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 😉

First Roll of 2019

Frame 1: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

This was the first frame I took this year. My cat sits on the air purifier while I sit at my desk. I guess she likes the fan. We should have called her Marilyn. The light from the window to her left was particularly strong. I’m happy I got a full frame from this considering it was first. My wife said “how can you make the cutest kitten in the world look so scary?..”

Frame 7: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

So my plan for this post was simply to go through most of the photos from my first roll of the year. I had a bit of a contemplation during the end of last year. One thing that continually came to me was how much I needed to shoot film. I don’t know what it is honestly. It isn’t some hipster nonsense “look” or anything of the sort. It just works for my brain. I was sitting down last night scanning these mediocre photos and I felt near-on giddy.


Frame 3: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

These photos aren’t in any particular order. I’ll probably share 20 or so. The way I shoot film is I shoot 4 to 5 frames of most scenes. Even mundane stuff like my lunch (the Soju bottle actually houses sesame oil ;)). I got in the habit of doing this because I shoot without a meter. I guess you can call it self bracketing.

Frame 5: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

Would I benefit from a camera with a meter? Maybe. I never end up using them after the battery dies. I never agree with the meters either. Maybe I’m weird. I end up second guessing myself with a meter. I prefer to just trust that I’m right.

Frame 18: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.
Frame 19: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

My way of developing is quite strange too. I develop a roll based on my brain’s version of what it thinks the roll was shot like. For example, if I feel I slightly over exposed the more memorable photos in the roll I will develop the roll slightly less than I might normally do.

Frame 9: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

People hate watching me develop because I don’t use a thermometer, don’t clean my negatives, and only use a wall clock for timing things.

Frame 10: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

As I developed this roll a friend from Seoul was watching me. He was cringing the whole time constantly saying I’m crazy. I changed the developing time midway because I remembered something from the roll. He wanted to bet with me that they wouldn’t turn out.

Frame 24: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.
Frame 25: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

I don’t want this to come off as I’m some kind of mad genius. In fact, I’m quite lazy, hate maths, and lost my thermometer years ago. The fact of the matter is, black and white film is so forgiving that it is a joke to care so much. At least for me.

Frame 27: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

One thing I’d say is clean your negatives before you develop. I never do aside from a slight dip in my magic sauce (classified information and no dirty ideas it is safe for work ;)). This is basically the reason for the cloudy look of my negatives.

Frame 14: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

Well, that is what has been hypothesized by those whom have watched me develop. Who knows. I just keep doing the same thing. I hate being introduced to new developers or fixers. I’m too lazy to learn something new.

Frame 15: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

Ah, I guess then I should tell you what I do use. I use T-max developer and Ilford fixer. I love Tmax with Tmax film but these days it has just become too expensive. It is also okay with HP5 like this roll was.

Frame 21: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

I didn’t shoot much street on this roll. It was the first roll with a camera I wasn’t used to. Wish I would have shot more “normally” though considering every frame (exposure / focus wise) came out great.

Frame 22: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

Forgot to mention some big news! Yesterday I started shooting the introduction for my YouTube channel. I know I’ve promised this many times. I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever taken it seriously.

Frame 23: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

I even hired someone to take care of the filming outside. Yesterday was supposedly the “practice” session but there was lots of useable footage from the day.

And yes, I know you video guys are going to tell my the Olympus camera I have sucks for video. I’m sure it does. Basically it is what I have and it works. The footage looked fine to me. Maybe later I’ll get something “better.”

Frame 30: 2019. Ilford HP5 @1600. Leica M4.
Iksan, South Korea.

That’s about it for today.

What’s up next?

Well, I’m waiting on my 40mm Summicron to come back from service to shoot another roll of film. In the meantime, I’ve got two reviews coming up. One of the Leica C-Lux and another of the Google Pixel 3.

You can expect the Pixel review by the end of the week. Small spoiler, the camera is really, really good. Really good. Like, really. The Pixel has never been available in Korea so I’d never even held one until recently. I don’t know how I can go back to anything else.

Friends in Japan wanna be on call to send me one when needed 😉 ?

Anyway, kitten picture to end the day.

Manbo. Google Pixel 3, Portrait Mode.

Peace kids.

-Jt

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

New Beginnings

Leica M10-P.
Iksan, South Korea. February 2019.

