Photography

Art – Arty – Artist … is it?

If you have perused through my photography diary blog thing… I really don’t know if its a blog or a diary or what it I should really refer to it as.

Anyhow, if you’ve had a look at my pages you may have come across a couple of posts asking about art and photography.

I find it hard to get my head around some aspects of photography being referred to as art, yet some photography is clearly artistic and some great efforts go into setting up and capturing some photographic scenes.

Photography takes knowledge, skill, vision and a varying degree of imagination so the photographer should receive commensurate praise and reward as any other artistic medium.

But then what is art?

Tracey Emin CBE is an established artist who was criticised in some areas of the British media after being shortlisted for The Turner Prize for her work My Bed.

Its easy for some to scoff this kind of work but what are they scoffing at, the artist or the art world?

I know what I thought at the time and to be honest I wasn’t impressed but then it wasn’t and still isn’t a world I am immersed in.

I feel differently about such exhibits now and think actually it was very brave to put such a personal thing on display to the public, after all it wasn’t just an unmade bed unlike my photos I am about to show.

I think what confuses me is the part of who decides something is art and who decides what its value is?

fullsizeoutput_38c

fullsizeoutput_3b6

fullsizeoutput_3b4

So without wanting to sound like I am mocking the artists or the curators and supporters of art, can you, should you ever stumble across this post, tell me something…

Is the art in the unconscious state of sleep, the semi-wakened state of removing bedding to get out of bed, perhaps my decisions on composition and processing the images or even all of these in combination.

If I was to print these where would I suggest they are hung?

How much would I even consider charging for them?

Perhaps they are of no value because I am me; just a run of the mill normal bloke not selling myself as an artist?

I really aint being condescending, thats not who I am. Just very simply, if you are into art, are arty, an artist or just have an opinion, please fill in the gaps for me.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

1000 miles 01

A friend of mine is doing one of these 1000 mile walk challenge things over the period of a year.
Said quickly it doesn’t sound that difficult to cover 1000 miles over a period of a year especially if you are the type that enjoys walking a larger dog.
 I used to own a boxer and being ever so slightly biased I’d say they are the best breed in the world. I used to go running (more like slow jogging) with him and the walks alone I would suggest easily exceeded 1000 miles per year.
For 2018 I decided I would attempt a 365 day photo project. The 365 photo album can be seen here on flickr.  For some bizarre reason I decided to photograph the scales for this project and got a bit of a shock…. I have discovered that I am definitely too short for my weight and as I am of an age (40+) were I realistically will not be getting any taller I am going to have to do something about it.
I like my food and do not want to drastically reduce what I eat although saying that I could probably eat a little less meat. I do not over do it with alcohol and as such do not wish to cut out booze completely so there is one thing for it and that is to increase my activity. As such I’ve decided I am going to do this 1000 mile walk which will be a bit of a change in lifestyle and I do not under estimate that this will be a challenge.
 03/01/2018 was The Weigh In!! 14 st – 5 & ½ lb (201.5 lb or 91.398863 Kg)
Some of that weight should be from overindulgence while on a winter-sun holiday and during the Christmas period so should drop off reasonably quickly.
The walking should help with shifting a few pound but it should hopefully help me with the 365 photo project.
I might document some details or photos about the walks here.
The scales!

Taken on a Fuji XT2

Well after yesterdays shocking weigh in, the 365 photo project isn’t going to be my only goal for 2018.

Despite having the excuse of having a dense bone mass. Yeah yeah yeah!

Honestly, I do. I was unfortunate enough to have a number of broken bones following a motorcycle accident and I was told by the consultant in the resuscitation room that reviewed my scans that I should think myself lucky my bones were so dense.

Anyhow I decided there was no point putting it off so got started on the fitness side of things the day after the weigh in.

skipping rope

Captured on an iPhone7 and edited in Lightroom.  

Nothing to harsh, just enough to get the heart rate up a bit.

One minute skipping, ten press ups with a sort of side-twist-yoga-pose-type-thing (no idea what it is called). followed by ten abdominal crunches, ten elbow to knee crunches and one minute rest.. repeated five times.

If I’m going to hit the 1000 mile target I’m going to have to complete a good walk this weekend and to make that a bit tougher I am on night shifts!

Thanks for stopping and reading.

Jim Jimmy or James.

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.

DSCF8469

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

DSCF8463

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

DSCF8403

DSCF8496

DSCF8408

DSCF8521

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.

