photography

Art – Arty – Artist … is it?

If you have perused through my photography diary blog thing… I really don’t know if its a blog or a diary or what it I should really refer to it as.

Anyhow, if you’ve had a look at my pages you may have come across a couple of posts asking about art and photography.

I find it hard to get my head around some aspects of photography being referred to as art, yet some photography is clearly artistic and some great efforts go into setting up and capturing some photographic scenes.

Photography takes knowledge, skill, vision and a varying degree of imagination so the photographer should receive commensurate praise and reward as any other artistic medium.

But then what is art?

Tracey Emin CBE is an established artist who was criticised in some areas of the British media after being shortlisted for The Turner Prize for her work My Bed.

Its easy for some to scoff this kind of work but what are they scoffing at, the artist or the art world?

I know what I thought at the time and to be honest I wasn’t impressed but then it wasn’t and still isn’t a world I am immersed in.

I feel differently about such exhibits now and think actually it was very brave to put such a personal thing on display to the public, after all it wasn’t just an unmade bed unlike my photos I am about to show.

I think what confuses me is the part of who decides something is art and who decides what its value is?

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So without wanting to sound like I am mocking the artists or the curators and supporters of art, can you, should you ever stumble across this post, tell me something…

Is the art in the unconscious state of sleep, the semi-wakened state of removing bedding to get out of bed, perhaps my decisions on composition and processing the images or even all of these in combination.

If I was to print these where would I suggest they are hung?

How much would I even consider charging for them?

Perhaps they are of no value because I am me; just a run of the mill normal bloke not selling myself as an artist?

I really aint being condescending, thats not who I am. Just very simply, if you are into art, are arty, an artist or just have an opinion, please fill in the gaps for me.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

1000 miles 01

A friend of mine is doing one of these 1000 mile walk challenge things over the period of a year.
Said quickly it doesn’t sound that difficult to cover 1000 miles over a period of a year especially if you are the type that enjoys walking a larger dog.
 I used to own a boxer and being ever so slightly biased I’d say they are the best breed in the world. I used to go running (more like slow jogging) with him and the walks alone I would suggest easily exceeded 1000 miles per year.
For 2018 I decided I would attempt a 365 day photo project. The 365 photo album can be seen here on flickr.  For some bizarre reason I decided to photograph the scales for this project and got a bit of a shock…. I have discovered that I am definitely too short for my weight and as I am of an age (40+) were I realistically will not be getting any taller I am going to have to do something about it.
I like my food and do not want to drastically reduce what I eat although saying that I could probably eat a little less meat. I do not over do it with alcohol and as such do not wish to cut out booze completely so there is one thing for it and that is to increase my activity. As such I’ve decided I am going to do this 1000 mile walk which will be a bit of a change in lifestyle and I do not under estimate that this will be a challenge.
 03/01/2018 was The Weigh In!! 14 st – 5 & ½ lb (201.5 lb or 91.398863 Kg)
Some of that weight should be from overindulgence while on a winter-sun holiday and during the Christmas period so should drop off reasonably quickly.
The walking should help with shifting a few pound but it should hopefully help me with the 365 photo project.
I might document some details or photos about the walks here.
The scales!

Taken on a Fuji XT2

Well after yesterdays shocking weigh in, the 365 photo project isn’t going to be my only goal for 2018.

Despite having the excuse of having a dense bone mass. Yeah yeah yeah!

Honestly, I do. I was unfortunate enough to have a number of broken bones following a motorcycle accident and I was told by the consultant in the resuscitation room that reviewed my scans that I should think myself lucky my bones were so dense.

Anyhow I decided there was no point putting it off so got started on the fitness side of things the day after the weigh in.

skipping rope

Captured on an iPhone7 and edited in Lightroom.  

Nothing to harsh, just enough to get the heart rate up a bit.

One minute skipping, ten press ups with a sort of side-twist-yoga-pose-type-thing (no idea what it is called). followed by ten abdominal crunches, ten elbow to knee crunches and one minute rest.. repeated five times.

If I’m going to hit the 1000 mile target I’m going to have to complete a good walk this weekend and to make that a bit tougher I am on night shifts!

