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.


Jim Jimmy James

Jim Jimmy James Photography


Adult Toys, Not as in “Adult!”.

You know when you say something and immediately think to yourself ‘oh God what did I just say’ and you want to take it back but you can’t because you’ve already blurted it out.

Well I thought that as I typed the title and yes although I can take it back with you never knowing it was ever there it amused me in a very British ‘Carry On movie sort of way’. So the title remains.

Anyhow, someone had blogged about a singer and they commented that following this they had an increased amount of traffic visiting their post. I commented on having a post called ‘a cheeky bum flash’, its not what some might think and the title was just a bit unfortunate. I also blogged about ‘an adult weekend’. Again, not what some might expect, it was about a butlins music weekend that they put on out of season. What can I say that I haven’t already said; I blame it on our British humour and being brought up with the carry on films.

I typed adult toys before I really thought about a title because I was going to post about abandoned toys used by adult photographers. (Does any descriptive word following ‘adult’ just sound a tad iffy & innuendo-ish or is it me?).

I’ve photographed some lost toys that I have found; This one on flickr is from Berlin.

This one was shot on a recent trip to the Isle of White:


Its not a brilliant photo so I wasn’t going to post it anywhere. Here come the excuses: It was really cold, it was windy, it was balanced on a thin fence at the pier so I was half watching the toy and as such only half concentrating on taking the photograph.

Anyway the reason I am posting about toys is because some people use them as props. ‘Adult props’ wouldn’t be any better as a title?!

Anyway, photography….. Some photographers use tilt-shift to create a image of real life that looks like a toy scene (Like this)  while others use toys in real life settings to create their scenes. I stumbled across a blog that has a number of these and, well actually I’m not a re-blogger but I guess this is just a bit of an long winded way of re-blogging some images that made me smile…. This is the blog I’m talking about. Clever idea and good photos.

Thats it for now…

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.


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

A photography post!

So after displaying my frayed seat of my jeans and the rather shoddy initial repair, I think I need to get the blog back on track and type up a photography post.

Just a bit of an update really….. I’ve been out and about taking some photos, putting some final touches to my current project and looking at a prospective next project… From Punk to Ballet. With some luck, a lot of luck, my proposal will be accepted and the project will go ahead.

While out I noticed the Valentino window and was struck by how much it reminded me of arriving in Düsseldorf one night by train.


The only real differences being that Valentio have mannequins and they are wearing more than the women in the Düsseldorf windows.

I went to The Dennis Morris exhibition at The ICA, I was disappointed that so few images were on display but as I have an interest in that era of music and his photography it was worth my while sticking my head in.

Beetles & Huxley also have an interesting exhibition called ‘through the looking glass’ at the moment and I’d recommend anyone who likes that double exposure appearance in images, should go. The staff are always very friendly and welcoming; even when I ask them daft questions.

I had a little stroll along the canal at Paddington basin and stumbled across an outdoor photography exhibition called Love/Lived by Holly Wren.


My highlight this week has to be attending Damien Frost’s Night Flowers book launch at The Photographers Gallery. I’ve been following his work for a while and I think he has definitely had some influence on my portraiture.


I felt too self conscious to take my DSLR to the book launch so this snap was taken on my phone. The book is fab and Damien must have been chuffed to see so many people turn up.

Thats it for now….. A Photography Post!

Happy Easter.

Jim Jimmy James

Ps. I’m on Instagram | Tumblr | 500px | Twitter | Flickr

City and guilds Photography, Level Two, Part One.

I have finished my city and guilds in photography.

This had two main submissions. In each case there were topic areas such as still life, landscape and portraiture.

There were no set in stone rules so landscapes could be the more traditional mountains and fields or could be city-scapes. The only stipulation was that the topic area and theme had to be agreed by the tutor.

For theme one I opted for portraiture of people in the age range of forty-plus years but specifically those with a strong visual identity relating to street styles, youth cultures and sub-cultures that I grew up with through the 1970’s into the 1990s.

The vast majority of the people I photographed were strangers and it took a bit of effort on my part to approach them.

Only one person declined which surprised me. The remainder seemed either bemused or flattered.

Although most were happy for me to use the images in any way I wanted, some have stipulated that they would be happy for me to take their portrait and use prints for my course work but they did not want them published in any public forum.

I was able to photograph some Punks, Skinheads, Mods, Scooterists, Rockabillies and Rudies but didn’t find the full range of street cultures that I wanted to.

This was partly because of the time of year and there being no major events that would bring large numbers of particular groups together. I also had some issues around time management; primarily having a full time job that involves some rather unsocial shift patterns.

