life

Holiday

Most of my holidays have been spent in the UK. Partly because I don’t speak other languages and although most of the world speaks English I do think its a bit insulting to rock up and expect everyone to be able to chatter away to me in English and for me to not be able to have the very basics such as please and thank you.

Also I had a dog that I did not want to put into a kennel or leave with friends and relatives. My dog passed a few years ago and since then my wife and I have started venturing further away.

Prior to our pre-christmas break we had a long weekend on Murano Island with a day trip to Venice.

It was a little on the wiffy side when boats went past at any speed and I’m not sure my nose would have like the experience if we were there at the height of summer.

A beautiful place that was full of character and friendly locals. That said we were there out of season and again I’m not convinced I would have enjoyed the trip if it was particularly busy.

I’d like to visit again but if I do I will make a point of taking a tripod and getting some evening shots.

© Jim Jimmy James, Marr,

Fuji XT2 – 18-55mm – ISO 250 – SS1/200 – f/4

There were a few of these signs dotted about along with signs asking people not to sit on the narrow pavements. I really can imagine locals finding it frustrating during the height of tourist season as I find it irritating getting around parts of London when the place is totally heaving with tourists.

Something visitors should consider are the narrow walkways, plenty of stairs and it goes without saying.. piers. I suspect those with mobility issues will find it very difficult to get around.

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Fuji XT2 – 18-55mm – ISO 200 – SS1/160 – f/5.6

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Fuji XT2 – 18-55mm – ISO 400 – SS1/160 – f/8

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Fuji XT2 – 18-55mm – ISO 200 – SS1/1000 – f/5

 

The best advice I can offer anyone planning a long weekend away in Venice & Murano is to just wonder around at a leisurely pace and don’t be afraid of getting lost. We seen a few police officers dealing with beggars and other people that were loitering about; the police were very pro-active.

Photographers, pack a tripod.

If anyone has tips and info on where to visit or good photography locations in Venice and Murano please feel free to add them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping and viewing my images.

Happy New Year to you.

Jim Jimmy James.

March or Die.

It can sometimes be hard to decide what images to share with people. As a photographer it seems natural to want to show ones best images but sometimes the best technical or aesthetically pleasing isn’t the best for the text and story.

That kind of sounds like I’m making excuses for images that people might look at and think the composition and other aspects should or could’ve been done differently.

Yes they could but its about the story… March or Die is the title for a movie about the French Foreign Legion that I have seen but remember pretty much nothing of.

I have just returned from a trip to Fuerteventura and when I spied the landscape ahead of me it was the title of that movie that immediately sprung to mind. The wife didn’t find that very reassuring when I blurted that out as we strolled off into the hills.

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I very nearly signed up to the French Foreign Legion when I was a lot younger. I think at 16/17 years old I was stubborn enough to have been mentally strong enough to cope and I’d like to think at that age I would have managed the physical demands but I was talked out of it. The whys, wheres, and hows are far too long winded for this ‘photo diary/blog’ but I do sometimes wonder how things might have panned out if that was the route I ended up following.

It would be great to have an opportunity to enrol on the training without having to commit time following that training but even if that was possible, I’m a lot older, heavier and most definitely not fit enough; I’d probably end up in hospital after day two. Thats if I’d managed to survive day 1!!!

Anyhow, back to the photos. All taken handheld with a Fuji XT2 and prime 35mm lens.

Thanks for stopping and looking at the images. Constructive comments always welcome.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy or James.

Citizen Photojournalism

So we all know that the Television broadcasting agencies in the UK ask for viewers to share their videos of news stories as I am sure happens around the world and the term ‘Citizen Journalist’ has been bounded around for some time.

A while ago I signed up to the Demotix Agency for photographers. I didn’t really use it. To be honest I only put one item on there from an attack on Coca Cola’s head office in Berlin, Germany. It was part of the lead up to the Mayday protests. Some windows had been smashed and I obtained images after the building had been vandalised.

 

Demotix now seems to have sold up and closed. I found this out yesterday (15/02/2017) when I wanted to upload a couple of images of a protest in Paddington.

French employees of Marks and Spencers had come to The M&S head offices in Merchant Square, Paddington, London.

They were protesting against the closures of a number of stores in France. It would appear that M&S claim that they are not making sufficient profits to keep the stores open and the protestors indicated that they do not believe this is the case.

One protestor that I spoke with stated that M&S are making people redundant so they can re-employ people on zero-hours contracts and removal of current employee benefits.

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©2017 jimjimmyjamesphotography.com

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©2017 jimjimmyjamesphotography.com

Please feel free to comment on images on the proviso that it is constructive. If you know more about the French M&S situation please also feel free to fill in the gaps using the comments / reply tab and if you want to suggest a ‘citizen photojournalist’ site for me to look at, that would also be welcomed.

As always, thanks for stopping.

Kind regards,

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

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

Pet Hate!

‘Pet Hate’ is a funny old term. It sounds like something we like to hate but in reality it is something that really gets our goat up.

Something that many may find trivial or a minor annoyance but for the individual it is something that is disliked intensely and is a constant or repeated annoyance.

Feet on seats!

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This is actually something that really riles me. I mean it really really does bug me.

I used to make comments to people and ask them why they felt it was okay to walk through all sorts of crap on our cities pavements and then wipe their feet all over the seats where people have to sit.

I also used to point out the faded, ripped seats and the new seats that had replaced the damaged and worn out ones. I’d ask them if they thought the savings made from not replacing these seats that are damaged by inconsiderate peoples shoes, boots….. could be passed on to commuters like us or spent elsewhere on the transport network.

Now I sit there and bristle inside, every now and then one of these unsociable and unsuspecting humans of London makes eye contact and I’ll ask: When you get home at night do you put your shitty shoes all over your own furniture.

They tend to put their feet on the floor and do not say anything. I need to be careful because our society is changing and as someone pointed out the other night, I’m not a young man anymore. Cheeky bloody upstart!

Maybe I should start a photography ‘feet off seats’ campaign showing these peoples faces?!

I’m like a grumpy old man.

I hate it with a loathing and yet, for some reason it is fondly called a Pet Hate!

Jim Jimmy James