Well, it has been nearly four months since I posted something here. Every time I post I promise I will get better and posting and every time I promise that I end up getting worse. I’d like to say that it is solely because I am busy. I am busy, yet, it is mostly out of laziness. When I have free time to do something like this I generally spend it with my family or relaxing. I didn’t even do a “Fuck you, 2018” post. It had become a kind of tradition.

Leica M6. Ilford, HP5.
Iksan, 2018.

The fact of the matter is this:

2018 was one of the best years of my life. It was a whirlwind of positivity. I basically rebuilt a house in the winter and spring. I got married in May. I started a new job with Leica in the summer. We added some new members to our family. 2018 wasn’t the kind of year I wanted to end.

Ilford HP5.
Iksan, May, 2018.

That said, there are lots of things I want to do in 2019. Things I want to accomplish.

New beginnings of a different sort.

Leica M10-P.
Iksan, January 2018.

As I walked around a little today with my camera I thought about these things. Thought about what I’d like to do in 2019. One thing I want to do is do a project based on my now home city, Iksan. Many people tie me to Seoul (my fault I guess considering the blog title) but the fact of the matter is I actually live in Iksan. Iksan is a small city about 2 hours south of Seoul.

Leica M10-P.
Iksan, January 2018.

I live here in a house with my wife and our two cats. Yes, a proper house. Not very common in Korea for people to live in houses. Our neighborhood is full of seniors. That’s okay, we like having a small yard and our own space. It is especially special considering how much work we put into the house.

Leica M10-P.
Iksan, January 2018.

Our kittens seem to like it. I was never a cat person. In fact, I was one of those dog people that said cats were emotionless and selfish. A friend then said this to me:

“If you don’t like cats it is probably because you haven’t met the right cat.”

I completely agree with this now. Our cats are almost like dogs. They play fetch. Play dead. Always greet me at the door when I come home and spend most of their time following me around. Weirdest of all they cry to be picked up. Our vet said it is quite unique. Well, our little sisters have certainly brightened up our home. They even have their own Instagram 😉

Leica M10-P.

Iksan, January 2018.

So, aside from the yet untitled Iksan project and photos of my kittens, I also plan on becoming more active on Social Media this year. I have re-made my schedule in such a way where I will have lots of “cafe” time to get on the ball. I say “cafe” time because I find they are the only place where I am able to get any of this stuff done.

So, here is where it is my turn to ask for some advice. What type of things would you like to see on my blog? Long form posts about life in general? Reviews? Daily thoughts? Let me know in the comments. I am happy and willing to hear your thoughts.

Leica M10-P
Iksan, January 2018.

RE: YouTube Channel

Okay, I have promised this forever and always failed. Basically I am not particularly good at editing video. Well, actually that is kind of a lie. It is more like I am too lazy for the tedious process of doing so. Lately though, I was introduced to an app called Lumafusion for the iPad that has changed my thought process about this. There are still some problems, however. My iPad is 128GB model and I think that will make it difficult to shoot as much as I’d need to for a proper full length video. That said, my “video” camera is a now aged Olympus EM-1 (don’t ask why it just happens to be the only thing I have that does a decent job of it) and it only does 1080p so perhaps it will be fine.

Anyone in Korea wanna be a camera person ? I pay great (booze and coffee). My wife has been trying to do so but I think she wants to retire her position. She hates the cold.

Well, Aside from that I don’t have a whole lot to talk about. I hope to have more in the days to come.

More than anything I want to thank everyone for sticking with me. I know I am quite bi-polar as someone to follow. I make no apologies, but I do feel grateful.

January 2019.

Iksan, South Korea.

September 15th Artist Talk – Leica Store Gangnam

L1000351-Edit
Korea, 2017.

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a while. Some new stuff to announce!

As of this week I started as the Leica Akademie Ambassador in Korea. What does this mean? It means workshops, lectures, exhibitions and more! I’m really excited by what is to come.

First! This Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 at the Leica Store Gangnam I will be having an artist talk introducing myself and my work. It costs just 10,000 won and drinks will be served! So if you’re in an around Seoul please stop by and say hi!

There are limited spots available, so please sign up at the website below. If you have any questions please let me know!

http://leica-store.co.kr/main/akademie/akademie_view.php?idx=79

Scan-171028-0024-Edit
Korea, 2018. 