The dark nights and poor weather meant that when I did spot someone I wanted to photograph it was in poor outdoor lighting or inside pub/club/concert venues.

I found that this restricted me a little as I did not have a good working knowledge of using small off camera flash or lighting modifiers. Going to some of the venues I wanted to travel light and not be weighted down by having lots of kit.

The following two portraits are examples of the work I submitted.


Biker at The Ace Cafe in London.

I suspected I would find one or two bikers at The Ace but did not expect to get any portraits. The only person to decline was a Hells Angel patch wearer. I have limited knowledge of this group but know they keep themselves to themselves and for that reason I suspected he would say no. No harm in asking and his refusal was never going to be any skin of my nose.

Its a shame he declined but I fully unerstand his reluctance and distrust.

So, I was at The Ace and was actually looking for people with a classic 1940s 1950s rockabilly look.

This biker arrived and looked like he would fit with exactly what I was looking for and fortunately he agreed to be photographed. Once we chatted for a little while it turned out that we had mutual friends in the past and that I may have even been at a couple of venues that his sister occasionally frequented.

The problems I had taking this portrait were the strong contrasting light, I wanted to hint at our location without making the location as equally important as my subject, The Biker.

The location was getting busy and I was limited with composition options and didn’t want to capture people in the background wearing more routinely accepted clothing. That would have ruined the aesthetic of my shoot and removed the impact of my models style and genre.

My next subject is a Mod.

I had been to a number of locations where they are known to meet but again due to the time of year and weather, not very much was going on.

I had met and spoken to several people from the Mod scene but many were a kind of oasis style brit pop hybrid of the real McCoy. Some had the right jacket but the wrong shirt, the clothes but not the right attitude and so on.

To be honest I was struggling until I met David and his good lady who agreed to be photographed.

They both looked the part, not only in what they were wearing but also their confidence and demeanour.

I opted to submit this portrait as I felt it was the strongest of the images that I took with them.


I was very lucky to have meet some really nice people and everyone that modelled for me were simply awesome, relaxed easy going, a dream to direct and just made my job effortless.

Each person that agreed to be photographed were sent jpegs and it is my intention to invite them all to a private showing so they can see the collection in its entirety as well as have a glass or two of wine.

If anyone of the people modelling for me happen to see this, I’d just like to say thank you again. Without you there would have been no project. What ever your genre……. Keep The Faith.

My second project theme was Film Noir. If you’d like a quick preview of some of those images before I make my diary entry, a handful have been uploaded to flickr.

Thanks for visiting and as always your opinions are always welcome.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

Update on my 100 strangers!

Well I said I would update this blog on how my 100 strangers project was going but I had no idea it would be this quickly.

The project is on Flickr and I don’t usually get more than a couple of hundred views over a few weeks and only occasionally get comments and feed back on the images.

Here is my stranger number four. Surprisingly to me, this portrait was picked up by Flickr Explore. I don’t really know much about them other than they pick images that are considered interesting.

What do they consider interesting? I’m also not too sure about that. I do know that being invited onto their page is held in high regard and it brings a lot of traffic to view the image.

Ordinarily if anyone comments or likes an image I try to visit their photo-stream with the intention of returning any complements, finding some inspiration and hopefully finding an image or description I can learn from.

The 100 strangers project has already been great for feed back but oddly, and this is why I am blogging an update on the project already.

In the album I only have four images and two of those have been shown In Explore.

The latest image has had over seven thousand views and currently has 79 favourites (That is like the ‘like button’ on wordpress and facebook).

The same happened a while ago on the Viewbug site.

The number of views and likes is small compared to many of the great photographers on Flickr but none the less its exciting to think that so many people have seen a portrait that I have taken. I feel very privileged to be invited to the ‘In Explore’ page and very flattered that so many people have kindly clicked the like button. It will be interesting to see how many more people view the image.

I’m not going to have time to visit all those pages but have visited a few and will select a few more to look through.

If you happen to be one of those that have taken the time to visit my images and even clicked like; Thank You.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

Happy my name isn’t Smith!

I blogged about wanting feedback on my images and told you that I had a Flickr account. Its a great place to get ideas and inspiration.

For some reason I decided to search for people that have the same surname as me. Don’t ask!

I’m not able to comment on whether they are born with my surname, married into the name, are adopted or like Johnny Marr, changed their name from any one of the derivative spellings found for the surname.

Marr supposedly pre dates the Scottish clan feudal system. I type that like I am some authority on the matter, I’m not. It is just something I have heard over the years and I have no definitive answers regarding any substance in that statement.

