2019: Roll 4: Hanok Village

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

Roll 4. It was a wild ride, this one.

Well, kinda.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

My wife, her friend, and I decided to go to Jeonju’s Hanook Village to shoot a video and take some photos. My wife’s friend has basically become my videographer. She’s been great. If I were a little less lazy about the editing part we’d be golden.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

The day started off rough with my wife breaking her traditional shoes. Considering how much they were I think it should be labeled a national tragedy.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

As per usual, after the shoe crisis was resolved we headed straight to a coffee shop. Starbucks, in this case. I’d gotten a free meal there from one of my Leica Akadamie students. Not sure what happened on the photo above. The flare seems to have gotten her right in the eye. She hates that photo, ha.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

Hanook Village in Jeonju has become a tourist hotbed in the past couple of years. Every person there is walking around in a rented Korean tradition hanbok and a selfie stick.

I should have mounted my Leica to my newly acquired Gorillapod thing.

To fit in.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

After the coffee we escaped the tourist nightmare to a high point (on top of an arcade) that my wife had read about. It was definitely a big improvement from the streets below.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

As you might be able to guess, she hated the first one 😉 I say that, even though it was HER idea to make it horror movie-esque.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica Sofort, Leica Colour Instax film.

So, one of the main points of the video was to shoot a little bit with this:

Leica Sofort.

Before the pitchforks come out and you blast me for the fact that this is basically a Fuji camera in a nice dress hear me out:

While it might be very well that, it is nicer looking in my opinion haha. That goes a long way with whether or not I’ll pick up a camera in the first place. Full review on this camera coming soon 😉

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

She was happy, and I guess that is most important innit?

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

After the top of the arcade we made our way back into the busy streets.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

Unless you’re Korean this photo probably won’t mean much to you. The chap in the photo is wearing a traditional Korean police officer’s uniform. The woman is wearing a traditional Korean prostitute’s dress. I thought this was an interesting choice for a leisurely Sunday stroll.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

In my opinion, the best place to take photos in Hanook Maeul (Village) is the fort-like (someone may correct me) structure in the middle. It costs a couple of thousand won to get in and it is an interesting place to shoot.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

It definitely feels a more “traditional” than the streets outside. It does suffer from some modern touches though like bathroom signs and “do not enter” signs. These signs once ruined one of my favourite photos.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

While it is better than the outside streets, it is still touristy inside the gates of the fort. Lots of this kind of thing to contend with.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

I basically spend my time here chasing people until they disappear from the cell phones and rubbish bins. These little girls were cute in their traditional garb.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

He was pretty good too, aside from his Nike’s, ha. Standing guard quite well, I reckon. He didn’t move for the two or so minutes I was here waiting for my wife to finish gift shopping.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

She really, really wanted me to get her shoes out of this photo. I blamed the 35mm frame lines on the MP using the 40mm lens. Confusing stuff, that.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

She did take some photos herself as well. More on that during the Sofort review;)

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

On our first pass around the edge of the fort we saw this couple. I thought it was kinda neat that they decided to go 1920s with their look instead of 1600s. I later found out that this was due to the popularity of a Korean drama.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

There wasn’t much to see after that couple. A whole lot of kids running around. One guy recognized me from Instagram though, my wife gets a kick out of that when it happens.

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

At the end of our loop I saw this couple again. I was still under the impression that this was their magic idea so I asked them to take a couple of portraits. I still think they look cool 😉

Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

As always, there is only ever one bell of the ball in my eyes. My wife was a star on this dreary day in Jeonju. With her “real” modern hanbook she took photos with several people during the day. No rented garbage here.

The above was my favourite photo of the day.

I’m biased, of course.

Somewhere between Iksan and Jeonju, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron.
HP5 @3200.

I forgot to include the photos I took before we left our house with Seonju in her hanbok:

Iksan, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

Oh…

And the last photo of the roll as per usual:

Iksan, South Korea. Leica MP, 40mm Summicron. HP5 @3200.

