canon

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

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

 

The Crème de la Crème this year….

In my last post I mentioned my punk singers portrait & interview project. One copy will be auctioned for charity once it is signed by the artists. I had great fun with that project and it was really good to be working on something that meant a lot to me personally.

I also mentioned The Crème de la Crème this year….

As photographers we find genres that we enjoy. Personally I’ve always liked to look at concert & photojournalist images. I’ve also enjoyed the challenges of live performance photography.

I like the challenge of changing light and movement. If you think its easy to take concert or performance photographs, go try it; especially in smaller venues.

Along with gig photography I have somehow fallen into the genre of portraiture. This is something I did not expect when I started out and thankfully I can say there isn’t anyone I have not enjoyed photographing. I’ve had a couple of shoots where it has felt awkward and uncomfortable, even hard work but the results have made it all worth while.

I’ve even dabbled a little with photo-journalism and been published.

So, that is a little background for those that are new to my page and hopefully explains why I got excited about my latest shoot and why for me, it is The Crème de la Crème so far this year….

I was introduced to someone at The Rambert Dance Company and contacted them with regards to a college project that would include editorial style photography with some portraiture and I was hoping to include full dress rehearsal with stage lighting.

Pretty much giving me the chance to indulge in everything I’ve come to enjoy about being a photographer.

I had a tour of Rambert’s home on the Southbank; clean, organised, minimalist, modern and functional. The few people I met seemed passionate about their work and the performers were being put through their paces.

While I was walking around I could easily visualise the project I wanted to shoot.

Unfortunately they were already mid way through a production and for a number of other reasons the project had to be temporarily put on hold.

Disappointed but with no intention of abandoning the hope of shooting a project with Rambert, I had planned on approaching them later in the year to seek permissions to shoot a project.

Move forward a couple of months…. I have a few days off and I’m getting some equipment ready to shoot a gig. Two cameras cleaned, lenses cleaned and numerous batteries being charged. Then I get a text followed by a phone call and I’ve agreed to a very very short notice shoot. A shoot that ties in with the type of thing I want to do; the type of shoot I thoroughly enjoy. The type of opportunity that only a complete baffon would turn down.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out but just in case you’ve not kept up, it is The Rambert Dance Company looking for a photographer to shoot their performers and senior artists from Mac Cosmetics Creative Team.

I would love to tell you that they had always planned to use me because they liked my work, were aware that I was featured as a canon showcase photographer or that a photograph taken at Illamasqua received over 10.000 hits on the internet within a few days. However, thats not the case. Yes one of the Rambert team was aware of me, they needed a photographer at short notice and I happened to be available.

I’m not going to pretend to be über cool and blasé about the call; I was very excited about it. Come on, how could I not be?!

If they like me I might get the chance to shoot a production from start to finish. If they like my work I might get the opportunity to work with them again. If Mac Cosmetics like what they see, they might even contact me at a future date.

Then the slight panic that I don’t have much of a brief, I have an idea but I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to need because I’ve had no time to plan.

Like I said, I’d like to say that it was my style and my work that made me the first person they thought of but it was actually more to do with being local and available. Yes it really was that short notice!

Right, a fixed 50mm, fixed 85mm and a 24mm – 70mm… do I take a 70-200? I didn’t but I would have used one if I had it with me. [Note to self: take the 70-200mm]

Lighting stands and modifiers; what am I going to need? There is going to be a cosmetics company so I guess they will have decent lights…. what if they don’t?

Okay, I decide I will take two flash guns and a couple of lighting mods but I’m feeling a little anxious because I’m not 100% sure what to expect when I arrive. However, I’ve got cameras, I’ve got flashes, I know what I’m doing and my job that provides my main income has taught me to be level headed and pragmatic (apparently that is also an Aries trait). I also felt quietly reassured because I know there is a local hire company that could deliver if I needed anything.

I arrive at Rambert and was greeted as warmly and friendly as the day I was shown around. I’m introduced to their team and given more of a brief.

I ask a little about the production to get an idea about lighting, they are filming so I ask if I can use flash photography and I get the go-ahead.

Due to the make up demonstration within the area I was working there was no room for light stands and modifiers so I had a couple of options with regards to lights. Thats something I have learned and something you will always read, no matter how limited you are with space, kit and options, you do have options and that is why it is important to know what and how to get the best from your equipment.

For me, shadows were going to be an issue but looking at the make up design and the fact the dancers will be under stage lighting I opted for some direct hard light and bounced light; shadows were going to be an issue so it would be best to use them and make a feature of them. Provided the client has clean well lit photographs of the performers, their photo editors would be able to easily deal with back ground shadows if they were not happy with them.

