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I made it back to Moran Market in Seongnam a few weeks ago (other parts, 1,2,). I had a student recently tell me that the market is slated to be relocated because the price of real-estate has sky-rocketed in the area. The local gov wants to clean up its image and bring it into the times by relocating it into a modern facility. Goodbye pojamacha wonderland. I really love the atmosphere of this place. Visit if you have the chance, while you still can. Enjoy some makkolli, folk music, and timeworn culinary delights. Here are a few frames from the M6. Tri-X.

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moran blog

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Film Drop: Jan 1-16, Leica M6///Kodak Tri-X @1600

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Disregard this image. Compiling photos and reading a small volume of Ikkyu’s poetry. I’ve somehow carried this slip of a book around for a long time. It never gets old. I don’t think the attempt at typography really works, but I am too lazy to replace it at the moment.

Lately has been busy. Still getting out over the last few weekends to wander. Here’s the most recent transmission.

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The winter streets seem right in high contrast ice and pavement, black smoke and burnt out sky.

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Lately, I’ve been watching the wires. They seem make their own compositions across the city. Out where I live they bury those suckers just like good yuppies should.

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Walking with James on one of the coldest days yet, feet numb and fingers dead, we notice flakes of paint and rusted stairways. What exactly are we doing outside?

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An arcade in Insadong provides temporary warmth in a virtual firestorm.

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a shame the LHS here seems so empty.
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this one, too busy
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walking into the night
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I’m tired, too tired to write.

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Filed under leica for a year, street photography, Uncategorized

1/12

One month with the m6 and tri-x. A more complete assortment can be found here and here. These are what I found to be my favorite frames from the month of  December.

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Pusan National University subway station.

I visited Busan at the beginning of December to knock around some old neighborhoods and  see old friends. It was the first weekend with the camera so I was still toying around with it a lot, messing with aperture, focus and shutter speed constantly.  It had been raining so we decided to jump a subway across town. As we turned up the stairs, I saw these kids messing around at the top, kind of hanging on the railing. There was a patch of light coming from a window right behind them, flickering across the wall and their faces. I think the spot metering really benefited the exposure here. Anyway, I framed walking up the stairs and caught the kids glare at the last second. Damn, I really miss Busan these days.

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Vinyl Underground, Busan. Some say nighttime is the right time, and for others it just doesn’t taste right. Personally, I am easily swept up into such things.

One of our friends happens to own a few bars and clubs around Busan. The weekend I was down there was the tenth anniversary of his live music venue, Vinyl Underground. It was a good time to be there as I feel like live music in Busan is a lot more accessible than here in Seoul. These guys were in the opening act, some strange fela-kuti inspired 10 piece. They were hanging back at this table sipping a few beers and getting their gear together. They seemed to be illuminated really well. I was heading out for a bite before the music, set my controls and quickly framed as I walked out the door.

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Jongno, Seoul. An  old man on a cold day who just can’t stay home. The other day I read the Pascal quote about all of man’s problems arising from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone. What do you think about that?

 Somehow Jongno never gets played out. I have walked through this area more times than I can count, almost never to be disappointed or bored. It’s the oldest hood in Seoul, and smack dab in the center of town. Off the main drag weird little alleys abound. The streets are full of these really charismatic pensioners who just own the strip all day long. This is by the old man baduk park, which even on a frigid winter day is full of seniors getting busy with East Asia’s favorite board game. I really loved the shadows and isolation of the solitary character here. While Jongno is a haven, I often wonder how the old schools guy feel amidst such a rapidly changing city.

BLOG: M6 2 WEEKS

Jongno, Seoul.

There was the guy in the LHS hiding behind a sheet of plastic. I don’t blame him as it was a painfully cold day. He was a bit of a down and out, a subject that is always of questionable taste, so I really wanted to fit more into the frame and make a kind of streetscape photograph. The lights and shadow really worked out here. The film was at 1600 allowing me to shoot around f16 or so, which gave real definition and contrast to the shadows. This is a look I would like to return to.

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Haeundae, Busan.

This photo is three quarters of what I want it to be. I like all the elements and characters, the way they jigsaw into the frame, yet I am still bummed over the cut foot and some of the overlap in the background. I am ambivalent about the amount of masks that end up in my frames.