The kitters 😉

2019: Roll 3

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Already finished with my third roll of the year. That, if you haven’t been following me, is quick fast for me. Normally I shoot two rolls or so a month if I’ve nothing special to shoot.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Why? Well, not super easy to answer that. I think the main reason is my excitement to be committed to shooting film again. This “commitment” came from a realization I had during my regular yearly photo purge.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I should start by explaining the idea of the yearly purge. Every year, during the last week of December I sit down and delete all the photos I took during that year aside from 40. I use the number 40 because to me it is basically like a roll of film. I throw out the other negatives (aside from those on either side of one of the forty) and get rid of the backups of digital files.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I should say this doesn’t really include stuff like iPhone photos or selfies with my wife. That being said, in the forty I choose I have generally become more nostalgic. I am more likely to choose one like the above of my wife playing a board game because of the way the photo makes ME feel.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Getting back to my commitment to film. When I went through last years photos I felt something different about the film photos. They felt more real. It is hipster dumbness, maybe, but I really loved the idea that the actual film negative was there with me at the moment I took the photo.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I also think that for me personally I have a great sense of discipline when I shoot film. I have a terrible habit of looking at my photos the first cafe I get to or break I have on the subway.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I am well aware that this is a mental problem. Something I could easily fix with some discipline. I think I shoot differently when I shoot film. I look for different things and ignore others. I don’t take photos for the sake of taking them.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Same old shit you’ve read on countless blogs or seen in countless YouTube videos I know. I apologize for that. It is just the truth though. It does really make me feel different.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

That isn’t even to mention to fact that I have grown to love the developing part. I once hated it. I was too impatient. Now, I really enjoy it. It is the only time I let me cats into my darkroom. They come and play while I drink a glass of wine and listen to an audiobook or podcast.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

What about the scanning? Well, scanning also has kind of become a bit of a routine for me. I have grown to enjoy it. I am in fact scanning these while I write this and inserting them while I do. By the time 6 finish I am ready to add the next group. It works for me.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

You may be asking why they are bouncing between Seoul and Iksan so much. Basically I bounce between Seoul and Iksan a lot. I don’t take so many photos so you might see a couple days gap in between some of these where the camera was around my neck but I didn’t actually shoot anything.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.
Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Ah, to answer some questions:

What film do you use? I thought you used Tmax?

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

I also loved Tmax. It was like my first girlfriend in film. I never liked TriX at all. The grain was too much. The contrast was too much. The tones between black and white were too abrupt. Tmax was a lot better for me. The feeling was more nostalgic. More akin to my mind’s eye.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Now I shoot HP5. There are some simple reasons for this.. but the most important one is price. HP5 costs about 15% less a roll here than Tmax. The second reason I shoot HP5 is somehow I feel like Ilford cares more about us (film photographers). I could be wrong, but I do feel that. HP5 at 3200 still has a nice look for me. It is somewhere between Tmax and Trix. Sometimes the tones can be a bit abrupt, but not so much as Trix. Ugh, I hate Trix.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

What developer do you use? 

This I am more strict about than with film, strangely. Tmax developer is the only developer in my book. I don’t know about others and care not to know, ha.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Forgot the scan the above first time around. Not sure how that happened.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

It’s a big holiday here in Korea. I think we are exhausted. Good to have a day to do nothing but develop some film and write a blog post. I’m counting down the minutes until 2:00PM when I think it seems late enough to have a beer.

Vlog camera test.

What about this YouTube? 

Coming soon 😉 I already made my first couple of videos and have them on my Instagram. Tomorrow I’m going to the nearby historic city of Jeonju with a videographer and her assistant. Also have my vlogging setup nearly complete. I received the 11-22mm lens from Canon for my M50 right before the holiday and it seems to make things a whole lot easier when filming myself. Smallish tripod also on the way.

Seoul, South Korea.

