Moving Pictures

Scenes from the seaside

I have to make video classes for my students because they aren’t yet allowed to come to university. It’s easily three times as much work as preparing for regular classes and I hate looking at myself in the monitor for hours on end.(1) I think I once read that you can drive yourself mad by staring at yourself in a mirror. I can tell you that looking at yourself on a video screen has the same effect. Ugh.

So, to take a break from making videos I went out to the seaside the other day and . . . made a video. I’m not in it, so it’s not too bad. I’m pleased with this first attempt, though it’s not very exciting. I basically made my usual photographs but timed the video so that things came into and out of the frame. I haven’t attempted any camera movements yet so the scenes are a bit static. Still, it’s good fun to make and I want to try again. I hope you enjoy my first go at moving pictures.

(1) I shouldn’t complain. Lots of people around the world aren’t working right now and can’t leave their homes.

What’s Missing?

Bus Parked Under Ponam Bridge

There are things to like about this photograph. The layers of light and shadow from top to bottom, the brake lights of the bus peeking out of the darkness like a cat under a blanket, the relative simplicity of the composition, and, um, it’s level.

But it’s boring. Flat. Static. There’s something missing that would turn this decent photo into a good or very good photo. But I couldn’t see it when I was there pressing the shutter button. I saw a bus, a bridge, the light and shadows, the apartments in the background, and the brake lights in the patch of light. There was something there, I’m sure, that I could have included or excluded to transform this bit of documetary into art. But I’m not skilled enough to find it.

How do I get to that level? Keep looking at great photographs, I guess. And maybe I need to spend more time looking at a scene before photographing it. When I was younger I could sometimes get a good poem to appear by staring at a blank sheet of paper for half an hour. (Being hopped up on many mugs of sugary tea probably helped as well). I just need to stare at things more.

The next time I go out I’ll make a point of choosing just one subject and working on it for more than a minute like I usually do. And bring some tea . . . .

Geumsan Village Rice Straw Bales

The only two surviving photographs from a bicycle ride through Geumsan Village. It would probably be better to walk through the hamlet so I can find interesting subjects more easily.

This photo looks very low resolution on WordPress but fine in Lightroom. Maybe I made a mistake when converting it.

The same bales of rice straw from a different angle and a bus flying down the highway.

Some time ago I wrote about choosing the Nikon D810 as my main camera but mentioned that I was very wishy-washy about the cameras I use. Well, that proved to be true because I’m back to using the X-T3. The photos above are from the X-T3. That said, my next post will have a photo from the D810. Probably I should just stop talking about cameras . . . .

Apartments

Apartment Complex and Power Line, Gangneung

I used to curse the power and utility lines that were always in the way of my compositions, but at some point I decided that I could use them to add interest to an empty sky. I made this photo from a dyke, which is why I could include the wire in the photo.

Photograph It While You Can

Gangil Transport, Gangneung

This taxi company office building is not beautiful or interesting, but I made the photo because it is probably only a matter of time before developers realise they can build apartments or coffee shops on this piece of land and this place will get flattened. I’m not against the tearing down of ugly buildings, but with a slowly shrinking population does Gangneung need more apartment complexes built for the sake of real estate investment?

National Assembly Patrol Car

National Assembly Patrol Car No. 1, Gangneung

This electric(?) car is parked behind a movable building in the same lot as the toilets. The National Assembly is in Seoul, not Gangneung, so why it would be growing roots out behind this yard is a bit of a mystery.

As for the building itself, I just noticed a sign in the background that says “Rest Area – Diaper Changing Station”. Insert joke about the maturity levels of national assembly members here.