digital 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

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

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….

 

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……..

Book review #8

Photography: The New Basics: Principles, Techniques and Practice. By Graham Diprose & Jeff Robins.

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You’ll notice in this quick iPhone snap that this book is rather dog eared. I’m not sure why they call it ‘dog eared’ but there we are.

The reason it looks a little tatty is because it has been well used. It is one of those books that I have worked through and revisited a number of times.

Used in conjunction with a good book that is specific for your particular camera this is a suitable learning tool for all students of photography.

As well as providing technical advice on most aspects of digital photography, setting tasks and encouraging creative ideas, the reader is guided through storage and post production editing.

A well written, well laid out and easy to understand book.

Although this book is a few years old and could be updated with regards to newer cameras currently available on the market, I highly recommend this book and would go as far to say its a must for anyone learning photography.

Disclaimer: I was not given this book. As far as I know I have not met either of the authors & I do not know anyone involved with the production or distribution of this publication. 

 

Jim Jimmy James