Anyway, that is about it for this roll. Catch you all on the flip side 😉

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

Coming Up

Seoul, South Korea. Canon M50, 14-45mm.

So today’s blog post is going to be something a little different. It’s my last Monday off for a while. I’d kinda gotten used to Monday being a vlogging / blogging day. Alas, looks like my Monday will soon be busy again.

For today, I didn’t really have enough of anything to post yet I wanted to post something anyway. I guess you could consider this a little bit of a what’s up next preview.

Vlog life. Iksan, South Korea.

As you can probably tell from the above, I’m going pretty hard on the vlogging these days. I wouldn’t consider myself exactly good at it. I am basically trying to transfer what I do here into a video format. It’s coming along but not quite ready for prime time yet.

I bought the Canon M50 on recommendation from some “vloggers” that I knew and/or reached out to. Interestingly, it seemed the overwhelming choice for something “starting” out. I kinda cheaped out and only got the 14-45 kit lens with the body and a mic. I’d been trying to use an Olympus camera but after a couple of attempts at using it I realized quickly it wasn’t very easy to work with considering my limited video skill.

Getting ready for Seoul.

After just a couple of hours with the Canon I started to understand why it was so highly recommended. I’m not planning on shooting in 4K and I guess that is its biggest weakness. In 1080p the auto-focus in video is borderline incredible.

I filmed my first “test” video the night I received the camera and it was a simple packing of my bag for a trip to Seoul (video is on my IGTV if you’re interested). While it turned out to be way longer than I’d anticipated and I only had one camera angle I was happy with the workflow. I’m editing in the iPad LumaFusion app and it has been great for someone with limited editing experience.

Wotancraft Trooper XL.

Before I go too far I should say the video in question stemmed from the amount of comments I’d gotten on Instagram regarding my (new) bag, the Wotancraft Trooper XL. I’d long wanted to graduate from the backpack style bags I’d been using for years. I’ve tried so many things. This one, however, has been the one. The next post I make will be a review of this bag.

Spoiler: I highly recommend it. I fecking love it.

Seoul, South Korea. Canon M50, 14-45mm.
Seoul, South Korea. Canon M50, 14-45.

Aside from that I have several other things in the works. As per another Instagram request I’ve started working on a review of the M50 for stills. I think this is important as for a lot of people the M50 would be their only camera. I may not be qualified to judge its video prowess but I think I can comment a little on its merits as a stills camera. I plan on doing the review mostly with the kit lens and perhaps an adapted Leica lens for comparison.

Iksan Bus Terminal, Iksan South Korea. Canon M50, 14-45.

To be honest, so far I think it is quite a good camera. There are some things I don’t like mainly its horrible sounding shutter. I don’t mean it is loud, I don’t care much about that, but it just sounds so “ugly.” Otherwise, it has proven itself to be a pleasant little camera.

The other things I’m working on at the moment are reviews of the iPad (6th generation 2018), the Google Pixel 3 for photography, some medium format film stuff, and the launch of my next zine (Neverland Volume II.)

The Pixel 3 has quite honestly blown me away with its photo capabilities. I suppose you can wait for the full review but needless to say it is insane what it does with software.

Iksan, South Korea. Google Pixel 3.
Iksan, South Korea. Google Pixel 3.

Considering the above photo was shot in candlelight in a pitch black room at ISO 3000 something on a smartphone is basically impossible in my brain. She literally moved as I was shooting this and I thought “well, there goes that shot” and yet it turned out TACK sharp. Insanity.

Anyway, I digress. More to come! Hope you enjoyed my slightly frantic post about nothing. One thing I will say, I’m really enjoying posting frequently again. I hope I find a way to translate all this into videos soon. And for those of you who prefer to read, I will consider the posts as a kind of script for the videos so no need to consume both, haha.

Stay tuned!

2019: Roll Two

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul. January 2019.