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Insadong, Seoul.

Times like this I really wish I had a wider lens on this camera. The foreground couple is slightly oof, yet I still liked the layering here. I always find the light in Insadong to be a little dull, and the street is usually painfully cramped. I remember trying to frame the background guy several times and just snapped this one at the last moment. I usually just drift through the city, never really stopping, yet I have found myself more sedentary lately. Looking to capitalize on the geometry or characters in a certain place. Taking a few frames instead of just being swept along as usual.

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Jukjeon, Gyeonggi-do. Look up, look up. The skyline is filled with cranes as things are always being torn down and put up again. Things loom and teeter, a dull buzz of construction reverberates through my kitchen every morning lately.

I had an afternoon off and took a long walk around where I live and work. A place I usually deride and being lifeless. I walked for two hours and took three photographs. All of them looking up at apartment blocks or light posts. Something makes me want to take more unpeopled photos, if nothing else but as compositional tests. I am not sure if I am any good at that, but the more I look at certain photographers, the more impressed I am how some can turn the mundane into art as they do.

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Seoul. Always loved the patterns of office light like honeycomb cells. Wonder who works late on a Saturday night up there. Who got to leave early?

After an exhibition at the Seoul Museum of Modern Art across from city hall. The days are painfully short here in the winter. This was taken handheld at about 1/16 of a second. Iso 400. The lighting was really nice and I was drawn to the contrast between the old gate and the city hall offices in the back. I am happy the way it turned out.

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Seoul. Like Sissyphus we thought, sweeping so late at night when more snowfall was expected. Futile task, well illuminated.

Even though my lens is relatively slow, I’ve been really into nighttime scenes, in part due to shortness of days. Still, there is always something whimsical about the dark. I really waited for these fellows. They had to come out from the dark and work their way into the street light. I think I took three other shots, none of them still enough, or close enough. They seemed jolly as they swept. As we walked around the corner the snow really started to come down.

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Seoul Station.

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Moran Market, Seongnam.

I remember the first time I ever chanced across this place. I swore I walked into another world. It was the same day Harold Camping was predicting the end of the world and somehow I had a computer virus that sent out list emails with a title from Yeats’ poem The Second Coming. You know…the whole mess about goats, and “a strange beast marching towards Bethlehem to be born.” The place felt slightly like the gates to somewhere, cages of goats and livestock. Proselytizers waited at the edges saving souls. It is a traditional market, so it only happens a few days a month, and on such days country folk flood in to peddle. Well, the divide between city and country is pretty wide these days. I felt like I had been taken back in time. I try not to miss the place when it happens.

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Moran Market, Seongnam.

I was really trying to get this shot for a while. I am not totally sure that it worked out. I underexposed a little too much. Always love a fedora on an old guy though.

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Moran Market, Seongnam.

“never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and clowns when they all did tricks for you”

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Filed under leica for a year, street photography, Uncategorized

Film Drop: B&W, Kodak Tmax 400, Ilford Delta 3200, Ilford hp5

I broke my collarbone skateboarding last weekend and since then I’ve been digging through the archives a bit. I can’t do anything active or get a camera up to my eye yet, so there’s not too much else to do. Here are a few B&W rolls I dug out from the past few months.

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Film Drop: Holga 120, Kodak Tmax and Portra

A few months back in the lackadaisical summer I started to fool around more with my holga (cheap medium format camera well known for ruining expensive film). I posted some of the color images here. I liked the way the images cohered, all sharing the same lo-fi qualities. I have been carrying the camera around a bit and trying to use it in different ways. I also started putting black and white through it. I’ve built up a pile of shots. Here are a most of them.

