Getting Out

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 . . . .

Self-Portrait with Headphones

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.

Daejong Transport Company

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 . . . .

Escaped Goat

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.

From the Archive: Self-Portrait

Hard at Work, 2006

Today was a national holiday celebrating the creation of the Korean alphabet in the middle of the 15th century by King Sejong the Great and his scholars. I suppose lots of children participated in writing activities (I have no idea, really), but I took the opportunity to go through photos on my hard drive and in my binders. I sorted photos from 2006 on my hard drive by subject instead of date, and I went through all my 8×10 prints to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. I kept less than half of my prints. Some of you are probably crying, “You should never throw away prints!”, but, believe me, some prints are just begging to be in the bin. I seem to have gone through some phases where I was printing everything at 8×10.

For the above photo, I set my Nikon FM3a on a tripod or a chair, set the timer, and then pretended to be asleep on the job.

The Fragmentation of Self(ie) in Everyday Life

Mirrors

This is the most unoriginal photograph in Gangneung. Every weekend hundreds of tourists show up in Wolhwa Park to eat fried chicken, stuffed dumplings (for which there are massive queues), squid ink ice cream (lines are shorter for this place), and so on. Some restaurant/cafe/takeaway place in the market area put these mirrors on their exterior wall to set them apart from all the other shops. I made this photo very early in the morning before the crowds showed up and I thought it was a clever self-portrait until I realised a bit later that these mirrors probably have their own hashtag on Instagram and about half the young women of Korea and their boyfriends have stood where I stood to make the same photo. My only consolation is that maybe my framing is a bit better than theirs . . . . And it’s black and white, so . . . Art!

From the Archive: 20151007-001 Contax N1 Portra 400

20151007-001-013 Anmok. Snack Truck Dog

I don’t feel like going out so this weekend I am continuing my archive organisation. It’s mostly awful stuff and a lot of photos are getting deleted, but I’m finding a few that I like. This cute dog tied to a snack truck at Anmok Harbour makes me smile.

20151007-001-020 Gangneung. Apartments and Wires

Tourists don’t visit this neighbourhood so it hasn’t been prettied up with nice sidewalks and buried power lines.

20151007-001-028 Gangneung, Namdae River. Self-Portrait and Cyclist

Who’s the handsome fellow in the shadow?

The scans are what the local lab-guy gave me after printing at 4×6. The scans tend to come out a bit bright (do lab scanners expose to the right?), but Auto Contrast in Capture NX-D did a decent job of making the photos look good. It does contrast for Red, Green, and Blue channels separately, so white balance gets fixed at the same time. One-click photo editing makes me happy.