critique

Interesting!

I’ve lots of projects on the go at the moment and they are currently very time consuming.

The Punk / Oi! singers project is coming to a close and I only have one more autograph to get in the book before one of these limited edition prints will go on raffle for a charity.

As someone without record label or magazine links it has been a long process and I only managed to get ten of the twenty portraits that I wanted.

That said, I didn’t cast my net too wide and only approached those that matter to me. Most of the vocalists that I didn’t’catch up with was purely and simply down to our diaries not matching up and most have agreed to be photographed in the future.

I enjoyed the project a huge amount. Its great to shoot something you have a deep care for.  Its probably a bit naff sounding but I’m glad my accidental falling into the genre of portraiture has given me the opportunity to photograph those that have had some influence on more than just my musical taste.

Its good to be busy and its good to be in a position to turn some stuff down but its also bloody frustrating when turning down shoots you really want to do.

The people I shot for this particular project have all worked with photographers through their careers and I wonder what their views are of those photographers. Who are the plonkers, the nice guys, the impatient, the slow, the fussy, the quick, the no mess……

Somewhere in the archives of this blog you will find one, two or more references to Nick Knight. I’ve never met him, I’m not convinced we would see eye to eye on world matters and politics but I do like his work and he does seem to have a way of getting the best from his subject matter.

I was given a link that I’m more than happy to share. Its Nick Knight interviewing models to get an idea of their perspective of shoots. Just click here to be taken to the its nice that link & Interviews.

Getting feedback from people you work with is a great way of learning what works and those things you might want to change. I’d be intrigued to know what people think of myself and where I fit on that ‘plonker – nice guy scale’ or ‘unprofessional – professional scale’ but I’m not entirely sure I’d want to hear it….. tough one… Interesting!

Until next time.

 

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.

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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

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

Blogging Idea

Unlike Pete, I don’t have to put much thought into what my next blog will be. I don’t really even need to plan them. My blog is and will most likely always be about the images I’ve taken and the project I am doing along with the odd random thoughts like this one………

I don’t have a big following and I put images out across a number of platforms and that is perhaps a bit of a downfall of using various sites; not building a good foundation with an online community. Anyhow, these images are mostly different although there may occasionally be some cross over between the sites.

Well this post is kind of about photography because that is where I come into the equation and it is also what made me think about communication and communication barriers despite having a common language and even a good command of a second language.

Effective communication relies on three things, the words chosen, the intonation and speech pattern, body language including facial expression and eye contact.

I’ve said it before but for the benefit of those that are here for the first time…. I rely heavily on those aspects of communication in my day-to-day work. No I am not a customs and excise officer, no I am not a police officer and no I am not an interrogator for some totalitarian state. I do a very normal job that just needs to have a good awareness of communication skills.

I find communicating difficult when it comes to blogging and social media outlets.

One wants to keep things simple and not too long-winded but without using those small fill words or giving a full back story, the written word can very very very easily be taken out of context.

This was evident today.

On one of the photo-sharing sites I use, I commented on a lady with a chopper!

Some of you will already be smiling. One or two of you may be laughing. Some may be thinking ‘WTF’ and others might be thinking ‘what the f**k’ does WTF mean?!

It was actually a photo of a woman with an axe and my comments were along the lines of ‘most mens nightmare is a woman with a chopper!’

Here is the thing, even between English-speaking countries there are variations in terminology, colloquialisms and slang.

Have a look at this online dictionary for the word chopper.

Some of you get the joke, some of you don’t, some of you that understand the intention behind the wording will be offended because you’ll take it as a slur against trans-gender, semi sex-change persons or what ever term we are politically correctly supposed to be using; even though that is in my mind clearly not the intention.

In the case of the lady holding the axe, a pretty woman with a chopper! This pun may well have been lost in translation despite having a common language with our American and Canadian cousins.

This is just one example….. Okay, You may remember a post about Helmut Newton and another blogger perhaps took this as an uneducated dig. It wasn’t. I just wasn’t struck by the work on display. It was an opinion, my opinion and my opinion is as valid as anyones; in much the same way as your thoughts are. It’s not to say he was not a talented photographer.

This also brings me on to my blog about David Bailey and the disbelief in my class that I could question his greatness. Well, actually there was never any criticism of his ability to use a camera. He, like Newton, knew how to get results and worked hard to get where they are. In the case of Bailey, is it Sir now? I’ll stick with Dave or Mr. Bailey…. In the case of Bailey I simply expressed an opinion that anyone with a good understanding of image taking could be in his position with the opportunities he had at that time. Again, it’s just an opinion.

Onto another photography post, someone commented on a Lee Jeffries  image expressing their preference for a completely blacked out background.

Some people commented and may have just been pointing out that he (Jeffries) is well-known for his style of work and this may have been done assuming that the person commenting didn’t know his onions.

I don’t often read a lot of the remarks under photos, sometimes I do and this time I did. It made me chuckle because I could just picture people’s faces with regards to thinking who is this chap to critique someone considered a master in his field. Not dissimilar to my comments at college about Newton & Bailey.

The guy expressed an opinion and may have felt scoffed at by some of the remarks. I commented that it made me chuckle but of course he does not have the full back story to why I was amused. Simple communication that was easy to resolve but to some extent unavoidable without a big long, even boring prelude to set the scene.

Unless the wording is blatantly aggressive and nasty, I think in most instances comments need to be taken lightly. I definitely think they should be read two or three times and returned to, prior to responding.

Thankfully I’ve not upset anyone today. hopefully I’ll keep it that way.

No photo, no tips and hints, just a thought process noted down for future reference and my own mindfulness that a common language does not mean a common interpretation.

Is this my third post in three days?

Rest assured that is the last one for a short while… I hope y’all have a good weekend.

Jim Jimmy James.

Rejected image

Please take a look at this image.

Take your time and critique it (to yourself for now).

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This is one of my rejected images that I wrote up for my city & guilds submissions.

If you have finished having a look at the photograph I will tell you why I rejected the image………

Firstly I will say that when I first looked at this image on my computer I loved it. I felt I had caught a really nice portrait and I was really pleased. Actually I was chuffed!

  • The model is slightly off when using the rule of thirds. That was intentional but as other images were not slightly offset, would the examiner really know the intent of the composition. Probably not.

If I had three or four images slightly offset this would show intent and the composition would be perfectly acceptable.

Naturally rules are there to be broken. However, not when I don’t want little things to distract from the image and my grades.

  • The wall paper has damage or creases.

Obviously this is something that can be easily rectified.

  • The chair rail is not totally straight.

To be fair I could live with that and again, it is an easy fix.

  • Some loss of detail in the black areas but hey, its supposed to be in the mood of film noir so thats okay and not really a problem.
  • The image was taken in landscape view and not in portrait view.

Well, every image was shot in landscape to show intent.

Many were also shot around the 30-40mm range. Again to show intent.

Unfortunately only once the image was printed did I notice the false perspective of the models left hand.

That was the point that I felt the image had to be discarded from the final selection.

I suspect you spotted all of those and perhaps one or two or three or more others.

I like the light, the depth of field, the composition, the catch light in my models eyes; generally speaking I like the pose and her playing with the pearls but I kept seeing the hand and feeling negative about the image.

Please feel free to take another look and critique it openly this time (constructive comments are always welcome).

You could also head over to my flickr page to see more images.

Thanks for visiting.

Jim Jimmy James