It isn’t often I get through two rolls of film in a couple of weeks. Normally I shoot about two rolls a month.

Why am I shooting so much?

It’s complicated.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I guess the first reason is travel. I shoot a lot when I am going somewhere. I shoot photos in the same time that people read books or listen to music. I take photos to not be bored.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I end up with lots of boring photos like this. That said, I think the main reason I shot a lot in the last two weeks was the excitement for being back shooting film. I’d used the M10P for a while and hadn’t shot any film.

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019.

Lots of these photos too. They don’t always turn out well. Rarely do they in fact. That said, some of my favourite photos were taken through the window of a train or bus.

A long time ago in Canada I had my favourite lens stolen. Honestly, I change lenses a lot. People will say I have never stuck to anything. I used the 40mm Summicron exclusively for 4 years. I couldn’t afford anything else but I loves that lens. I recently got the chance to get another. I love this lens. Feels like coming home.

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019.

All the photos here are Ilford HP5 at 3200.

This is a boring roll, I apologize. They aren’t always interesting.

I do really love the next photo though:

Somewhere between Iksan and Seoul, January 2019. Ilford HP5 @ 3200.

This was early in the morning. The air quality has been terrible lately, so much so that it looks like fog. The field had just been plowed. One of my favourite photos in a long time. It was very much how I’d imagined it would be.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

I’ve been doing this a lot lately too. Cat photos are boring as well I guess. I love my cats though. I think I would be perfectly happy for a roll to consist only of photos of them. In this photo, Spoko is sitting in her favourite spot in our living room under a Nicholas Dominic Talvola print. He named her, so it is fitting that she loves this spot.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

Maybe the next roll will be more exciting. I have several trips planned in the next little while. Including one to Kyoto / Osaka. Looking forward to that.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

That trip will be with team Leica Korea, haha. More on that in the weeks to come 😉

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.
Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

Other than that, I’m happy to say if you’re in Korea soon I’ll be opening an analogue photography class at the Leica Akadamie here. During the class I’ll cover all sorts of film related topics from the basics of loading film to developing and even perhaps some printing.

Seoul, South Korea. January 2019.

I just realized half of this roll is photos of trees.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

No trees here. Sucks this photo. They were all looking at me a split second before. I was super bummed when I saw it.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019. Ilford HP5 @3200.

This was second last photo of the roll. It is boring but I quite like it. Iksan feels like this to me. It feels like Iksan.

Iksan, South Korea. January 2019.

The last photo. It is usually of my wife or one of the cats. Wife wasn’t in the mood so Spoko stepped up.

That’s all for today.

Catch you next time 😉

-Josh.

Leica C-Lux First Impressions

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll probably know I’m a sucker for compact cameras. Many of you probably found me because of a compact camera of some sort. In fact, for my general street photography I have always preferred compact cameras. I haven’t used many lately, but the above generally holds true.

Iksan, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

So let me get the disclaimers out of the way before I continue:

  1. I work for the Leica Akademie here in Korea as organizer and head teacher.
  2. I am well aware there is a cheaper Panasonic version of this camera. In my humble opinion (work bias aside) I think the extra warranty, resale value (the Leica versions hold their value much better whether you think this is justified or not) and subjectively better looks are well worth the price difference.

Okay, now that that is out of the way let us continue with my Leica C-Lux 2019 first impressions.

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

I think it is cute the handsome camera. I very much like the blue tones and leatherette grip. I also generally love a silver lens on a black body. Of course, the lens isn’t silver but the multifunction ring is. I quite dig it.

The camera itself has a bit of a weird lens for my normal tastes. It’s a 24-360 that is only f3.3 at the widest. I find the former a positive. First, as this will be a travel / video camera for me I appreciate the range more than I might on a dedicated street camera. Second, the f3.3 doesn’t make much of a difference to me as I wouldn’t buy a compact camera for “bokeh.” That said, bokeh can be had because of the zoom range if you don’t mind using your feet a bit.

