Practice

I decided to stop downtown yesterday on my way to the supermarket and practise a bit of photography. My goal was to make photos that didn’t require any adjustment after I pressed the shutter button. I was sure I could do this by selecting an appropriate film simulation for each scene, recording as JPG so that the Fujifilm X-T4’s processor would do its magic on the pictures, and by making sure that exposure and white balance were spot on. Here are the three photos I kept from my little walkaround.

Ashtray-garbage can and dustpan, Downtown Gangneung.
The Korean reads, “You fucking sons of bitches! Throw your garbage away properly! The author used a Chinese character to sign his name ‘Hoon’. I assume Hoon is a street cleaner.
Entrance to Wolhwa Market, Downtown Gangneung.
Entrance to Wolhwa Market, Downtown Gangneung.
Inside Bus 300, Gangneung.
On the way from downtown to Emart.

In case you’re curious, the film simulations I used are from top to bottom Negative Pro High, Velvia, and Acros. I confess that I reduced the exposure of the market photo by one third of a stop in Lightroom to make the colours a bit nicer. Otherwise, I’m happy with the results and even happier that I didn’t spend time in Lightroom’s develop module fiddling with tone curves and sliders.

From the Archive: Moving Van

Moving Truck Going Over Namdae River

I was walking home one day when I stopped and framed the bridge and the apartments with my mobile phone. I made several photos of passing vehicles before this moving van came by and thematically completed the composition. I wasn’t waiting for a moving van to come by – any large truck would have done. It was just fortunate that a vehicle with a connection to the background appeared.

I’ve always like this photo, but now I wonder if it would be better if I had included another bridge support on the right. I have the sensation that the weight of the truck is going to tip over the bridge.

From the Archive: Woman and Hanbok.

Tired Woman in Central Market, Gangneung.

This tired woman was sitting next to a store that sells traditional Korean clothes called hanbok. She didn’t have a regular market stall – she just sat in an empty place on the sidewalk and sold greens from baskets.

I feel a bit guilty about this photo. I took advantage of this woman’s poverty for a picture and I waited around for her to put her hand to her face and rub her eye. It’s not the sort of photo I usually make, but I was struck by the contrast between the colourful, fancy dresses and this old woman sitting on the concrete in a cheap jacket.

From the Archive: Green Tin Roof

Green Tin Roof
2016

In old hilly neighbourhoods the houses are all close together and from the paths on the hill you can look straight down into anyone’s property. The properties are not usually photogenic, but this bit of roof with its ‘rib’ showing attracted my attention.

I have a black and white film version of this photograph somewhere, and it may appear here in the near future.

From the Archive: Woman Riding Bicycle Past Tents

Woman Riding Through Dano Festival Tents.
Dano Festival Grounds, 2016

I may have shared this photograph on my old blog some years ago, but I can’t remember so I’m sharing it again as I organise my old photos.

Dano has been celebrated in Korea for a couple of thousand years and then even earlier in China. It has a thousand year history here in Gangneung and this city’s festival was designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The main event of Dano is a shamanistic ritual thanking the sky deity once the fields have been sown in spring. Gangneung might be the only place where these rituals are still carried out. What mostly happens during Dano is a week-long market where people sell bed clothes, clothes, household goods, cheap trinkets, and food. Recently there have been tents set up by people from other countries selling things from their homelands.

I dislike festival crowds and so I avoided going there after I visited once or twice. Now and then I will visit very early in the morning to see if I can make some photos of the tents and empty spaces. I saw this lady coming from some distance so I composed and waited for her to come into frame. Click.