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Joshua Barwick & Dominic Skinner  ©2016 Jim Jimmy James [Marr]

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Luke Ahmet ©2016 Jim Jimmy James [Marr]

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©2016 Jim Jimmy James [Marr]

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Lucy Balfour ©2016 Jim Jimmy James [Marr]

I hope Rambert, Mac & the artists like the images. I guess I’ll only ever really know if I get invited back. I hope you like the images too.

Anyhow, I’ve seen them working hard and as professionals they made it incredibly easy work photographing them. So it seems right I should book some tickets and see the final performance to judge for myself if the lighting aesthetic of the images works with the performance & stage lights.

My night shifts start again tomorrow so tonight is my weekend. Think I might have a wee dram from The Glengoyne Distillery  and catch up with those blogs I’ve missed over the last few weeks.

As always, thank you for visiting my page & have a great weekend.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James.

Glengoyne Distillery

It feels a little wrong to leave the G5X without showing some of the better shots.

On a recent trip up north we visited The Glengoyne Distillery en-route to the highlands.

Actually Glengoyne is on the outskirts of Glasgow and is considered to be The Highlands. It is located on the most southerly point, right on the boundary of the highlands. In fact, the whisky is distilled in the highlands and then matured right across the road but in the lowlands.

We had a tour that was very kindly arranged by my wife’s cousin’s husband.  As you would expect, this included a few tipples for myself and my better half was the nominated driver that had the joys of driving a tipsy back seat driver.

At the end of the tour we (I) had a couple more generous drams in the old watchman’s house while we were told a bit more about the distillery’s history, their whisky and a few funny stories.

Its a much smaller place than I expected it to be but I’d say its worth a visit.

Here a couple of shots taken on the day. This time if there are any focusing issues it could be down to the whisky!

Glengoyne Distillery

 ©2016 Jim Jimmy James / Glengoyne Distillery / Canon G5X

The main entrance to the distillery and visitors centre.

Glengoyne water!

©2016 Jim Jimmy James / Glengoyne Distillery / Canon G5X

The small pond at the back of the site is fed from the hills above. This water was once used in the whisky but is now only used as part of the cooling process in the whisky production.

Glengoyne single malt

©2016 Jim Jimmy James / Glengoyne Distillery / Canon G5X

One of several vats used in the magical process of distilling the whisky.

Glengoyne casks

©2016 Jim Jimmy James / Glengoyne Distillery / Canon G5X

Casks on the lowland side of the Glengoyne Distillery. I believe they said they are used a maximum of three times and that this gives some difference in flavour and colour but I’d have to ask someone that wasn’t drinking.

Do visit the centre if you have an interest in the distilling process. Its a quick tour but interesting and the staff were really very nice.

Thats my final images I will share that were taken on the Canon G5X. For a one inch sensor I think they are pretty good. However if you are thinking about buying this camera, it does have limitations so please take a moment read my other posts.

As always, Thank you for stopping, looking at the images and reading my waffle.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

 

 

That Canon G5X

Yes its that camera again. The Canon G5X….

Well I wanted it to work out well but it hasn’t. It was no good for my street photography project and I feel I wasted valuable time trying to find the positive in this little powershot camera; there are positives but it just isn’t the camera for the project I had at hand.

The real deal breaker was when I decided to look at the possibilities of using this camera as a shoot from the hip kind of thing while using hyper-focal distance as a focusing option.

So what I needed to do was figure out what my focal lengths are.

There are no markings on the camera and the focal lengths in camera are marked in centimetres. Its just a little bit math one thinks quietly to ones self… Simple, its a 2.7 crop factor, what on earth could be difficult to work out!?

Well, you knew there’d be a well didn’t you? There had to be a well; the sentence and subject could only lead to a ‘well’. (I’m sure some clever grammatologist [is that a word?] or equally clever person might suggest otherwise).

Well…. It wasn’t making sense. It was frustrating the hell out of me. I looked online and had a peek at some forums. No joy!

I emailed Canon who reply with a standard cut and paste response giving me the details that anyone has access to via any page selling this camera.

I thanked them for pointing out the obvious and then explained the problem to them again.

Amusingly their next response was in regards to the cameras sensor size and images would not be of the same quality as the full frame sensors. What on earth warranted that response was confusing me even more. So I read the email I had sent them and replied, asking them if they could actually look at the question instead of sending random replies about sensor size and sensitivities. (I’m not one of those men that is worried about sensitivities or size!).

The long, and, short of it (no pun intended), was that Canon were unable to tell me how to set particular focal lengths and informed me that the camera measures in units of 5cm increments.

