Last Photos of 2018

Here are my last good photos of 2018. And here’s hoping for good and better photos in 2019.

I was so impressed by the film Roma that I set my camera to the cinematic 16:9 ratio and black and white. This photo of Amice surveying his domain came out rather well, I think.

I ditched cinematic mode, but I like how the back yard of this house looks in black and white.

Gingko nuts and ginseng on sale in Gangneung’s Central Market. It would be nice if the shopkeeper wiped down the basket and tag now and then . . . .

I have so many photos of this bus stop in front of the Kyobo Insurance Building because I spend quite a bit of time waiting for buses there. Twenty minutes until the next bus? May as well use up some memory or waste some film . . . .

In the future I think I will post photos as I edit and develop them, rather than scheduling for every Wednesday and Saturday. I probably won’t post more than once or twice a week, anyway. Especially not this month, because January was quite awful, photographically. But there’s always February!

Stay tuned.

People You Meet

I’m very timid about photographing people, and you will notice that almost all the people in these photos are back on to me. The exception is the man on the bicycle, and I had the nerve to photograph him because he was passing by. In fact, I set up the scene and waited for someone interesting to complete the composition. “Compose and wait” is a lesson I learned from Sam Abell.

Gangneung Central Market. Fujifilm Provia 100F. (probably) Nikon F6

This is the photo I mentioned above. It was made at the entrance to poorly-lit Central Market where slide film dare not go. I composed and waited and was lucky enough to get this man coming out of the market on his bicycle just as the young women were entering.

Crosswalk, Downtown Gangneung. Fujifilm Provia 100F. (probably) Nikon F6

This was another Compose and Wait situation. I think the light changed two or three times before this lady showed up with her bicycle and placed herself most considerately between the two arrows. Also, the people on the other side of the street are to one side of her, so it doesn’t look like there are people growing out of the cyclist’s head.

Wolhwa Park, Downtown Gangneung. Fujifilm Velvia 50, (probably) Nikon F6

It looks like the HomePlus building is the promised land for these two figures. The photo would be better without the lightpole head on the right, but at least it’s not sticking into the woman’s side.
  All my cameras are empty of film now except for the Nikon F6, so in the future I won’t have to guess at what camera I used.

Men Walking in Dyke. Fujifilm X-T3

No guessing about the camera here because it’s digital. I made a few photos of the Leaning Lightpole of Gangneung but thought it needed something. So I composed and waited for these two friends to walk into the frame. Click.

Three Star Photo: No Boxes

Fujifilm X-T3, XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS @41mm, Classic Chrome Simulation

The “Let’s Go Shopping” sign is part of the downtown makeover by City Hall. The taped-on sign says, “Please do not throw away boxes”. Oh, dear . . . .
This is a three star photo because, while funny, it isn’t something I would put on my wall.

Three Star Photos: Apartment Moving

Ladder Truck (sans truck). Kodak Portra 400

As I walked out one morning I saw a ladder truck with its ladder and platform extended to an upper floor of one of the buildings in my complex. Koreans call it a ladder truck, but I don’t know what it might be called (or if it exists!) in North America or Europe. The platform goes up and down the ladder to move boxes, appliances, beds, and so on. It’s set up so that the platform is right next to the doors of a moving truck and things can be easily moved. There are warning signs on the ladder truck saying that people are not allowed on the platform. Sound advice.
   I like the framing of this photo and the happy coincidence of some clouds surrounding the platform to emphasise the height. There is a big spot in the sky. Dirty lens? Not sure. There’s a lot of grain in this photo and it isn’t very sharp. Bad scan? Bad film? Bad lens? Anyway, that’s why it’s a three star photo and not in my portfolio. Though maybe I’ll get it printed to see how it turns out. What looks like heavy grain in a scan is often almost invisible in a good print.


Graves are scattered across the mountains here and many of them are close to walking trails. There usually aren’t many people on the trails, which means I can make photos in peace and quiet. Although I don’t believe in an afterlife or ghosts, I often give a small bow before I start making photos.

I don’t think the stones in this last photo form a tomb, but it has that look about it. More than likely it’s just a pile of rocks. But how did they get there? There are no paths a truck could get up. And why were they piled up like this? Very curious, indeed.

Three Star Photos: Net Fishing in Stream

These people were fishing for something small that I couldn’t pick out. River snails? No idea. I wouldn’t eat anything that came out of that stream because water from farms runs into it and it’s probably full of nasty agricultural chemicals.
   This photo won’t go into my portfolio because it’s unclear what they are catching and because I wish the bucket were separated from white-cap’s head. Otherwise, I like the poses.


Next Saturday I have some photos of tombs to share, but this week I’m posting three photos that are unrelated but worth showing others.

This is part of a jazz club’s steel door entrance. The owner must know a metal worker. I don’t usually like making photos of someone else’s art, but this circle and the two interior bars fascinate me. It was a dark alley so I had to set the X-T3 to ISO 3200 to get a decent shutter speed. This looks great on the Acros film simulation.

Another digital Acros photo. ISO 800 this time. This is some kind of outside cellar at a traditional Korean house. Maybe people put their gimchi pots in here during winters? It’s empty now, so I let the inside just go to black for a more abstract look. It’s a fairly recent addition, as I don’t remember it being around when I first started visiting this house many years ago.

I’m rather proud of this come-by-chance photo. The framing and micro-composition are near about perfect. The woman’s face half-reflected in the motorcycle’s side mirror, the arrows pointing across the road, the little strip of black at top of frame to show the width of the road, and I didn’t chop her foot off! Many older motorcyclists are very timid about driving on the road so they choose to use the sidewalks! I wonder how much of this scene I actually saw when I made the photograph. I certainly saw the arrows, the helmet and the important space between it and the frame, her reflected face, and her foot. did I see the kerb on the other side of the road that helps balance the composition? Did I know I was cutting off just the right amount of her face in the mirror? Did I consciously cut off an appropriate amount of the cargo box? Maybe not, but perhaps careful study of many well-framed and micro-composed photos by the masters (Sam Abell!) and practise in unhurried situations helped me to unconsciously line everything up when I just had a few seconds to make this photo.

Until next time, watch out for motorbikes coming for you on the pedestrian paths!

Three Star Photos: Wetlands Park and Skybay Gyeongpo Beach Hotel

This is the wetlands park in Northern Gangneung, and in the distance you can see the latest megalithic hotel to rise up along the beach. It’s a sort of poor man’s Marina Bay Sands. And an eyesore.
I like the lines of the foreground and the placement of the hotel in the background, but the three trees on the left are confused with a layer of trees farther back. Maybe this would look better in spring when the trees have all their leaves.