Thanks for stopping and reading.

Jim Jimmy or James.

Holiday

Most of my holidays have been spent in the UK. Partly because I don’t speak other languages and although most of the world speaks English I do think its a bit insulting to rock up and expect everyone to be able to chatter away to me in English and for me to not be able to have the very basics such as please and thank you.

Also I had a dog that I did not want to put into a kennel or leave with friends and relatives. My dog passed a few years ago and since then my wife and I have started venturing further away.

Prior to our pre-christmas break we had a long weekend on Murano Island with a day trip to Venice.

It was a little on the wiffy side when boats went past at any speed and I’m not sure my nose would have like the experience if we were there at the height of summer.

A beautiful place that was full of character and friendly locals. That said we were there out of season and again I’m not convinced I would have enjoyed the trip if it was particularly busy.

I’d like to visit again but if I do I will make a point of taking a tripod and getting some evening shots.

© Jim Jimmy James, Marr,

Fuji XT2 – 18-55mm – ISO 250 – SS1/200 – f/4

There were a few of these signs dotted about along with signs asking people not to sit on the narrow pavements. I really can imagine locals finding it frustrating during the height of tourist season as I find it irritating getting around parts of London when the place is totally heaving with tourists.

Something visitors should consider are the narrow walkways, plenty of stairs and it goes without saying.. piers. I suspect those with mobility issues will find it very difficult to get around.

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Fuji XT2 – 18-55mm – ISO 200 – SS1/160 – f/5.6

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Fuji XT2 – 18-55mm – ISO 400 – SS1/160 – f/8

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Fuji XT2 – 18-55mm – ISO 200 – SS1/1000 – f/5

 

The best advice I can offer anyone planning a long weekend away in Venice & Murano is to just wonder around at a leisurely pace and don’t be afraid of getting lost. We seen a few police officers dealing with beggars and other people that were loitering about; the police were very pro-active.

Photographers, pack a tripod.

If anyone has tips and info on where to visit or good photography locations in Venice and Murano please feel free to add them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping and viewing my images.

Happy New Year to you.

Jim Jimmy James.

Like, Comment, Ignore.

Like, comment or ignore.

I’m happy with the traffic through this blog. As I have always said it really is just a place for me to document some of my images that I like, don’t like, want to share and those that I have learned from.

As such I don’t get hung up about my visitor numbers and I’m happy if someone has stopped to look at the images and perhaps even had an idea after reading my ramblings.

The numbers are reasonably consistent and sometimes I will have low visitor numbers with higher post views so I guess that just means that someone has read through the blog which is nice to see when it involves some of the much older posts.

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Screen shot. Thank you Mr. or Mrs. Taiwan for spending so much time on my blog. 

The screen shot above shows views but not per visitor. One visitor from Taiwan looked at twelve posts and forty posts another day.

I’m really pleased they might have found something of interest but what I do find a tad baffling is the  likes, comments and ignore part of blogging.

I dont interact a huge amount and could be more proactive at engaging with people, so I don’t expect many comments. However, the blogs I do read and do not comment on I tend to click the little like button and I will sometimes even click ‘like’ on comments made by others on other peoples blogs.

This is not to increase traffic to my own blog but because I have liked a comment or link that they posted.

My Taiwanese visitor has actually viewed 66 of my posts in total over the last few days but not a single like or comment.

While I kind of understand having no comments or likes when I have two visitors from the UK, a couple from the USA and then a few from other countries where the viewer has only read one or two posts I do find it a little disheartening when people look at lots of posts and do not like or remark.

This has happened a few times so maybe I need to accept that they just didn’t like anything or find anything worthy of commenting on.

I guess I’ll never know but thank you for stopping and viewing.

Happy New Year everyone.

Jim Jimmy James.

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.

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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.

The fox, The Tiger and The Giraffe.

I’ve been asked to take part in an interview as a photographer. I’m flattered to be asked especially as the person is an excellent photographer.  I’ll put up a link if it gets published anywhere.