If you are interested the 5cm setting shows up through four nudges of the focal length switch, 10cm has one setting, 20cm has two, 30cm has one and finally 40cm has two options on its focal length.

I still though I could work it out but what I discovered was that although the camera gave me 24mm to 100mm equivalent view of a 35mm camera, I could not set and use the more standard focal lengths of 35mm, 5omm and 85mm. This was important for me because I am using different cameras on this project and being able to standardise my focal lengths would help with framing and overall aesthetics of the final project.

The G5X looks great on paper, it feels great in the hand and actually is very pleasing on the eye. It just did not live up to expectations and I don’t think my expectations were particularly high.

I can’t say that the Canon tech support or customer services filled me with any confidence that they know there product either.

I’m really disappointed this camera was such a let down and I can’t help but feel that Canon might have rushed this camera out for a christmas release date rather than holding onto it for another six months.

It seems Canon were perhaps a little lazy and happy releasing an average camera rather than putting in a bit more effort and tweaking an okay camera that has real potential to be a great camera.

The folks at Canon can rest assured that they will get no more emails from me in regards to the G5X, it has been part exchanged for a Fuji.

Here is the disclaimer: I am not paid by anyone to put this post out & Fuji don’t sponsor me. However if Fuji want to sponsor my ongoing education please feel free to contact me.

Likewise, if Canon would like to let me have a play with and test an updated version of the G5X or would like to discuss what I think worked or didn’t work in detail, simply send me a message.

Also, hello to my first visitors from Guatemala and Panama.

Thank for you, yes you, for  stopping and reading.

Kind regards,

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

Copyright question?

Yep its a copyright question again. Actually maybe its more of a ethics and false advertising type of question. You’ll need to decide and I would really like your opinion.

I have had at least one trip to Berlin over the last few years (except last year). Most times I stay at The NHow hotel.

When I stay elsewhere I am just content with a clean bed, room and half decent shower but when I’m in Berlin the NHow get my cash. Why? Because its clean, modern, a bit funky, has a late(ish) bar and for the most part the staff are really friendly and happy to accommodate a Londoner speaking German very badly.

But I’m not doing a hotel review or a review of the staff, its about photography!

So the NHow has a little twist. It is a music hotel, I’m told they have recording studio facilities and they also had some Mini cars for hire by their guests. Thats pretty cool.

Anyhow, I took a photo of one of these cars with the parking space sign. What can I say, it just made me smile.

I  was treating it as a little composition exercise. There is a lot that can and should be done to improve the image if it was a publicity photo but its not. The image was also shot on a compact point and shoot that I was testing (for myself).

When I was going through some files I found the image below and was going to post it onto Instagram  and then thought I might stick a watermark on the photograph. Not for concern about it being used or re-blogged but to direct people to this page in the hope they’d look at other posts and perhaps like, comment or even get an idea for a project of their own.

So the reason I did not post it elsewhere as it is in this post is for the simple fact that I do not know if it is wrong.

Watermarking ones own work is a photographers right and is done for various reasons. As a photographer I can shoot whatever I want in a public space (To the best of my knowledge this stands in the UK but I am not sure about other countries so please do not quote me).

Here is the dilemma: If badly done I think watermarks can spoil a viewers enjoyment of an image. They can be huge and really ugly but they can also be easily removed. So, getting to the point of this post, this question; take a look at the photograph:

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Taken with the Canon G5X

To the best of my knowledge I can do pretty much what I like with this image. Its mine; my intellectual property and my copyright. That is the case the moment I pressed the shutter release and took the photo.

That is also provided I do not use the image in anyway to misrepresent any of these companies or their associated organisations.

I have chosen a pink watermark for aesthetic purposes. The same reason for choosing this position of the watermark is for it to be subtly in keeping with the image but also visible.

I have chosen a different pink to that used by the NHow chain and kept a particular vibrancy so that it does not look like part of the cars paintwork.

For the record I have not paid for advertising or been sponsored by NHow or anyone associated with the Mini Cooper. However, if either would like to sponsor my further photography education please do get in contact.

I have also not intentionally set out to mislead in anyway.

I’m not sure if the question is one of law or ethics or something else…

If you are a photographer, lawyer, interested party or any other, What is your opinion on watermarks and what is your opinion on this particular copyright mark (© relates to the image only).

I’m sure I am not the only photography student to be concerned about copyright and image use. So comments will hopefully benefit more than me.

Thanks for stopping.

Kind regards, Jim Jimmy James

Another example….

 

More Canon G5X

If you follow my blog you will remember that I got a tad frustrated by always seeming to have an unsuitable lens with me and not wanting to carry lots of kit around. I think it was Traveling Light.

