Art

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

 

 

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

 

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.

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Blackwall Tunnel 1 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

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Blackwall Tunnel 2 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James (Marr)

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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

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

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

 

Photo compression

This is a further blog about testing the Canon Powershot G5X. Some of you may be getting a little fed up with reading G5X as that is all I seem to have blogged about.

I’m trying to get used to my new camera, there are things I like and things I don’t like.

One of the things I like the idea of but in practice has been a bit annoying is the touch screen. I like to use the view finder rather than the live view LCD screen unless I physically can not take the shot using the review finder; here the articulating screen is great and really does come into its own. However, if you do not turn the screen around so the LCD is inward facing there is a chance of changing your camera settings.

It was a rare occurrence but frustratingly it happened. Its also a shame that the manual focus is on the LCD screen and not on the front lens ring.

With the exception of a fe focusing issues I have been relatively happy with this camera and the more I use it, the more I like it.

Something I do like is the zoom lens. It has a 2.7 crop factor and offers from 24-100mm as equivalent to a 35mm camera with f/1.8-2.8 (variable throughout zoom range).

Used wide angle there is some obvious softness around the edges. This is particularly noticeable when used in the macro setting. However, throughout other focal lengths the lens is relatively sharp, in combination with the sensor some nice images can be produced.

One thing that I like about just carrying one lens is convenience of not being bogged down with bags and kit. It offers some freedom in composition.

I took the following image while walking along the river spree in Berlin.

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I like that someone decided they would do something artistic with spray can lids and went around to gather them up to make their own bit of art.

I zoomed to a longer focal length to pull the molecule men and lids closer together. While the focusing could be a bit better (user not camera) I think it is an okay example of how compression can change composition and an example of how the Canon G5X fixed zoom lens makes the camera convenient to carry around.   IMG_0254

The Molecule Men can be found on The Spree River close to the Oberbaum Bridge. They are thirty meters high and the sculpture are by American sculptor Jonathan Borofsky, They sculptures also found in other cities are filled with holes that represent the molecules that are bound together to create our existence.

In Berlin they also symbolically represent the intersection of the then three districts of Treptow, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

Book Review #5

If you are looking for a professional book review I suggest you look elsewhere. If however you are interested in what a normal general member of the public & student of photography thinks, read on….. Why it does not have to be in focus: Modern Photography Explained (Published by Thames & Hudson) was recommended to me in my City & Guilds class.

Rather than running or cycling I am currently commuting by London Underground and have nothing interesting to look at; the black walls of the tunnel and a few early morning snoozers getting the last bit of shut eye before they arrive at work.

So I thought it’d add to the collection I’ve been reading to pass the time. The book written by Jackie Higgins looks at a hundred images, offers some insight into the artist and their history along with something of a break down on the particular image chosen.

This isn’t a book that offers to teach us photography and techniques what it does do is offer an insight into putting works into context. Something that was highlighted to me by a reader of my blog John Acurso (I don’t know if it was a one off where he stumbled across my blog or is an email subscriber). This was particular to a small article I wrote about a Helmut Newton display I seen while in Germany. Although I am still not personally taken by his work I could appreciate at the time  that he was a talented photographer but I hadn’t really put his work into context of a bigger picture and body of work.

In her book Jackie Higgins takes images that could be easily dismissed as poorly composed & just very badly executed photographs but then puts them into context of a wider collection. Talking about the artists other work, how and why they set about capturing images in the way they did.

The book made me think more about art & photography appreciation, without being arty-farty. As well as highlighting how fickle some viewers can be; suggesting one artists images in colour are openly dismissed but the same images, technique and subject matter produced in black and white are widely accepted.

The one thing I’ve taken from this book is that it has reinforced a lecturers statement in regards to the importance of intent.

Some of the subject matter has left me with more questions around issues of plagiarism, both accidental or outright theft. Some of it has given me ideas of my own (at least I think they are) and I am also feeling reassured that my experimenting with focus sometime ago shows that due to my intent I may one day be published in why it does not have to be in focus part two.

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I’m surprised how much I got from this book. Its one to keep on my bookshelf and I’m sure it will be one to reference should I go onto further education.

And…………. here are two of my early attempts at deliberate out of focus photography.

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For the record I have nothing to do with the author, publisher or any of the artists that feature in the book. For what its worth I found this book interesting, informative and found some inspiration for two maybe three future projects.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Jim Jimmy James