black and white photography

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“I was going to do scrambled eggs & salmon for breakfast but the salmon is out of date”.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.



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.


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 

Black and White

Someone whose opinion is valued suggested I should produce some black and white photography. 

I’ve always liked black and white images and like the graininess that can be seen with film images but I am not so sure digital black and white has the same effect. 

It still looks good and definitely appeals to me but its just not the same.

I do think good black and white photographers must see in black and white. I’ve said that before and the reason I say is because they seem to understand shapes and textures but maybe they just have a really good or tacit understanding of light. 

I’ve looked at a number of my pictures and converted them to black and white but have not been particularly keen on most of them. Many look flat, that seems to be the only way I can describe them and I’m wondering if this has something to do with the processing. Perhaps I just need to learn more about contrast and adjusting the colour channels. 

I was doing a little project looking at directional light and its effect on an image. I picked four images and converted them to black and white. They could all do with some magic computer trickery but as of yet I am only just coming to terms with the very basic of adjustments


Initially when I took this photograph my intention was to capture some silhouettes. I played around with the camera settings and managed to get the images I set out to obtain. The image above is one of the first I took and while it is not a strict silhouette I have included it here simply because I like it. The lack of detail, increased contrast and subject makes this image feel old and not dateable. 

The next image was also taken with natural sunlight. When I took the photo I had hoped for some interesting textures and shadows but I think the sunlight being so strong made it difficult to capture what I could see. Some of the detail is missing and I think this might be the result of incorrect metering. I guess if I had metered for the ring finger I would have captured more detail. I also wonder if this image would be salvageable if I was knowledgable and proficient with photography software.



I don’t know the proper term but when I set out to get this image I wanted to get some flare/glare from the sun. I wanted some bleached out areas and some elongated shadows so I headed out early-(ish) to make the most of a low sun. 

I kind of like the result although I’m sure with a bit more practice and patience I could do a lot better. None the less I’m happy with this as a first attempt and will revisit this another time.

I did chuckle trying to get this photo and many that have been out with a camera will sympathise. Normally the average person will stand and wait for people to move out of the shot so that we can get the picture of our loved one next to a land mark and the photo gets added to our holiday snaps. Yet we stand and stand and stand, patiently waiting and on these occasions it is usually busy and people just mill around. Almost like they are doing it deliberately. Generally they ignore that fact you are trying to take a photo and just stand around, in the way. (or is it just me they do this to?).

Anyway, I wanted people in this shot and I couldn’t believe how many people spotted that I was taking a photo and rather than typically getting in the way people kept getting out of the way and apologising. A little frustrating but actually very funny. (Even at the time).

The next image is the manageress of a pub in Waterloo, London. My first time playing with an off camera flash. 

I have made some adjustments to the image and am fairly happy with the result. However if there is one thing I would change it would be to lighten the shadow on the left side of her face. Again, this is something I do not know how to do (Yet!!) and an area I hope to learn about in the coming months. 


As always, thank you for visiting and please feel free to leave comments.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James