IMG_0074-Edit

Joshua Barwick & Dominic Skinner  ©2016 Jim Jimmy James [Marr]

IMG_0001-Edit

Luke Ahmet ©2016 Jim Jimmy James [Marr]

IMG_7213

©2016 Jim Jimmy James [Marr]

IMG_0003-Edit-2

Lucy Balfour ©2016 Jim Jimmy James [Marr]

I hope Rambert, Mac & the artists like the images. I guess I’ll only ever really know if I get invited back. I hope you like the images too.

Anyhow, I’ve seen them working hard and as professionals they made it incredibly easy work photographing them. So it seems right I should book some tickets and see the final performance to judge for myself if the lighting aesthetic of the images works with the performance & stage lights.

My night shifts start again tomorrow so tonight is my weekend. Think I might have a wee dram from The Glengoyne Distillery  and catch up with those blogs I’ve missed over the last few weeks.

As always, thank you for visiting my page & have a great weekend.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James.

Did you miss me?

Maybe? Yes – No. Probably not!

But someone did. I got a message from someone that never comments and never clicks like but follows the blog. They said that I’ve not posted in a while and they hoped everything was okay.

I read somewhere that if you are blogging and going to have a break you should announce that break. The reasons they gave were because people that follow the blog may think you’ve just given it up and remove your blog from their follow list. But also an online community is a community; that even though it is a virtual community, people will still wonder what happened to that man or woman that used to post about this that and the other. I’m very grateful for the message and I will try to remember to announce my absence in the future.

The reason I have not posted is because I have been distracted. It has all been very busy. Lots going on with life in general, work getting in the way of college and my projects. Projects and more projects. Ideas and more ideas and then work again….. I’ve been juggling so much I should apply for a job with the circus.

Actually I would love to live with and shoot a circus for a week or two. That would be pretty cool.

So, I have just finished college and am awaiting confirmation of grades but the preliminary result is a distinction for both projects.

We have some work on show at The Morley College Landing Gallery Although that does not run much longer. I believe there should be a link on there for image sales if anyone wants to check out some other photographers.

I’ve been to a few gigs and recently shot Mood Six who were/are a band made up of existing Mod bands. They have reformed after thirty years and were supported by Miles over Matter. Another old band ‘The vagabonds of psychedelia’ that have been putting themselves out there again. Both bands were excellent and it was nice to be shooting live performances again. (Note to self, when shooting concerts take ear plugs)

However, as much as photographing my punk singers book has been a massive highlight & good fun. The Crème de la Crème this year has got to be ……………. Sorry but like all good TV soaps I am going to leave you on that hanger and you’ll have to come back later in the week.

For now, here are a couple of shots from a recent gig.

IMG_7318

Phil Ward: Mood Six. ©2016 jim jimmy james

IMG_7265-2

Miles Davis Landesman: Jola: Steve Council: Miles over Matter. ©2016 jim jimmy james

As a side note, Miles had links to the dance company that I had the pleasure of photographing last week.

Thanks for stopping, reading, looking and thank you for the DM.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James