Private gardens or sheep?

Yeah that title is a bit strange isn’t it…. Sorry about that.

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I was planning on doing a bit of a post about London’s private gardens. The squares that should in my opinion be open to the public to enjoy but instead are there for the privileged that can afford to buy or rent homes in the areas that have these large open green spaces within our concrete jungle. There just for those that can also afford to pay the annual key costs; not the average working class person, not your average Londoner.

This beautiful looking green space is Eccelston square in London, SW1. Increasingly it feels like I need to move away from my city. Increasingly it feels like you need to be earning a huge income or next to nothing – topped up with housing benefits, tax credits, child allowance and other benefits that people wouldn’t need if they were given a decent London Living Wage.

Increasingly I find things like these private gardens frustrating. Perhaps its my shifting political opinions, perhaps its because I just think its bloody unfair the way hard working people that fall within that middle income seem to be the worst off in this bloody city I love.

These park areas are dotted around and closed to the hoi polloi; God forbid that the elite should have to mingle with commoners… Don’t get me wrong here, I have nothing against wealth but I do have what some might call ‘a chip on my shoulder’ about particular issues.   I don’t have the time to do a full personal project on these gardens and perhaps that is just as well.

You might be wondering where do sheep come into this? You might have even forgot that the word sheep is in the title?

I read a post on one of the blogs I follow, how this chap came across some fish leaving the  water as they ate, he stood and watched for a while because he had not seen this before. His post reminded me of seeing a long line of sheep walking across a field. One by one they stopped under a tree and looked up before they carried on with their journey across the field. Have you ever heard of the saying ‘People are like sheep’?

Well its true. I stopped to take the image above and people stopped to see what I was photographing. Its not the first time; it happens a lot. It amuses me that I will stop to take a photo and then two three or more people will stop to take the same photo. I’m not talking about the tourist attractions or something spectacular but just normal things like concrete stairs. What is that about, why on earth does that happen and what do they think they are missing?

Want to try an experiment?  You and a friend stand in the street and look up at something and I guarantee people will join you.

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.

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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

School boy error!

I have two projects on the go at the moment. One is a 365 day project, a photo a day for one year. Sounds easy but its not. Well taking a photo a day would be but taking something interesting every day is pretty tough. Tomorrow is day 14.

The 365 album can be seen on flickr.

This is one of the images I was really disappointed with today:

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While I wanted to use a bokeh technique to get a image of the London Eye, Westminster Bridge & Elizabeth Tower, I didn’t intend on cutting off the top of the wheel.

The photo still works but it really was a case a school boy error!

Thanks for viewing,

Jim Jimmy James

 

BT Tower

There is loads of stuff I could look up about the BT Tower and tell you. I can tell you about threats & concerns someone would bomb it. In fact I vaguely remember something about a bomb going of in the tower and that being the reason for the restaurant being closed. I guess I should add that it was actually The Post Office Tower at the time and this occurred long before I was ever aware of such things. I think it was in the very early 1970’s so I was either a baby or just a very young lad.

I could tell you facts like when it was built, how tall it is and lots more but I’m hoping you’re here to look at my photos rather than learn about the post office / telecom tower.

Okay, now I’ve mentioned those things I feel obliged to fill you in with at least the details from above.

The 33rd floor was bombed and it did result in the restaurant being closed. It has opened and closed a couple of times and was recently opened for a charity event.

The tower started to be built in 1961 and is 620ft.

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The images were taken on the Fuji XT2 © 2016 Jim Jimmy James

Thanks for stopping and looking.

 

10 of 365photo project.

To see the album please follow the link: My 365 photo project on Flickr.

These following images are just three random photos taken on the way home.

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Images all taken on a Fuji XT2. Thanks for stopping and looking.

Kind regards,

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.

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

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©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

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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.

A stroll along the canal(Two)

I went in the opposite direction today but still remained within the Paddington basin & little venice area. Today I was just really wanting to concentrate on composition.

I’ve committed myself to a 365 day photo challenge. I’m only five days into it and I’m finding it challenging. The good thing is I’m taking more photos which I’m sure will be good for my photography and I’m fairly sure my photography tutors Paul Kemp & Charlotte Asworth from Morley college will finally be saying “about bloody time”.

The only problem I find with this is the problem selecting an image to use.

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Fuji XT2 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

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Fuji XT2 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

These images were not selected for use in the project. If you’d like to see the photographs used so far, the album is on Flickr.

If you’re doing your own Project-365-photos, why not share the link to your album.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

Strolling along the canal

There are two houses that I pass every so often during my irregular walks from home to camden. I stroll along the canal because its a nicer walk than being near the busy roads. Although some cyclists think its a bloody speedway and they have absolute right of way.

Anyhow, one of these houses near to camden has a garden that looks a bit grim during the winter months but always looks really inviting during hot days. It looks like it has just enough shade and light to be a perfect hang out with friends on hot days; yet I have never seen it used.

The other is near park road and the entrance is on the outer circle of regents park. Its huge and well kept, yet again I have never seen it used; I’ve never even seen a gardener.

While I’d love to have a garden space to relax  (not likely on my wages) it does make me wonder if I did have a garden would I have the time to use it?

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Fuji XT2 © 2016 jim jimmy james 

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Fuji XT2 ©2016 jim jimmy james

Kind regards,

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:

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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

Carnival Escape!

I have personal and professional experience of the Notting Hill Carnival. If you do a search for this event you will find all manor of opinions and perhaps even statisticle breakdowns.

I’m not going to say much more than that. I live close enough to the Notting Hill Carnival for it to have an impact on my day to day life. This year we decided to get away. Not far, just across the river to south London.

A couple of my mates laughed when they found out how close I still was to home but to be honest a break is a break and it is nice to see different parts of London that I wouldn’t usually visit. One thing that was immediately notable was hearing London accents!

That might sound odd to those outside of London but the MLE that you often hear is not a traditional London accent. What is MLE? Multi Cultural London English.

London accents where as different as British regional accents but now MLE is wide spread. I’m not a fan so it was nice to be surrounded by people talking proper English like wot I does. (I suspect it will mainly be Londoners that get that).

Its a photo blog so here are a couple of photos taken on my little point & shoot Canon S100.

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Canon S100:  ISO 100  f/8 hand held at 1/15 sec.

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Canon S100:  ISO 100  f/8  1/125 sec.

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It would have been nice to take a better camera out but the Canon S100 is just so small and convenient to carry.

I had a nice break and I think a Notting Hill Carnival Escape may well become an annual thing. Carnival is not for me, it isn’t what it was when it started out in the 1960s but if you did go, I hope you had a good time.

Thanks for stopping and having a look at my images.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James