It made me have a look at some of my past images. They’ve been a bit random and I didn’t realise how many animal photos I’ve taken.

I’ll post a few on here. Lets see if these get more views than “A cheeky bum flash” (no link added because the post doesn’t seem to need advertising.. The modern world!).

If you click on the images they should enlarge… should!!

Just a few for now and I may post some other over the next couple of days if I get the chance.

I do not have the details to hand for the fox cub or the tiger cub however the giraffe was shot on a Fuji XT2 using a prime 35 mm lens so with the sensors crop factor that gave me roughly a 50mm equivalent.

Technically these images are not fantastic but unlike an adult human model one can not ask them to stay as they are while camera adjustments are made. I’m not a big fan of too much editing so these may have had some alterations but nothing major. The lighting for the fox is pretty much the true light that I had.

Enjoy, comment and feel free to add links to your photos either on word press, instagram or flickr.

As always, thanks for stopping and having a look.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

Improvising

Improvising and having a pragmatic approach is something I have learnt that photographers have to get used to. Especially if they are not the sort of person that sits down and writes a check list (note to self… consider a check list!).

Actually it might have been a bit sad to have done a check list when just heading out for a Ruby and a cheeky half  or two!!

I was very kindly invited along to my second meal with The Punk Rock Curry Club by Garry Bushell. I do try to carry a camera of some sort most of the time and decided to take my Fuji XT2 along for the night rather than my usual Canon kit. Partly because the Fuji is smaller and less intimidating for people and because I bought a new Godox flash & wireless trigger that I wanted to try out.

The flash is as big as the camera but it all fits rather neatly into a little camera bag. Something I would not have been seen with in my teens & twenties & perhaps even my thirties as it looks a little nerdy… Heck! Even just having a camera wasn’t really seen as cool….. Oh how things have changed!

[At this point I adamantly refute any allegation of standing in the mirror trying to figure out how to hold a small camera bag; trying to look a little less like I’m carrying a man bag.] 

You might be thinking so he has a camera, wireless trigger and flash, that all sounds good so where or why did he need to improvise? I’m getting there…

I forgot the bloody battery for the flash and unfortunately the flash does not use any of the batteries you can buy in any old corner shop or petrol station, so I was a bit stuffed. The available light in the pub & the curry house was not really sufficient to get any really good photos. I took a few but can’t say I was overly impressed with them. I thought a high ISO and then pushing the image a little in editing might work but nah! What I should have done was just set the ISO a bit higher and I might not have had such noisy photographs.

I did however decide to improvise a little as we were heading back to the pub.

I haven’t taken any portraits for a while and haven’t really given this camera a decent work out to see what I can do with it. Nor have I given any real thoughts to night portraiture. So here was an opportunity but I had to make the most of available light and spotted a fried chicken take away on the high street provided my much-needed improvised light-source (Looking back at older posts light seems to be a constant theme).

Jose Olan

Fuji Xt2 – Fuji XF35mm ISO 3200 f/3.2 SS 1/160

Jose Olan & Jet Baker : Jet Baxter

Fuji Xt2 – Fuji XF35mm ISO 3200 f/3.2 SS 1/160

Thank you & good luck to Jose Olan who is currently on tour in the UK with Bad Manners   I hope he has a great time. Thanks also to Jet Baker of Buster Shuffle for standing around in the cold to have a portrait taken.

As usual a big thank you to you for stopping, reading my sometimes rambles and for looking at the images.

I haven’t posted in a while and will be unlikely to post again before Christmas but will hopefully get a chance to respond to any comments. So based on that I hope it’s not to early to wish you a happy Christmas and a healthy fun-filled 2018.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James.

Meeting the photographer 2

When I started this blog I made reference in the very first blog post ‘Getting Started’ to just a couple of the photographers who have work that I like. Gavin Watson is one of those photographers and I had the pleasure of meeting him last Friday where he was giving a talk at a YouthClub Event showing/exploring subcultures.

Gavin started off letting us know that he was a nervous slightly built kid that suddenly found his identity & voice through his friends that he made through his “cool brother”.