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Film drop: Ilford hp5 400, fp4 125, delta 3200+kodak tmax 400

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Film Drop: Holga 120, New Kodak Portra

Summertime, color film, and a plastic holga seem to have a symbiotic relationship. I’ve been carrying mine around a lot lately. Compared to some of the sleeker machines this plastic contraption of lo-fi goodness can’t quite cut it in the IQ  department, but something about a set of warbled and warped images seems to capture the strange vibe of a place. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a project out of these images that end up feeling like 70’s post-cards. I try to apply this camera to street photography, yet it just doesn’t work. I take it for weird urban landscapes, and everything looks crooked. I’m hoping after a year I can have enough frames that stick together solely by their inability to fit a genre. Anyway, I plan to keep carrying this thing. I have a few BW 120 rolls sitting in front of me, but I think I need to keep this thing techni-color.

blog: film drop: holga 120

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blog: film drop: holga 120

blog: film drop: holga 120

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모란 시장 revisited

After a exploring the nooks of Moran market earlier in the month I wandered back there this Sunday with a friend. Last time I was a little overwhelmed by the dog meat and my hangover. This time my skin was a little thicker and I explored thoroughly. We peroused, ducked in and out, watched a shaman dance, wandered past boshi-tang pots and had beer in a back alley hof. I am compelled to really make this place my project as my Korean friend told me the place will unfortunately disappear in the next generation. Last time we visited we swung by a department store to pick up something and were suddenly floored by the contrast of the white shiny lights and prim cotton gloves. The shopping culture in Korea is a paradox worth exploring further. Here are some fresh images from yesterday.

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#33

#33

“Unless the supernatural comes and plays a part and reveals itself, the picture is only as good and nice as information can be” – Raghu Rai

Moran Market
Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do. South Korea

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DELPIRE

Some favorites from the inspiring exhibit on the prolific printer and photography advocate Robert Delpire at the Seoul Arts Center in Gangnam. Featuring work curated, showcased, pilfered, and published by Delpire and his various biblio-guises, the collection is a delightful smorgasbord of celluloid history, heavy on Delpire’s crop of published lensmen including the likes of Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, and William Klein. To anyone interested in the legends of street clicks, photojournalism, and other international men of the glass, this show is a must. Make sure to peruse the selection of Delipire’s books they have on display, especially the thick and complete collection of HCB with the forward by Yves Bonnefoy.

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three films and a short

On a real Ramin Bahrani kick at the moment. Is there hope for American cinema?


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Most recent of Bahrani’s productions, narrated by Werner Herzog.

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iNdo-cHina

http://vimeo.com/18235120
recovering an old hard drive + snowed in winter break=

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nuclear lens flare, photos from the brink

solar flare!

solar flare!!- Haundae, Busan, South Korea

solar flare!

nicaragua- rangefinder- 35mm

solar flare!

Holga 135. BW

solar flare!

solar flare!!

solar flare!

solar flare!!- Florida

solar flare!

Gyeongju field

solar flare!!- Pai, Thailand

Gyeongju, August '09

thailand, pai

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Filed under 35mm, Film, North Korea, photos, Uncategorized, vivitar ultra wide and slim

tunnel

The Han River bike trail is my church. I ride it home from school even though it takes an hour longer. This is the tunnel that separates the quiet expanse of the river park from the chaotic jumble of Seoul. The portal through which I often pass through reluctantly.

Seoul- Minolta SRT

Seoul- Minolta SRT

Seoul- Minolta Srt 35mm- Hangang tunnel

Seoul- Minolta SRT

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ANALOG FRAMES

some celluloid shutters thanks to the affordable stockpile of 35mm film cameras piled high at the Seoul Flea Market.
Seoul Flea Market
Seoul City, Yashica Electro 35
(Mt. Daemason, Seoul, Yashica Electro 35)
Myeongdong- Minolta Srt9
(Japanese tourists, Myeongdong, Seoul, Minolta SRT)
Seoul Street- Yashica Electro 35
(Sock lady, Dongdaemun Market, Seoul, Yashica Electro 35)
Jisan- Minolta Srt
(Daehyun Kim from the 20th Century Boys, Jisan Rock Festival, Minolta SRT)
Seoul Street- Yashica Electro 35
(old men in the park, Jongno, Seoul, Yashica Electro 35)
Seoul City, Holga 135
(Han sailboarders, Holga 135)
Seoul City, Holga 135
(Jamsil Apartment blocks, Seoul, Holga 135)
Seoul City, Yashica Electro 35
(self out of focus, Jamsil, Seoul, Yashica 135)

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Filed under 35mm, Film, holga 135 bc, minolta srt, photos, South Korea, Uncategorized