Anyway, the Canon G5X looked like it might just fit the bill and after doing a small amount of online research I headed to a few shops to tell them what I was looking for in a camera. These shops were independent of each other and one is a place I have used frequently and had really good advice; London Camera Exchange on The Strand in London.

I tried out the camera at a concert in Berlin & didn’t get any results I would consider half way decent. That said, I had not had much of a chance to get to know the camera.

The big problem I had was a noticeable lag with the electronic viewfinder. The result was that when I was pressing the shutter release the frame I was seeing in the viewfinder had already changed by the subject or light changing.

The auto focus had some real problems in low light too.

That said, when the light was fine and the subject was not moving, I managed to get some nice images like this shot taken at The Nhow hotel in Berlin.

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The above image was taken at a photographic exhibition called DO NOT DISTURB by Olaf Heine. Some great images and I bought the book.

I also had some images focusing on this toy bandit that I found while walking along the river spree. For some reason the auto focus kept trying to fix on the background. Although I wasn’t that close and do not think I should have needed to go into the macro setting  I changed the settings to macro and the focusing was fine.

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A quick trip up Berlin’s TV tower and really no issues with this little compact at all. In fact the fully articulating LCD screen really came into its own for framing this shot. I ended up using this screen frequently and its a useful tool on this camera.

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Back in London I headed out with the compact G5X again. Managed to get a few photographs of a protest but found the lag with the viewfinder to still be an issue.

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So it was over to the pond to try and figure out how much of a framing lag there was with the viewfinder. These two swans were perfect for this and at time they made the perfect heart shape. Unfortunately this was the closest I could get to capturing it. I think with a bit more practice with this camera the time lag can be mostly overcome, however Canon have definitely got room or improvement.

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Its not often you see the exotic out and about in London but this chameleon was alone the canal (with its owner). It took a few shots to get this nicely focused with issues being that the camera seemed to want to lock focus onto the background.

I’m going to preserver with this camera a bit longer. I can see that it has potential to be that good quality general purpose, small, easy to carry, every day camera.

If you’re thinking about buying one of these, the problem I have mainly experienced are  with auto-focusing. It really does not like things close up.

Do look at lots of reviews and even see if you can try one out before parting with your cash.  That said, I am looking forward to playing around with this little camera a bit more and will be putting it through its paces to see how useful it might be for street photography.

Thanks for stopping and reading my blog.

Kind regards, Jim Jimmy James.

Ps. You can see more images on Tumblr  Flickr and Instagram

Inspired camera testing.

I recently purchased a Canon G5x because I am a canon user and I wanted something small that I can carry around and not look as obvious as I do with the Canon 6d.

I want to do a street photography project and I was kind of hoping that this small powershot camera would be a good allrounder.

I am just getting used to it and I decided to get some of those wildlife shots that I see on Sylvia’s blog  Anotherday2paradise. Although being in London I would obviously not expect to shoot anything as exotic as the beasties that she has in her back yard.

One of the things that attracted me to the G5X is the feel and look of the camera. Very comfortable to hold, easy to carry, discreet and not too dissimilar to the dslr that I use.

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Testing autofocus on the Canon power shot G5X.

I’m finding that the auto focus has a bit of a tendency to focus on the background regardless of selecting an area to focus. But with some perseverance the intended shot can be obtained. Fortunately the Robin’s in Kensington Gardens are not shy and do not flit about as much as they do in other areas.

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Testing autofocus on the Canon power shot G5X.

I was able to obtain a nice depth of field that separates the Robin from the background but this took some time and could have easily been missed if the Robin was not so bold.

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The Swan. Canon G5x test

I would have like this image to be a bit sharper and will suggest that this may actually be user error, because I had the camera set to single-shot auto focus rather than al-servo.

However, the swan was nice and still in the next image and again the camera appears to struggle with a subject that is close to the lens and appears to be looking to select the background.

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Swan head..Testing autofocus on the Canon power shot G5X.

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Duck. Canon G5X test shoot.

This photo of the duck and the next image of the heron show that the G5X is capable of producing nice images when the subject has some separation from the lens and is reasonably still.

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Testing autofocus on the Canon power shot G5X.

I am not sure if the obstacles I have faced with this camera are down to user error or an higher expectation of the product.

Although I am happy with most of the images I have taken so far, at this time I would not recommend this camera to a friend or family member.  However, I will continue with the G5X and show the results.

Thank you for stopping, reading & even having a peek at the images.

Please feel free to click like or comment but do try to be constructive as this is not only helpful for me, but also anyone else that finds my photo blog diary thingy….

