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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

๋ฒˆ๋ฐ๊ธฐ (Silk Worm Pupae)

2018-06-18-0016-Edit
๋ฒˆ๋ฐ๊ธฐ 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.

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

 

Darkroom, Eggleston, and Upcoming Wedding Post

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Darkroom Light. Iksan, South Korea.

I’ve been busy. Busy getting married, finishing my house. I had guests in the house until yesterday. Not much time for anything. That doesn’t even include dodging the construction dust long enough to write a post.

I don’t do this often. Post in colour I mean. This is my darkroom light. My wife said she chose it because it reminded her of Eggleston. Only the opposite. Slightly confused, I asked where she’d heard of Eggleston. She told me after we had met she’d spent several weekends reading about the masters. She’s as cool they come.

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Iksan, South Korea.

This is her. I took this on our wedding day. She was certainly a site for sore eyes. She’s wearing a traditional Korean dress called a hanbok. I wore one as well, ha.

I want to make a longer post about the wedding when I have time. Hopefully I will have some now that things from the wedding are winding down. We had lots of guests. Junku Nishimura was here, Matt Martin, Aikbeng Chia. We had a blast. Lots of drinking. Lots and lots of drinking.

Anyway, that’s it for the update. On a side note, anyone have any suggestions for an enlarger? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Iksan, South Korea.

June 2018.

L9994617
Iksan, 2018.

24 Hour Project: Busan Edition 2018 (Prep 1)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Fujifilm X100.

So I’ve done the 24 Hour Project for four years in a row. It is a difficult thing to do, in fact, sometimes it outright sucks. I don’t know why I keep doing it. Well, I guess I kind of do.

The memories. I do the project selfishly. Even though it is always a struggle the memories are always great. This year, for the first time, I’m doing the project in Busan instead of Seoul.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Fujifilm X100.

The gist of the project is that the participants are to take one photo per hour (and post to Instagram) for 24 straight hours. I usually get a lot of questions about what gear I’m going to use for the project so I’m going to make a couple of posts (more on this later) outlining the gear I’m going to bring. Consider this a kind of warm-up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Fujifilm X100.ย 

The first camera I decided to take with me to Busan is the original Fujifilm X100. This camera has been with me forever (my wife uses it now) and I still love it. It looks as though it has been through several wars but still works perfectly.

DSCF2047
Fujifilm X100.

There were a couple of reasons I decided to take the X100. First is that I have three batteries for it. That’s a big deal when it comes to this kind of marathon event. On top of that, I am just really comfortable with this camera. It is the closest thing to my Leica I have that is also digital, haha. I’ve quite honestly sold more prints and had more “successful” photos from this camera than any other in my life.

One thing I haven’t decided is whether to shoot in colour or black and white.

DSCF2039
Fujifilm X100.

I’ll transfer the photos to my phone via a usb dongle thing I got from the Apple store. I’ll edit them in Snapseed. This camera is 35mm equiv and the second camera I’m bringing is 75mm so I think they will work well together. I plan to take some portraits with the 75mm and do more street with the X100.

Care to guess what the second camera is ๐Ÿ˜‰ ?

I’ll write a short post about it, and the other gear I’m taking on the project tomorrow. Stay tuned ๐Ÿ˜‰

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Fujifilm X100.

Neverland, First Solo Zine Available !

Neverland_Korea.v1 2
Neverland: Korea Volume I

After much ado, my first solo zine is now available. It’s been a long time coming and I apologize for the wait!

The photos found in this zine are mostly street photos, which is where I had my start. This book is special to me because of the title:

Neverland.

This is what my father used to call Korea whenever he called me. He called it Neverland because he said it was a place I’d come to to avoid growing up. That’s fine, and I think it is true on most levels. He didn’t like the idea of me coming to Korea, initially. However, eventually, he came around. Just before he passed he told me he was proud of me for coming. Proud of me for following my heart.

To Neverland.

The zine can be found here:

MAGCLOUD.

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Neverland: Korea Volume I

Winter is Here

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Winter. Iksan, South Korea. January 2018. iPhone X.

Winter is here. I know I’m behind on blog posts. Feels like I can never catch up. I am in the middle of renovating my house here in Iksan.

Last week, the snows came. Winter had been nothing more than a cold autumn until now. I like the snow.

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Iksan, January 2018. Leica M3, 50mm Summilux. HP5.

Being a teacher, when the snow comes the first thing that happens is being forced to go play in the snow. While I said I like the snow I am not particularly fond of playing in it. Anything for the kids, I guess.

2018-01-11-0023-Edit
Iksan, January 2018. Leica M3, 50mm Summilux. HP5.ย 

I like the snow to look at. I don’t think I could even live in a place that never gets any. While some find it harsh, I find it tranquil.

Sometimes I just like to watch. The normal things look different. The walk to work becomes a little more interesting.

The snow is gone now again. It’s a little sad. I’d prefer it to stay around a little longer.

This weekend is another busy one. I feel like I never have time anymore.

2018-01-11-0016-Edit
Iksan, January 2018. Leica M3, 50mm Summilux. HP5.ย 

The next post is a review of the Olympus Pen-F for those interested. I’m going to be talking about how I’m using it for some work along with an old EM-1. Also working on an iPhone X review for photography. Hopefully all this will be out soon ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lots of things coming!

Hopefully there is enough time to do them all ๐Ÿ˜‰

Iksan, 2018.