Who wouldn’t want to come out and see this face?

haha.

See you soon 😉

 

Birthday

L9995170-01
Iksan, August, 2018

It was my birthday yesterday. I tend to forget. They kind of just happen.

I’d asked people on my Instagram in the morning what I should have for dinner. It seemed a fine enough idea. The choices were raw beef or sushi.

I’d put on shorts and paint stained t-shirt to go out. Since renovating our house it seems like everything I own is paint stained.

L9995160-01
Iksan, August, 2018

My wife, on the other hand looked as beautiful as always. Her sense of style is one of the things I love about her. I can’t quite place it, but I love it nevertheless.

20180812_195324-01
Iksan, August, 2018.

Sushi won the Instagram vote. Only one vote matters.

We had raw beef. It was amazing. It is served with pear and raw egg. It’s probably my favourite food in Korea. I also requested it for our wedding meal.

Wasn’t a popular choice, ha.

L9995181-01
Iksan, August, 2018. 

She was happier than she looks here. She was trying to look “noir” as she put it.

I like that she plays along with the photographer thing. She lets me have my hobby.

On my birthday, at least.

August, 2018.

Iksan, South Korea.

 

Workshop: Jtinseoul in Seoul

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset
Seoul, South Korea. 

Hello everyone! I’m happy to announce a workshop I will be hosting in Seoul at the end of July.

Here is all the info:

Workshop: Jtinseoul in Seoul

07.29.2018

Overview

This workshop is meant to be an informal, fun, and informative. During the workshop, students will spend time with myself, JT, in the streets of Seoul. We will take photos, edit photos, discuss projects, and most importantly, have fun!

Goals

  1. Students will experience be given a small and fun tasks to complete on the street. These will be fun and easy but informative. Students will take photos together with the instructor and receive instruction as necessary during this time.
  2. Students will join the teacher to discuss their photos, their goals, and concerns they currently have.
  3. Workshop will not focus much on the technical aspects of photography. It is meant more to help the students feel more comfortable taking photos on both the street and in their personal life. Of course, any technical questions will be answered by myself if needed.

Schedule (Tentative)

– We will start with a short meeting in the morning (10:00AM) to discuss the goals for the day.

– Everyone will share a small sample of their work with the group as well as give a short introduction of themselves.

– We will shoot for 3-4 hours and then sit down in an informal atmosphere to talk about, process, and talk about the day’s photos.

– I will give a short presentation on the processing and editing I do to my photos and share some tips and tricks that relate to the day’s shooting. We will wrap up around 17:00.

– Students are welcome to join myself for dinner afterwards.

Equipment needed

Digital Camera

Students will be asked to use a digital camera during the day’s shooting. I know some of us enjoy shooting film, however, shooting with a digital camera during the day means we can discuss the photos taking during the day during the second part of the workshop.

Note: Any digital camera is fine for this situation. You can use anything from a Leica to a DSLR to a smartphone. All of the things discussed in the workshop will apply to any type of camera.
A Computer, Tablet, or Smartphone

Students will be asked to bring a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to use during the “processing” part of the workshop. These will basically be used to edit and share your work with the other participants of the workshop.

 

Price

In order to find out pricing information please email me at the email address below. This price includes one signed print of any photo of the students choice (225mm x 160mm approx.).

 

Attendance and Payment

To confirm attendance please reply to this email. Payment options will be sent following confirmation of attendance. The workshop will be capped at 6-8 students to be determined by a first come, first serve basis.

 

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email  me jtinseoul@gmail.com.

The workshop will be held on July 29th, Sunday. The workshop will be capped at 6-8 students. If demand permits a second workshop will be scheduled for July 28th, Saturday.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Best regards,

JT

번데기 (Silk Worm Pupae)

2018-06-18-0016-Edit
번데기 Double Exposure. Seoul / Iksan, South Korea. Voigtlander Bessa-R, 35mm Color Skopar. HP5 at 3200.

I’m out of film. So I decided to shoot this roll again.

Beondegi is a pupa. A silkworm pupa, in fact. It is a popular street or drinking food in Korea.

Beondegi is often sold in a cans. It’s served when people drink.

She likes it. She told me it is like the Korean Vienna Sausage.

Only healthier.

Seoul / Iksan, South Korea. June 2018.

________________

Feel free to leave questions or comments below. They are always welcome.