Monday, March 26, 2007

Damon Hill - a blast from the past

My Borders' College digital photography course is about portraits this week. As my Damon Hill image shows "character" through his eyes it will be part of my handout.
With the silhouetted face (which this damn program will not let me position how I want) it illustrates the broad range of image that might be considered a portrait.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Goodbye Jessops

I'VE bolted from "Britain's best loved photo retailer" under the big blue banner as it becomes black.
Yep, in Edinburgh Shandwick Place, as the company itself suffers its own version of Black Wednesday (shares closed at 44.75p on Friday), the frontage has been repainted black.
When I was first offered an interview at Calumet , Jesops was up at £1.13, by the time I decided to go it was way down. Blue was more cheery but if the competition does black, black it is for the new Jessops World Camera Centres.
It is not all plain sailing in Jessops land. Getting you to sign up for their on-line printing service (Kpi see below) seems more important than advice on a camera to capture the image. I am not the only one who thinks like this. One of my pals emailed me and wrote the following:

"It saddens me, because I have worked for the company(on and off) for
coming up to 14 years, and it is amazing the transformation in just the
last 2 years...grew too large too quickly, tried to cater for too large a
market that just isn't there...downsize I reckon, or disaster looms.
I am starting to train as a..............................., mainly because I
cannot think what else I would like to do...actually used to enjoy photo
retail, but stress levels on all management are unbelievable now, KPIs (key performance indicators) more important than customer service, impossible to keep hold of good
staff..."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Available Light

Here's the handout from my Border's College course for 22nd March.
Do you have a night scene of which you are particularly proud?
Submit it either as a link via my guestbook or as a comment to this post.
Prize - Wow! My pick of the best will win 25 sheets of A4 Gloss Inkjet paper.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Jessops Share Price - New Low

Shares in Jessops closed yesterday (16/03/2007) at 46p, -5.15%.
I copied the comment below from: http://www.iii.co.uk/investment/detail?code=cotn:JSP.L&display=discussion&it=le It was written on 6th March, so he's already lost 6p per share, I guess he'll be holding on to them!

"I would treat any purchase of jessops a gamble even at 52p, although I feel that the share prices recent tumble is out of line with the companies margins. I do agree with many things posted on here reg jessops unlikely survivability in the high street, but they are still a significant company and are well known to general public which offers some recovery credibility provided they can adapt their products and business. More over I am interested in the sudden AXA and Investec interest. I havn`t heard of any news? I bought small into this share today, but have considered it one of my high risk shares. "

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Photo Competition - Coming Soon.........

The competition will have a prize - to motivate you! Not like some web contests, see www.eyefetch.com loads of subscribers who happily enter for the joy. Wonder who uses their pictures?
Title to be announced................
The prize will definitely not be Jessops' vouchers.....................
Submission via email or if you don't wish to post the pic send a link..........................
Need a bit more time to plan this......................

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Food Photography

The subject, this week, for my
Border's College course:
"Getting the Most from Your
Digital Camera" is Food.
Breaking eggs, mixing & sifting
flour enabled me to show my
favourite photography - action!

Egg breaker: The slow shutter
speed allows the egg white to
flow as a stream. It is then
caught by the flash.

Friday, March 09, 2007

On yer bike!

For three years nine months I've puffed, panted and pedalled a total of 32,000 miles to the same photographic shop.
Yesterday the boss put the brakes on, nearly a week after my resignation to join a competitor, he decided I should pack my panniers.
Bizarrely, rather than pay me off, in a rather cranky move he wheeled me out to another store in the chain. Giving the chance to tell another raft of employees where I was going and why. Enough is enough, being escorted off the premises, without being sacked, is a bit like going over the bars into a soft bed of nettles. That happened to a mate of mine once, the same day he buckled a wheel and was stung by a bee!
Today I put an end to the situation and saddled up for the sun, figuring that if I have to fork out two weeks wages it'll be better value. My new employers, who have a button on the blog, will move my start date forward.
This photo was taken, by Birmingham Evening Mail in 1978. Back then I didn't record the mileage as Steve Haskey, Gary Barham and I (aged 14) cycled our wee legs out for 24-hours to raise £100. (It's me in the centre)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Jessops Slight Respite

Jessops shares rallied last thing on Friday to close at 53.25p, up 1.43%. However, this price represents -50% from their price at the start of trading on Wednesday 28th February when the price was 103.00p.
http://finance.google.com/finance?q=LON%3AJSP
Perhaps Carphone Warehouse is waiting in the wings to "snap" Jessops up, with a Nokia smart phone.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jessops March Madness!

A share price graph from the BBC News Website at 2pm this afternoon. As I write this Jessops shares are trading at 52.50p, yep it must be the latest promotion in-store: March Madness. This sees memory card prices slashed, which at last makes them more competitive.
The further decline in share price was not unexpected, according to retail analyst Nick Bubb of stockbroker Pali International.
"The share price probably should have fallen further on Wednesday," he said.
"The credibility of the management has been badly damaged and I'm not surprised they've fallen further."
On Wednesday, Jessops said the digital camera market had continued to deteriorate during January. Paul Rossington, an analyst at KBC Peel Hunt, said the latest setback was damaging to credibility, but management, led by Chief Executive Chris Langley, should stay on.
Seymour Pierce's Richard Ratner added: "I think they were as surprised as anyone; there is no visibility going forward. It is very much the market conditions."
Jessops has decided to drive sales at the expense of margins in an attempt to recover, but Ratner warned this was not an easy strategy. "Will the price reductions drive sales and, if they do, can the margin be recovered next year?" he said.
(This report compiled from BBC News and Reuters both on-line.