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

Ps. I am not paid by canon or their competitors to carry out any reviews. My comments are based on my experience and if you would like to see fuller reviews by experienced reviewers, use google, bing or any other search engine to seek them out.

TTFN……..

Getting to know the photographer..

You know those great photos that you see…. You know the ones that evoke an emotion, make you stop and think about the image, the story,  the one that just has something about it; that something you may not even be able to put a finger on the exact reason you like it… you know what I mean don’t you.

Well I am starting to look at some of those images a bit more deeply and getting to know the photographer. Not literally getting to know them! But rather getting to know their work.

I watched a short TV documentary shown by the BBC by filmmaker Marisa Murdoch about a photographer called Dennis Morris.

I spotted a number of images that I had seen before and researched a little further into his work.

Not for the first time, as I have looked at photographers other work in the past, I have realised that I have seen and like several images all from the same photographer but had never known it was that particular photographer that had taken any of those particular images that I liked. (I think that makes sense??).

So  in the future I will be making a point of taking a better look at photographers I like.

Dennis Morris had a small exhibition in London and was giving one of these question and answer sessions following an informal talk about his work as a photographer.

Interestingly he was brought up in my old manor where I was dragged up (I wonder if we’d ever passed each other in the street?). Living in sunny Hackney (pronounced ‘Ackney’ by all proper Londoners) might be the only thing we have in common.

Unlike me, Dennis had someone that sparked an interest and enthusiasm in photography. Luckily for him, he also gave him a camera and set him off on his career path.

My careers advisor at school looked at me aged fourteen or fifteen and said ‘Army’!

That was that!

No questions such as, what are you interested in, what are your exam grades predicted to be?

No question of what I might be interested in doing and advising me on the route I should take.

Army!

I ended up leaving school with no qualifications but got a trade, ended up going to night college and later went on to earn myself a degree.

Army! I went to the first school closed by OFSTED. Far too late in my opinion. It should have been closed many many years before OFSTED did the right thing.

Back on track……… As an adult starting off in photography I’m not sure the same opportunities are around today as they were in the 1970s and ’80s. The world is a very different place. London is a very different place.

When Dennis was starting off as a very young child, film was expensive, so I guess in that respect it is easier for people to access cameras and take more images now. But is it harder to get those iconic shots?

Is it harder to access people now?

The world doesn’t seem as exciting as it was thirty years ago, London does not seem as exciting. Its not derelict, its sanitised and people seem content with their lot. I’m not sure that anything exciting is going to happy anytime soon.

I don’t know if Dennis ever liked punk or if he was just in the right place at the right time? London was changing, there were various youth and subcultures. People had something to say and did things, people were out and about, people were being creative….. London was very different.

I went to his talk and asked whether or not he thought the opportunities are there for youngsters to start a career in photography.

As a 40+ individual this was just a general question,  I was interested to hear his opinion because I do think the world has moved on so much; especially with technology and it being more difficult to have your work stand out.

Its as easy as anything to get your work seen but not necessarily seen by the people that can change your hobby into a career.

I’m actually happy that his response was that he would just advise youngsters to shoot what they want in a way that they want.

At the end of the interview and Q&A people were invited to go up and have items signed. I didn’t have an old album cover or article so thought I’d push my luck….. I did have a camera with me and asked Mr. Morris to take my photo.

All I am going to say about the photo is that the circumstances were less than ideal, but hey, I had my photo taken by Dennis Morris….

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photo by jim jimmy james

Dennis Morris © 2016 Jim Jimmy James

Dennis said he wanted to be a war photographer and ended up within the music industry by chance. With tongue in cheek he likened his early music photography career in the mosh-pit as dangerous as being a war correspondent.

I wonder what his worst mosh pit injury was?

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© 2016

I’ve had a few bruises from the mosh-pit but this scratch was the first time I’ve had blood drawn. The joke of this is that it was a nurse that caused the injury. Well, a nurse wearing a studded leather jacket!

I recently got my hands on a canon powershot G5X and thought I would see how it coped with low lights found in many music venues.

Drummer of band called The Last Resort. Photo taken at punk & disorderly in Berlin. April 2016

Testing the Canon G5X in low light. © 2016 Jim Jimmy James

I’m fairly certain I could have got a cleaner / sharper shot if not in the mosh-pit. The image was shot at a high ISO and the only real issues I found were with auto focusing, which the camera had real problems with in this challenging light.

Thanks for stopping and reading.

If you have any low light or gig photos using a G5X that you wish to share please feel free to add a link in the comments.

Constructive critique is always welcome.

FAO Dennis Morris: If you happen to read this. Thank you for taking my birthday photo & if you are shooting in London and need a pair of hands from Ackney…. Jim Jimmy James 😉