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

As a street camera, it performs great. Even with the crazy zoom range there is little to no distortion or what happens to be there is well controlled with the software. I love the fact that Panasonic and Leica always include the ability to zoom their lenses in steps. I find 24 a little wide these days so I have the camera set to turn on at 28mm. It is very fast to turn on and shoot.

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

There are some convenience features I quite like as well. The camera uses a low powered bluetooth mode to send photos to my smartphone as I walk around shooting. This it makes quite easy to sit down and edit in a coffee shop when I need a break. All the photos here were edited in Snapseed. They might be a bit much for you, I just try to keep all my photos looking somewhat similar these days. This is as close as I can get to my film photos.

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.
Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

I included the normal version of the photo above for your reference. I like this photo. I asked the woman to look more into the light and then we got talking. She grew up very close to where I live now.

Another feature I love about the C-Lux is its ability to charge via USB. I can charge it on the go with my laptop or a battery bank. I really, really wish it were USB-C but I guess we are a ways off of that on cameras yet. Maybe next year.

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

I didn’t find myself using the zoom very much during the first day of shooting. I did take a portrait of my wife with it later at night that I am saving for the full review. Much like the need for a viewfinder I find the need for a prime lens when shooting street photography to be a bunch of hipster nonsense. The only actual reason I see for this is size. With a camera like this it matters very little.

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

One thing I won’t really talk about a lot until the main review is the flash. It is a bounce type flash that is similar to that on the RX100 series. Because of the zoom range the flash on the C-Lux is quite strong for its size. This is important if you want that Daido Moriyama high constrast blow out the highlights kinda look. I didn’t do much testing of this yet aside from a couple of shots around my house. Expect more in the review.

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

I think the reason I like compact cameras so much is they so perfectly match the “moment” of capture to me. The photos I take with a compact camera almost always seem to be closer to my mind’s eye. I don’t think this is exclusive to any particular compact camera just those cameras in general.

So, surely I am not saying you go and buy this camera. I will say it ticks all the boxes I want in a modern compact camera. It has a 1 inch sensor, viewfinder, strong flash, nice looks, touch screen(also in the menus) self contained lens cap, bluetooth, and usb charging. The video is a big bonus since I have started to do a lot more of that.

Anyway, that is all for my first impression of the Leica C-Lux. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.

Upcoming reviews include the C-lux, the Leica MP (film), the Wotancraft Trooper, and the Pixel 3.

Much love from Korea,

Josh.

Seoul, South Korea. Leica C-lux.

2018: Top 10 Photos (1-5)

Iksan, South Korea. May 2018.

5

This is a photo of my mom. My mom came to Korea for the first time in 2018. I cherished that time with her. We didn’t have a great relationship when I was young. She’s a bit like Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter. Tons of heart but extremely strict and can be borderline scary. She was a high school teacher and the type that you’d imagine still might have a belt lying around. That said, she has softened much in her old age. I took this after my wedding reception. She was hungover. My mom literally never drinks. Well, Junku bro and friends had her drinking at my reception and she was feeling the effects. She stayed like this for a whole day. She’s coming back this may. I can’t wait.

Iksan, South Korea. July 2018.

4

I shared this in my last post as well. I absolutely love this photo. When my wife cleans the floors she dances like a ballerina. It is one of the most beautiful and graceful things I’ve ever seen. She clears the floors of obstructions, plays a classical piano arrangement and floats through the rooms with a cloth and some water. I’d never been able to get a very good photo during the routine. She’s embarrassed by it. I haven’t a clue why.

Iksan, South Korea. February 2018.

3

This was also taken during the unusual snow storms that plagued Iksan for a couple of days in 2018. I was on my way to class when I saw this loan man just kind of standing there contemplating his plight. I took this without much care to be honest. I was cold and had no gloves so I wasn’t much in the mood to be taking photos. I’m glad I did. Prints of this now hang in many countries throughout the world. It was my most requested photo from this year. Generally I don’t agree with those numbers but in this case, I love this photo.

