Rice Field, Heo Estate, and Gangmun

In Westeros (Game of Thrones), “Winter is coming” fills the hearts of people with dread. In Korea, “Summer us coming” puts fear into the minds and pores of everyone. Summer is coming, and yesterday was bloody hot. But this morning the air was relatively cool and the sky was overcast. I had no classes so I grabbed a tripod and a camera and headed off to the Heo Estate.
   I’ve been there a hundred times, but I still manage to see it a little bit differently every time I go. And every camera I use gives it a slightly different look. Today I brought the Fujifilm X-T3 with 18-55 zoom lens. That’s about 28-85 on a 35mm camera, so it covers all the focal lengths I normally use. I chose the Heo Estate today knowing I can always get at least one or two good photos because I am familiar with the location. And because it wouldn’t be that difficult for me to find a good composition, I could concentrate on exposure. In fact, my goal today was to produce photos that wouldn’t need anything done to them later in the computer. Except for one or two minor ‘errors’ made when rushing, all the photos I made can be printed as is.

Hapyeong Fields

I made this almost as soon as I got off the bus. I saw the bicycle next to the field and a few moments after I made a photo the owner came by and rode away. I was panning when I made this photo and if you see a large version of this photo you might notice that the upper right corner reveals a little bit of some greenhouses. I thought about trimming it out, but it’s such a small sliver that I just left it.

Statue of Heo Nanseolheon

It’s always such a struggle to remember this woman’s name. Her brother’s name is Heo Gyun. Nice and simple. Her real name is shorter, but she chose a pen name longer than the usual Korean name. I think I should have trimmed off a bit more on the left when framing. Well, next time.

Moth on Paper Door

This is the only photo where I fixed the exposure a little bit afterwards. I noticed this moth sitting on the door and, fearing it would fly away before I could set up my tripod, set the camera’s exposure to automatic and made a few photos. The bright white paper fooled the camera’s meter and the picture came out slightly underexposed. The moth didn’t budge, so it might be dead. 😦

Clay Pots and Traditional Wall

I’ve photographed this scene before, but the composition of the pots turned out well today. There are about twenty pots or so near this wall, but I excluded most of them to keep the photograph simple.
   I might go to Seoul for a few days when the semester is finished, and I’m definitely going to buy a polarising filter. It would have been useful for this photo and the statue photo above.

Walls and Roofs

I never noticed this composition before, even though I’ve stood in this spot many times. I like the photo, but I think I can do better if I go back again. The right part of the photo is a bit weak.

Paper and Wooden Doors

Again, I’ve photographed this door dozens of times, but I think this might be the best version yet. I included a lot more of the wooden door on the right than I usually do. I’m going to print this one for sure.

Military Post, Gangmun

It’s just a short walk from the Heo Estate to the river mouth at Gangmun. I made a few photos, but I was running out of inspiration by this point. This is another thing I’ve looked at photographed a lot but never so well. My favourite part of this photo is the little wave of sand in the bottom right. I don’t think the photo would work without it.
   This photo was a little bit flat as is, so I took the time to adjust highlights and shadows in the camera menu. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out as a print.

It’s Friggin’ Hot

It’s over thirty degrees again today in Gangneung. I’d like to go out and make some black and white photographs on the HP5+ I recently bought, but the light is harsh and it’s hot. I can do something about the harsh light by incorporating shadows into my compositions, but there’s nothing I can do about feeling miserable. Here is the state of the light a bit earlier today:

It’s craparoni, the Korean summer treat. 

So, I messed around a bit with the X-T3 inside where there is air conditioning. And a cat!

He was shouting at my wife, though I don’t remember about what.

I hope my mother doesn’t look at this blog post, because I had Pepsi and biscuits for lunch. It might be time to buy extra milk and cereal for those hot days, though I’m not sure breakfast cereal is any better for you than biscuits. Except it’s more socially acceptable to eat for meals . . . .
Ceiling lights. I was just testing exposure and contrast settings, but I like how this turned out.
I got some film back from the lab the other day and I was very unhappy with the results. The photos weren’t very good partly because of my incompetence when pressing the shutter release button, partly because labs here always scan ‘very far to the right’, and partly because I’m not great at processing those scans to get good results. The black and white scans turned out very well, though. It might be a good idea to use film for black and white and stick to digital for colour. And no more raw files from digital cameras. What a pain in the arse that is. You need special software, etc etc. It’s either going to be right straight out of the camera or it gets deleted. All of the above photos were done using manual exposure and I didn’t do anything to them in the computer. 
End of complaints. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are, and I hope it’s not hot.

You Can’t Make the Same Photo Twice

I can’t make this photo again because while I was still in bed this morning my wife rearranged the plants and removed a shelf.

I can’t make this same photo again for several reasons. One, the light changes every day and the time I arrive at school every day is slightly different. Two, the Hipstamatic application applies its filter differently every time you use it, and Three, unless you arrive at the right time, there’s always some surly-looking smoker there with a fag hanging out of his mouth.

“What’s up with using Hipstamic these days?” asks the 0-1 readers of this blog. Well, every day is either murderously hot, bone-shakingly windy, or both at the same time. I don’t want to waste film on throwaway photos like the above or carry around a camera in the heat, so the iPhone satisfies the urge to be making pictures. Maybe I’ll get a nice overcast day this weekend with a temperature less than 30 and no wind.