Although he speaks of being a 14 stone teenage skinhead that wouldn’t take any crap from anyone, it was interesting to hear that he wouldn’t have gone up to strangers to take their photos. This is something a lot of photographers struggle with including myself.  Its this familiarity with his subject matter in his early images that makes them appear relaxed and natural.

I was curious what made him pick up a camera in the first place. For me I really think it was the motorcycle accident that made me slow right down. I also think about the talk by Dennis Morris where he explained that he was shown a dark room and was just blown away at “how amazing it was to see this image appear like magic” with this being the start of his photographic journey.

I asked Gavin if there was any particular photographers images he was struck by and what made him pick up a camera in the first place.

I half expected him to say that a parent or other close family member was a photographer and gave him an old camera but that was way off mark. He explained that the type of kid he was wanted to go to the shop and buy binoculars to look at the moon but when he arrived they had gone, so he bought the camera.

As with Dennis Morris, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity of being a bit cheeky and asking Gavin to take my portrait!

So one of these images was taken by a legend (Well maybe not a legend but a “Noted photographer“) and the other was taken by Mr Gavin Watson.

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I have no idea why I took his portrait in landscape view?! Its been a while since I’ve taken any portraits so I’ll use that as my excuse.

If you happen to see this Gavin, thank you for the portrait.

As usual, thank you for stopping and reading my blog.

Constructive comments and return visits are welcome.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy 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:

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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

 

 

Monday morning blues

Its Saturday. Its my birthday & I have the Monday morning blues.

To be honest I don’t do the birthday thing in a big way; to be really honest I don’t really do the birthday thing full stop!

Not that I’m miserable. Well I am sometimes! I just can’t get into this whole celebrating getting closer to having less mobility, failing eyesight & various other complains.

Yep I have shed loads to be grateful for and lots to look forward to but I also have some really crap birthday memories. My birthday birthday cards simply serve to remind me of those crap times and makes me feel reflective for family and friends that are no longer with us.

A couple of days ago we (her in doors & I) talked very briefly about having a long weekend in Venice but the closest we got to that today was walking over a bridge crossing Little Venice canal in London.

So, today I woke up too early to get up but managed to snooze off again. Thinking I’d have a lay in but some builders put and end to that.

I thought I might get breakfast in bed but didn’t even get a cup of tea in bed. That said when I am off on a Sunday I do normally get spoiled with a brew and breakfast so its not a big deal.

“I was going to do scrambled eggs & salmon for breakfast but the salmon is out of date”. I didn’t get the french toast I was offered after the disappointment of not having breakfast in bed and not having the scrambled eggs & salmon. Instead I had a banana at 13:30. Yarp! My birthday breakfast was a banana at 13:30 hrs.

Anyhow I’m not really that fussed about a bit of breakfast.  When I got up I decided to make a twin lens camera that I bought some time ago. Unusually for a bloke I opted to follow the instructions and an hour later I had a twin lens camera… NO FILM INCLUDED!!!

Aarrggggh!  It was like one of those Christmas moments when parents are out trudging the streets trying to find batteries for kids toys.

Actually have you tried asking youngsters for anything thats not digital?! “Camera Film” repeated at me with the blankest looks you could ever fecking imagine. Yes, film that you put in a camera you fecking dim-witted ‘generation Y’ waste of fecking space!!!! Obviously that wasn’t my response and I’ve typed that just for effect in highlighting how frustrating it is living with people that know nothing of the analog life we once lived.

I can’t say that the late lunch was particularly good, its repeating, I feel bloated and uncomfortable. Maybe I should have just had another banana?

I did however find some film and took a few shots with this camera that I put together but I don’t hold out much hope for them being anything worth posting. We’ll see, it may be a pleasant surprise.

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Its early evening now and with the exception of a couple of cards and a few extra texts from nephews and nieces its been just another day….  Just the way I like it.

One of my sisters and a niece seem to think we might have a big celebration for my 50th… its a few years off yet but I managed to get through my 18th, 21st and 40th without a big fuss so I see no reason why I should change a habit of a life time.

Doubt I’m gonna shake off the Monday morning blues so I might have an early night.

TTFN.