Anyway, because we apparently pre date the clan system we are actually a tribe rather than a clan.

We were also supposed to be one of the original seven stewards of Scotland.

Potentially interesting stuff if one was into family tree building. I’m not and before I get distracted into the topic of genealogy I’m going to prevent myself from rambling off course.

Flickr…. Marr…. Is there anyone out there with the same surname as me that comes anywhere near my talent with a camera? [Just in case anyone is now thinking “Arrogant sod!” that was genuinely said tongue in cheek].

I’m looking for feedback and contacts and it makes sense that if we share the same name there is already some sort of connection. At least I can kind of argue some sort of logic and rational behind what could be total madness. Who knows I might even find a long lost relative that just happens to be an awesome photographer and is willing to teach me everything they know. So here goes…..

Hells Teeth!!

52 pages. Wow….Thats a surprising 1,342 photographers to check out. Lordy!

Where to start? Date joined or number of items?

OMG! You know when you start something and you think ‘WHY?’

…..I’m hopeful, so, onwards to the next page……Done!

So what did I find?

There were many profiles with no images, some with very few images and lots of photo-streams that had not been active for a long time. As expected some were/are just photo dumps and rather shockingly one was porn.

There were a handful of duplicates and most were just very very average.

Ultimately I’ve lost a couple of hours of my life.

What kind of a fool would think to look through photographers on flickr because they have the same surname?!

I’m just glad my name isn’t Smith!

A year!

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 19.25.49

Flickr is a funny old place to be. For those that do not know it, Flickr is a photo-sharing domain with many group pages such as those dedicated to street photography, macro photography or with images using a particular lens such as a canon fixed 50mm. Of those some will specify that the fixed 50 must be used on a full frame sensor and others don’t seem to mind.

Anyway its a funny place to be. Some photographers go there to show off how good they are. I don’t mean show off as in saying look at how wonderful I am, I am a sh!t hot photog. I mean they only put their absolute best images on there and they show off their images like an online portfolio and free webpage.

Others seem to use the site to upload everything and anything. I refuse to say rubbish photos because that would be a tad harsh. Just because it looks like 30 shots of a car moving from left to right does not mean its rubbish and I would rather think of it as that person experimenting and learning. In any case, if they put too many images like that on their page they do not get followed and they do not get feed back. So the images range from poor through to average and onto those that are just stunning and to a professional standard.

When I started out with poor to very average photographs I joined a 52 week project. My hope was that I would learn from others by looking at their images and getting feedback from the others in the group. Naturally this would mean giving feed back on their images. I felt a little uncomfortable at first but some of the members were really pro active and I started to feel like I could comment on composition and maybe suggesting a crop or even changing something to black and white.

It was all very polite and naturally I only really commented on the images that I liked. What I did also do, was make a point of commenting on images belonging to people who made comments on my pictures.

The second 52 week project didn’t have the same ‘community feel’ about it, so, I dropped out and concentrated on my 100 candid strangers project. I only have fourteen more candid portraits, street shots and its done, Finito!! As I read in another photographers blog Ian Gibson said “even lazy photographers should have a project”. Well I have a few planned and it is my intention to try and get some more feed back.

I’m just not sure how to go about it. I tried the small Flickr groups thinking if they have few members people might be more receptive to feed back and more inclined give to feed back.

I have commented on photo blogs and blogs with bugger all to do with photography, all in the hope of getting some useful and constructive critiques of my efforts.

On Flickr, where the world and its wife shares images of everything from insects to galaxies I make a point of visiting everyones page that favours or comments on one of my images.

I always try to find something to comment on. However, a change in tact is called for. I decided to look at some other images that these people have clicked like or clicked as a favourite…. What I noticed on one was that on the same day they had clicked about 30 images after mine and who knows how many prior. I looked a bit further and it looks like a few others have done that too. Not many, just a couple. Its like the few that click follow but you know they are not; its a way of increasing traffic to their pages to see what they have to say or in the hope that we will comment on their images.

I will still visit these pages but I will be more selective in the ones I give my time to comment on.

In terms of quantity I don’t really care about getting exposure of my images on Flickr to hundreds of viewers; what I would like is quality exposure of my pictures that allows for constructive feed back, the sort that will help me grow my skills and develop an understanding of photography on the whole.

One year on and I don’t think I’ve done too badly but a change in tact may be required.

Maybe just an invite? Other newbies to photography looking for feedback, comment on this blog with a link to your Flickr, Tumblr account and I will visit. I might even comment on your images or click like because I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts.

As always, whoever you are, wherever you are, thanks for stopping by and reading.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James