Hipstagrammit, Dammit!

A cheap and fun way to practise yer mad foto skilz is to use the Hipstagram application for iPhone. You can set up the application to allow raw files and post-processing, but I prefer to do it iron-man style. You got the photo or you didn’t.
I was out with a film camera today, but also made a few phone photos in the morning while at home and then a few while out riding bicycle. Hours of fun.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

The company that made Hipstamatic also produced a cinema version where you can make films of up to 15 seconds or something. Also fun.

Donghae Expressway Overpass
Donghae Expressway Overpass. The warning sign has completely faded away except for the word Warning.
Donghae Expressway Overpass

The film version of this photo is wider and includes a city bus passing in the background. If it turns out . . . .

Ripe Grain

I shared these on Instagram and Facebook as I made them. Thus the title of this post.
Film off to the lab tomorrow!

Greens and Browns of Rock Island Valley

I went up the alley road last with my Nikon D810 and a bagful of lenses but today took a path that goes along the tops of the hills that make the valley. And brought a lighter camera. This morning my hiking companion was the Fujifilm X-T3. I brought the camera for two reasons. One, I wanted to effortlessly get better greens than I can with the Nikon. Two, I wanted a light camera to make my life a bit easier.

I made my first photo while still in the valley. I like the Y-shaped branch lying in the path, which seems to confirm the white No Entry sign above it.

Sometimes posting a photo on this blog helps me decide whether or not I should include it in my portfolio. If I post the photo and later think, “I can’t believe I showed that to people,” then it doesn’t go into my portfolio and the printer in Seoul never sees it. I’m not sure if the photo above is a keeper or not. I guess I’ll know in a day or two . . . .

Here is the rock responsible for the valley’s name. The field it sits in has filled up with water and now it does indeed look like an island.

Here is the bridge I photographed some time ago in black and white. I managed to get the tripod set up properly today and keep a low ISO.

I photographed these trees a while ago but was unhappy with the results. The photo turned out well today. Maybe the square format fits the scene better than a rectangular format.

When I left this house this morning, I meant to leave the camera set to 1:1 format, but this scene obviously called for a wider canvas.

Another scene that called for a wide format. 16:9, in case you’re curious. The walking path has many of these tombs alongside. Some are right next to the path, as in this case. Others, like the photo above this one, are at the end of narrow trails.

The view from behind this sodless and sadly eroded tomb.

A front on view of the tomb. Was there grass on this tomb when those plastic flowers were placed there?

These carved stones are what I set out to photograph today. There are many of them cut into rectangular blocks but I don’t know what they might be for. They are just lying on either side of the path. And how were they brought there? There’s no road. Were they brought up on carts a hundred years ago? A bit of a mystery.

In some places the stones are in a jumble, but in other places they are laid out to follow the path.

A wider and lower view of the same scene above.

Another high angle.

This altar has lost its tomb mound.

I was going to walk down through the trees to make a photo of this tomb but thought it would look better through these trees. You should probably click to enlarge this photo so that it’s more obvious what the white spot in the lower left is.

I don’t know what these concrete slabs might be for.

I’m not sure these stelae show up well enough against the pine trees. This might be a photo you have to view at full size. I like the little band of bright green grass at the bottom.

Hillside path. This is another photo that needs to be seen on a proper monitor and not on a mobile screen. Then you get to see the details.

This photo is in my previous post, but I post it here because it was part of the day’s walk.

My apartment complex. Where the city meets the country.

I forgot to set the ISO to ‘elevator’ and the exposure took a couple of seconds. When I realised my mistake I started shaking the camera back and forth to get a proper shaky effect.

I’m pleased with the results of today’s photography, though the number of photos I’m happy with will diminish in the coming days. Once I’ve chosen the few best I’ll upload them to Flickr and then get them printed. Because a photo is not a photo until you can hold it in your hand.

The Green I Wanted.

I took a walk up Rock Island Valley this morning to make some photos up on the hill. I’ll post those once I’ve made my final edit. On my way back home I had enough power left in my battery to visit the scene in my previous post to see if I couldn’t get a photo I was satisfied with.

This is the green I was looking for. I didn’t spend an hour at the computer adjusting hues and contrast – I used my Fujifilm X-T3 and got this straight from the camera using the Classic Chrome film simulation.
More anon.

A different green

The other day I posted some photos from Rock Island Valley, including this one of a field and trees.

It is straight from the D810 with no adjustments at all. When I made the photo I used the Vivid Picture Control because it was overcast and I wanted to add some contrast and saturated colour to the scene. I liked the photo so much that I made it my Windows desktop background.
  I still like the photo after looking at it for several days, but this afternoon I wondered what it would look like using the more natural Neutral Picture Control. So I opened the photo in Capture NX-D and switched the Picture Control to Neutral. I added a little bit of contrast because the Neutral setting is quite flat.

What do you think? I think both are good versions of the scene, but the neutral version feels more relaxed. The Vivid version shows a scene where you might not be surprised to run into a unicorn, but the Neutral version invites me in to read a book and have a picnic.
   The next time I take a walk up the valley, I’m going to try this scene without the broken pot and plates. It’s interesting, but I think I’ll go for ‘lovely forest glade’.