About a month ago I took a bicycle ride to the seaside. It was a Saturday and the weather was pleasant, so Anmok was filled with a cancer of cars and people. Along the Coffee Street section of the village, anyway. There are no coffee shops and thus very few people at the river mouth, so I got off my bicycle there to make a few photos.

Yesterday I sent some Kodak Portra 400 to Seoul for developing and today I got the scans back. They are okay, and Portra is nice film, but I should probably stick with digital photography, especially the Fujifilm X-T3, which makes very nice colours. I get more consistent results.

This photo was made under the ramp which goes up to the pedestrian bridge that crosses the river mouth. On the left side of the background you can probably see the gas pipe that brings LNG from ships to the city.

It was easy enough to set up the camera on a tripod, frame the scene, and a correct exposure, but more difficult to get a photo where the passing people were in good positions to complete the composition. They were either clumped up, too far away from the near rail, or standing so close to each other so that they looked like an ettin out for a walk. This is the most satisfactory version I could get that day.

I didn’t see any fencing like this around, so I wonder if someone brought it there and tossed it. But that would be a strange place to do it, where there are always people around. Maybe it’s from the military lookout on top of the hill. I made several exposures of this scene and liked this slightly darker version the best. The lighter versions seem washed out, even though they were properly exposed.

A couple of days ago I finished reading Michael Freeman’s book on exposure called Perfect Exposure. It’s a very in-depth and technical look at getting the correct exposure. In the later part of the book he explains that technically correct exposure doesn’t necessarily mean the best exposure for an individual photograph and the taste of the photographer. I am able to get correct exposures at any time. All I have to do is check the histogram in my camera. But what I need to practise is choosing the exposure that best suits my photos and the impression I want to make. More experience and practice necessary . . . .

2 thoughts on “River Mouth, Anmok

  1. Exposure is a difficult thing – I know you won't be a Zone system person, but if you can find an old copy of Minor White's Zone System Manual I can recommend it – it's a bit strange until you get used to it, but when you get used to the fact that every camera meter wants to make your base exposure mid-grey, then it all starts to make sense!I like the third photo best – there's something intriguing about it.P


  2. I do know and use a simplified version of the Zone System, though I usually think in stops rather than zones. White face is +1 above average, snow is probably best at +1.7 or +2, -2 is probably the lowest limit for seeing things in shadows, and so on. I don't use it so much in the Fujifilm X-T3 because the EVF shows me (more or less) what the final imagine will look like. It even has blinkies for highlights, which is very useful for digital. Film slopes beautifully into blown out hightlights but digital just falls off a cliff.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s