DSCF8785

DSCF8676

DSCF8808

DSCF8799

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.

The fox, The Tiger and The Giraffe.

I’ve been asked to take part in an interview as a photographer. I’m flattered to be asked especially as the person is an excellent photographer.  I’ll put up a link if it gets published anywhere.

It made me have a look at some of my past images. They’ve been a bit random and I didn’t realise how many animal photos I’ve taken.

I’ll post a few on here. Lets see if these get more views than “A cheeky bum flash” (no link added because the post doesn’t seem to need advertising.. The modern world!).

If you click on the images they should enlarge… should!!

Just a few for now and I may post some other over the next couple of days if I get the chance.

I do not have the details to hand for the fox cub or the tiger cub however the giraffe was shot on a Fuji XT2 using a prime 35 mm lens so with the sensors crop factor that gave me roughly a 50mm equivalent.

Technically these images are not fantastic but unlike an adult human model one can not ask them to stay as they are while camera adjustments are made. I’m not a big fan of too much editing so these may have had some alterations but nothing major. The lighting for the fox is pretty much the true light that I had.

Enjoy, comment and feel free to add links to your photos either on word press, instagram or flickr.

As always, thanks for stopping and having a look.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

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.

DSCF8087DSCF8085-2

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

Post Fools Day!

So April the 2nd got me out of Saturday’s ‘Monday morning blues’.

No banana for brunch!! I had a fab breakfast in bed up & out to shoot some rehearsal images for a mates band, out for dinner with the wife & a quick catch up with some friends. All in all a much better day, as were the third and today.

A little bit of axe playing at home, some reading, some photography and I’m almost ready to go back to work tomorrow. Its been nice to have some time off and even have a good nosy around the world wide web looking for a bit of inspiration for my 365 project. Its tough to do. Really tough and I have struggled.

I think it was on flickr or somewhere that I got directed to a blog of a fella that was doing a 365 of selfies. If you know me or follow my flickr, instagram or on here, you’ll know I hate being on the lens side of the camera so when I had a look at this blog here: Idiot with a camera. I did my norm and headed to the beginning. Why? Well I like to look at the images at the beginning and then see how their photographic style and content may have changed. It just makes sense to me, in fact the only reason I have a blog page is primarily so that I can look back over the pages and see how I have grown as a photographer, if at all…….

Anyhow I ended up getting drawn into the above blog partly because the selfies were not the kind that scream Hey! Look at me.

They also appear to be mostly normal day-to-day images and not the elaborately planned style found here. Again, great photographs but for different reasons.

One thing that is very clear reading his blog is that Australia and the UK appear to be worlds apart.

Another person whose life is worlds apart from mine is that of Sir Elton John. I went to see an exhibition at the Tate Modern today The Radical Eye.

Hells teeth he has a lot of important photographs and it was great to see some of these in this format rather than published in a book.

So, hopefully if you followed the links you are not all photo’d out for the day because here is one of mine from today:

DSCF7621

These people had become art as they walked around a smoke/dry ice installation. It was really interesting to see how different people behaved while we observed them.

As always, thanks for stopping.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James

 

 

Just a little tip

Nowt much that I want to share with the world right now. Very busy with projects but I do have a little tip. Always carry a small cloth suitable for cleaning your lens.

I’m just looking through some images taken as part of my 365 project that I haven’t had time to upload yet and after I took a few shots in an environment that I didn’t realise was so dusty I wanted to take a photo of a salt & pepper set.

I just liked the strong light and shadows.

DSCF4264

I took a number of images and I did take a usable photograph but I’m glad I had a small cloth. Well worth every penny.

Although as I am typing this I realised that there is another project to be had here.

I read that despite “The Rules” of photography, a photograph is not wrong unless it was unintended and that no photo is wrong even if it was not what you intended; it simply becomes an experimental accident.

So I guess this could have been the start of a new ‘dirty lens’ project. Its a reasonable idea but I am not spoiled for choice when it comes to lenses and I don’t have a lens I can leave to gather dust, rain spots and general London grime.

If you do have a dirty lens project please add a link in the comments as I’d like to see what you’re doing.

If you just have a single dirty lens photo where you wish you had a clean lens please feel free to share a link for that too.

Thanks for stopping.

Jim Jimmy 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.

img_2497

©2017 jimjimmyjamesphotography.com

img_2496

©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

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