Citizen Photojournalism

So we all know that the Television broadcasting agencies in the UK ask for viewers to share their videos of news stories as I am sure happens around the world and the term ‘Citizen Journalist’ has been bounded around for some time.

A while ago I signed up to the Demotix Agency for photographers. I didn’t really use it. To be honest I only put one item on there from an attack on Coca Cola’s head office in Berlin, Germany. It was part of the lead up to the Mayday protests. Some windows had been smashed and I obtained images after the building had been vandalised.


Demotix now seems to have sold up and closed. I found this out yesterday (15/02/2017) when I wanted to upload a couple of images of a protest in Paddington.

French employees of Marks and Spencers had come to The M&S head offices in Merchant Square, Paddington, London.

They were protesting against the closures of a number of stores in France. It would appear that M&S claim that they are not making sufficient profits to keep the stores open and the protestors indicated that they do not believe this is the case.

One protestor that I spoke with stated that M&S are making people redundant so they can re-employ people on zero-hours contracts and removal of current employee benefits.





Please feel free to comment on images on the proviso that it is constructive. If you know more about the French M&S situation please also feel free to fill in the gaps using the comments / reply tab and if you want to suggest a ‘citizen photojournalist’ site for me to look at, that would also be welcomed.

As always, thanks for stopping.

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.


Blackwall Tunnel 1 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)


Blackwall Tunnel 2 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)


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

Bird Trouble!

‘Bird Trouble’…… If you hear that in London it would usually refer to the fairer sex causing grief, nagging, getting herself pregnant and such like.

The other side to this of course is that the bloke has usually screwed up!
Thats right, its always the fellas fault!!

Apparently the sooner we learn that and just say ‘Yes Dear’, the happier we will be…. Actually, on second thoughts saying ‘yes dear’ probably would not be the best response to any given situation.

So if you have landed on this page looking for advice cos you have genuine bird trouble….. go seek the advice from one of those agony aunt people or take a mate down the pub and chew on their ear. I am most definitely not the person to give advice on bird trouble.

Fortunately my bird trouble is that of the feathered variety and therefore less complex…. A lot less complex!

I arrived home from Germany and found a surprise in my window box:


Focusing is slightly out as I wanted to be quick and not prevent mum from returning to the nest. Image taken with Canon G5X.

I looked on line to see what birds lay these beautiful blue eggs. It seems that a number of birds that nest in trees can have a range of colour pigmentation in the shell.

We don’t see many sparrows in London these days. I vaguely remember reading something about this being down to the Italians catching them in huge nets and eating them in their thousands. Well, a mix of that and people paving/tarmacking over their front gardens in order to have off road parking.

Good for their insurance but shite for the environment. There is even a suggestion that this is partly responsible for some floods we see in the city. The suggestion being that with the missing front gardens, rain water is not absorbed into the ground and only has one place to go; our old victorian sewage network.

Anyway that is taking me way way way off topic……

Sparrows were common in London. Now they are not. What ever the cause in their decline I personally miss the sight of these little birds flittering and hoping around. Maybe thats why Berlin feels familiar with their playful sparrows fluttering about.

Maybe our dwindling numbers was down to the Italians? I’m sure someone will fill in the gaps or call me anti-Italian. Don’t bother, as it is not true and it will fall on death ears…


House sparrow once a very common site in London. ©2016 Jim Jimmy James – Canon G5X

I’d like to think this little chap or girlie at Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen heard our London accents and felt a natural affinity to come and stand near us. They are after all cockney sparras (Not to be mixed up with the excellent but not so fluffy band called Cock Sparrer).

So……. one nest and one blue egg. Looking online suggested that city birds have fewer clutches of eggs. Okay so this little bird, what ever it is, will be having one chick. Thats a good thing as it will be less noisy.

I could have just got rid of the nest….. Yes its illegal but who would have known?!!

However, I’m not that way inclined and truth be told, although not having full use of my balcony will be a little inconvenient for four, five, maybe six weeks, I’m kind of looking forward to seeing these chicks hatch and grow.

Chicks! Chicks! Those of you paying attention will have noted I said there was one egg. In deed in the photograph there is one egg.

That was until mum popped another two out.


© 2016 Jim Jimmy James

Its kind of exciting and I feel like I am about to become a proud father.

Here is the sad part…… Its not a sparrow! Sparrer or even a Cockney Sparra.


Mum to be…

Why am I even blogging about this… Here is the thing; I need some advice… You see, the way it starts it sounds just like real bird trouble… but its different..

Can anyone answer the following please:

What type of bird is this?

How long before the eggs hatch?

How long will the chicks be in the nest?

Once they fly off are they done with the nest or will they return for a safe place for short period?

Should we leave some food out?
My concern is that it might attract other birds or potential predators?? Maybe even Italians! [I’m kidding!]

If we should leave out some food, what should it be?

If we put out a bird bath with water  will that attract birds that may cause harm to the eggs/chicks?

Can we still use the balcony to dry laundry or should we stay away completely?

I would like to take photos as the chicks grow and develop. So how long will mum be away and will popping out to grab quick shots cause any issues?

If there are any of those Ornithologist types or twitchers that can offer some advice on my kind of bird trouble, it would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James…………………………… UPDATE