It doesn’t seem like the rainy season this year will ever end. It’s been raining for several weeks and I’m starting to feel trapped inside the apartment. If we didn’t have an air conditioner to deal with the high temperatures and humidity I’d be a lot more miserable than I am. Truth be told, there are many things I can do at home. I can watch videos, read, write, organise my bookshelf, play with the cat, and so on. But my favourite thing to do is make photographs, and that, for me, is best done outside. Otherwise, I end up making photos of myself in the toilet roll dispenser . . . .
I did manage to get out one afternoon for a walk with a camera about two weeks ago in between rainy periods. I like two of the photos enough to share here.
Behind the buildings in the reflection you can see the hill has been cut away to make room for this commercial property and another one next to it. It’s been happening on this road quite a lot recently, and some hiking trails have been ruined. I once met an elementary school principal who said that she would like to cut down every hill and mountain in Korea and use the rock and soil to enlarge the peninsula. I wonder if she became a real estate developer after retiring . . . .
The constant rain is probably great for these goats who have lots of nice green plants to eat. I hope this guy got his fill before someone noticed him and chained him up again.
I complain about the weather, but it’s only preventing me from getting out and pressing the shutter button. Many parts of Korea, China, and Japan are experiencing bad floods, loss of life, and property damage. I really have to consider myself lucky that I’m not dealing with anything more serious than boredom.
I put all six of my usable cameras on my desk today to spend a few minutes using each one. I wanted to decide which one would be the best (and only?) one for me to use. I made notes about how each one felt in my hand, which one was the easiest to use, which one wouldn’t give me back pain after a day with out it, image quality (film or digital), and which camera gives me the best photos without having to spend any time at the computer adjusting sliders. Although my four film cameras are all wonderful in their own way, I decided that I would be better off using a digital camera for reasons of economy and convenience. That left me with the Nikon D810 and the Fujifilm X-T3. The X-T3 has retro appeal and the simulations are similar to film. But it seems like I spend a lot of time making adjustments to get an excellent exposure. Always second guessing the camera. I don’t have to do that with the D810. The exposure is always dead on, except in those situations that will fool any camera meter. Sand or snow, for example. And the D810 isn’t any more complex to use than my F6 or F80. It’s a professional piece of kit that gets out of your way. And when I look at the images on computer later I don’t have to think much about changing contrast etc etc. Nikon’s picture controls do an excellent job of that. The only problem is . . . it’s quite a bit heavier than the X-T3. As I learned last year when I brought it to Canada with a large and heavy zoom lens (I think the zoom lens might have been the biggest part of the problem). What to choose for my main camera? The compact X-T3 with the disadvantage of its fussiness? Or the D810 with the inconvenience of its weight? I’d like to use only one for the sake of simplicity. I was leaning towards the D810 by the time I finished looking over my notes, so I attached a light 50mm F1.8D lens and went downtown to make some photos.
This was the only keeper from my downtown outing, but that was my fault, not the camera’s. I love the 5:4 frame and getting the proper exposure was a piece of cake by just adding 2/3 of a stop with the command dial. The camera took care of everything else.
What’s a photo outing without a picture of the cat at the end of it? I didn’t do anything to this one.
With a prime lens on the camera, I hardly felt the weight on my shoulder even after a couple of hours. I think I would have felt the weight if it was around my neck, though. Not so with the X-T3. Still, maybe I’ll start bringing the D810 and a prime or two with me from now on. We’ll see. I’m so wishy-washy about cameras that next week I might be using my iPhone for everything.
You may notice a distinct lack of beach in these photographs. I am usually more interested in the things you find around the beach rather than the beach itself. I don’t think I went out to Anmok Beach with any photographic goal in mind, which is why there’s no connection between these two photos. Other than the fact they are both black and white.
This is the top section of a statue built from metal strips. The bottom is a white coffee cup and stacked on top of that are three giant coffee beans. The statue is about twice my height. There is a steady stream of tourists who come to stand in front of it for pictures.
This is a photo Edward Weston might have done if he were much less talented. I like it. I can’t find any glaring errors in composition and the twisted branches are attractive. Bystanders kept looking from me to the tree while I was making this, trying to figure out what I might be photographing.
I don’t remember why I was downtown in the middle of a Monday morning, but I suspect I was heading to the supermarket and dallied to make a few photos. It was a bright morning with no clouds around so contrast was quite high. Since everything was so bright and shiny, I decided to set the camera to vivid mode and get some strong colours.
Power, Internet, and cable lines are all buried on Gangneung’s main streets and tourist areas, but it will probably take some years before that sort of work gets done on side streets. With the clutter of shop signs, it probably won’t look much neater even after the poles are gone.
Although brightly coloured, this sign is quite simple and neat against the brick wall.
A compose and wait photo. It took a few tries to adjust the exposure so that the sunlight on the ground was very bright but not overblown and the shadows were dark but not gone to black. I made about four photos of this woman and then chose the one that showed both her hand and her feet in stride.
All these were made on my Nikon D810 and 50mm 1.8G lens.