Iksan, South Korea. May 2018.

2

So the last two photos were taken one right after the other with the above having been taken second.

I took this photo of my wife on our wedding day. I didn’t take many photos during the day, perhaps 10. Every time I see this photo I am filled with happiness. She was talking to a friend or something but I couldn’t see anything but her.

Iksan, South Korea. May 2018.

1

This is my favourite photo of 2018. It isn’t the best photo I’ve ever taken technically. It is a photo that I would describe as an amalgamation of compromises. I took the photo in our then unfinished living room. The lighting was a simple placeholder light that struggled to light the entire room. I had 400 speed Ilford film loaded in my camera and no flash. I’d shot the previous 15 photos on the roll at 400 because I’d dreamed of my wedding photos being “clean.” Realizing this wasn’t going to work I just said f%$k it and decided to shoot this at what I’d thought to be 3200 (no meter on my camera). I think continued to take 6 photos of her during the next 3-5 minutes (number 2 on this list being also taken during that time) at what I judged to be 3200. I developed the film as such and just threw out the rest of the negatives. I only wanted these photos. They are grainy, and show the lack of dynamic range in the film at 3200. I don’t care. I wanted to get those photos. Do I wish they were digital? Not at all. I can’t tell you how much happier it makes me to look through my book of negatives and see these photos. Those pieces of film were there with me at that moment. Cheesy? Maybe.

I could give a f%$k.

Hope you enjoyed this year’s top 10. I didn’t take many photos this year. Around 500 in total. That’s okay. I love the photos I did get. Nowadays I’m more than happy to get 2-3 photos a year I consider to be good.

Much love.

Josh

2018: Top 10 Photos (6-10)

Busan, South Korea.

10

So, here goes. My top ten photos of 2018. Well, in fact this post will just go through 6-10 in reverse order.

Above is number 10. Admittedly this year was slim pickings for street photography. I quite literally didn’t do much of it. In February I participated in the 24 hour project in Busan. That was probably the only time I really concentrated on taking street photos in any seriousness. I took the above in Busan, but not during that event. My wife and I went back later for a housing convention. These people were having their eyes massaged. Honestly, this type of photo I’ve seen hundreds of times. I don’t really want to like it but I kind of do. Their blank expressions perfectly mimicked my own boredom at that moment. Picking tiles, not my thing.

Iksan, South Korea. May 2018.

9

This is a photo of one of my bros and mentors, Junku Nishimura, and my wife Seonju. They have become quite close. He treats me like a little brother so I guess they spend lots of their time discussing my ineptness at being a real man, ha. He is easily my favourite photographer. I think it is easy to see the influence. He came to Korea in May for our wedding even though it was the busiest time of his year. I think their pose was great. Like some noir movie. Also in one of my favourite places in Iksan, a place we just call Palm Tree because of the outside neon palm tree shaped light. It’s gone now.

8

I’m not sure many people will agree with this one. It is just a photo of a tree. I remember that day well. It had snowed all night and was a proper snow storm in the afternoon as well. I took photos of this tree often as I left my house as a kind of warm up (guess I’m still an athlete at heart). I moved from this place shortly after this. I am happy I have this photo. It is an important memory.

Iksan, South Korea. August, 2018.

7

Well, you’ll start to see a theme from here on out. This is my wife. I make no excuses for this. I love taking photos of my wife. You may be surprised it is a colour photo. This is one of those moments I was so happy I had a digital camera instead of a film one. The sunset behind her was so great. The light from an oncoming car light her face. One of those moments I could never recreate.

Iksan, South Korea.

