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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰

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