6

Ironically this is from the same roll as the mushroom cloud tree above. Three photos from that roll were among my favourite ten of the year. This photo is a good example of why I think I need to shoot film the majority of the time. The was the sixth photo of six I took of the same scene. The first five were rubbish. This one, ended up being one of my favourites of the year. Interesting that. If I’d been shooting digital I’d have just left after the first looked trash. With film, I had the hope that any one of them would be good. It is kind of the opposite of what most people would think. I guess that is just the strange way my brain works. One thing I’ve come to realize however is that considering all the cameras I change one thing always stays similar. Of my best photos the best digital photos are usually from small cameras. Exactly the opposite with film. Go figure.

That was 6-10 of my favourite photos this year. You can probably guess some of the rest if you’ve followed me long enough. Have a go in the comments 😉

Also, I wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming support with me picking the blog back up again.

Much love.

Josh

Five Goals For 2019

Iksan, South Korea. May 2018.

So, it is 2019. How time flies. I can’t believe last year went by so quickly. Was shocking to me. Was really one of the best years in my life. That is, at least personally. It almost felt like a vacation of a year. 2019 is here and I need to buckle down and get productive. Here are my five goals for 2019:

They rarely leave me alone.. 😉

Number One: Blog More

This one is kind of a must. The beginning of all this photography stuff from me came from my blog. I’ve become more lazy when it comes to my blog. I posted five or six times all of last year. That isn’t enough. I need to be better.

I plan to blog at least once a week, rain or shine. Some of the posts may very well be boring. I am still going to write them though. It is something I need to do for me.

I purchased a domain for the first time in my life today: jtinseoul.com.

#feelsgoodman

Iksan, South Korea. Sometime in 2018.

Number Two: Take More Photos

This one may seem obvious. I took around 500 photos last year. That is down from the 800 the year before. Down again from the 1100 in 2016. I need to be better at this too. I think this goes hand in hand with my blog posts being down. I write my blog posts based on my photos and not the other way round.

I have started walking in the mornings with my camera. This isn’t something I’d done in a really long time. I very rarely just take photos. I always needed to have a purpose. Another purpose. I consider my other purpose to be getting in better shape.

Iksan, 2017. Leica M3.

Number Three: Get in Better Shape

Well, how about that for a segway. I have gained 15kgs since 2016. Not good. Basically the happier I am the lazier I am. Also not good. Last year was a happy year. That means lots of beer, good food, and very little exercise. Time to change that. I plan on doing those morning walks every day. It may not seem like much but it is a hell of a lot more than I’ve been doing for about 18 months. Hopefully I can keep this up. I promised my wife I would lose weight this year. I have to keep my promise. She literally dances like a ballerina while she cleans (see above picture) so I have a tough critic to please.

Maybe they should be the stars…

Number Four: Actually Start my YouTube Channel

This one I have been promising for years. I have tried several times to get it going but have never had the gumption nor the equipment to do it properly. Truth be told I was never really sure how to start. I was never really sure what content you guys may want. I will gladly take advice on this! I filmed a video last week about a laptop I got from Samsung. An unboxing, of sorts. Not sure how well it turned out yet. I’m scared to sit down and edit it, haha. I will do so this week. It won’t be the first video I post, however. I plan on shooting a channel introduction this week as well. I even hired someone to help me shoot it. No turning back now!

On the way to Busan.

Number Five: Transitional Year

During this year one thing I really want to do is transition into an artist. Sounds cliche. Sounds stupid even. I’ve never given this lifestyle a real chance. I have never really taken this whole thing very seriously. I know it isn’t easy. I know it is in fact, really hard. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. I feel I owe it to myself to try. So, I will do so! I have already started the remodeling process of a darkroom and studio in my house. I have always dreamed about having an analogue studio in my house and I am going to make it happen. I am most excited about this of all the things I’ve mentioned so far.

This is perhaps the biggest of these goals. Again, I’m open to advice! In fact, I really enjoyed reading the advice from some of you after my post last weekend. It all helps.

Up Next: My favourite 10 Photos of 2018. Stay tuned 😉 One of the photos in this post is on the list.. can you guess which? haha.