Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013. Skyscrapers Really Are So Small

At a high point with nothing to obstruct your view up, you realize how vast the sky is and how small we are. Really, Korea's skyscrapers fade in the distance but the sky doesn't, it just swallows the edge of the horizon. Photography has been off my schedule too much lately. Many times now I find myself staring too late at a great sky right outside my window because I was too busy doing things indoors.
Fall has got the best weather and the best skies. Vacation should be in the fall, when its great to go out and exist outside of four walls. Summer is hot so everyone scurries to the comfort of air-conditioned indoors, and days are longer so we could get so much more done if we had classes during then. Half the time its raining anyway. I just want to climb a hill or go to a park or bike downtown or do anything but study. Isn't it time we change the system?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 20, 2013. Suncrossed

A snapshot on a date day. The sunlight pattern of the bridge called my eye and having Yvonne there always well dressed as she is, I put two together.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013. The Corona

Here's the band's group shot. It's challenging to have to work on a group. You'd figure they'd be more comfortable being in the frame together but it took a bit of work. Modelling and directing models is so much more than it seems.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 17, 2013. Epic Stance

I've sadly been too busy for photography.
On the positive side it has mostly been because I've been doing other things, mainly filming and editing.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013. Sky Hopping

The percussionist of The Corona. He was drafted into the band by the bassists who happens to be his college professor. While casually waiting to start their night's performance he slapped one hand on the front of his cajon setting a beat I couldn't have done with five. Great sound and talent.

October 7, 2013. Cigarettes in the Grass

The first shot from a photoshoot I had with the band The Corona. I got to know them through a street performance and was moved by their talent. I immediately found them on facebook and asked if they were interested in a photoshoot. They liked the idea, we set it up and a few weeks later we are at Sky Park shooting away. The shoot got a bit rushed because they arrived late and then had to take the long walk down the park to move their car which wasn't parked correctly, on top of that the weather was not what I was hoping for. I had to improvise and go for a totally different look but I ended up happy with the results anyway (I hope they are too). I hope I captured the feel of their music with this. You can check them out at Unfortunately they don't have any music available online yet but for those of you in Korea, they update when they are performing on the street. Worth your time!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14, 2013. Divided

On the left you see a couple sky scrapers and then a bunch of smaller buildings, on the right you see many sky scrapers under construction. This upward competition is dividing us, further pushing the difference between rich and poor. We forget how small we are.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 13, 2013. Abandoned

Seoul has a lot of abandoned bicycles. It seems for every 10 bicycles you see at a stand, 1 of them is abandoned. It's even worse for those in front of housing, then sometimes up to half of them are old, rusty and falling apart. Sometimes they don't even have seats or the tires have been flat so long they're beginning to crack at the bottom. This one was overgrown with vines, and it's such a waste, but this happens to anyone with anything. Think about the things you have laying around that you never use but you keep because "you never know when you might need it" or "you never know when you might feel like using it." I'm not saying we should throw everything we don't use out, but pointing out that there are things that aren't being used by us that someone else could get a lot out of. I've experienced a lot of that the last moving, getting rid of things that hurt to get rid of but where not getting any use, and then adopting things other people weren't using into our own house (like a broken desk chair, the wheels and base were completely gone so we turned it into a floor chair!) A bicycle overgrown with vines is such a shame... Today I saw a homeless person who was on a bicycle that didn't even have tires...

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013. Keep Going

"Shall we go up?"
For a moment we debated. The sign said 1.5km more to the tower, not much but it was getting dark fast. We had just gone for a quick stroll and the weather was hot and insanely humid. I was already unpleasantly drenched in sweat so a flatter route would've been nicer. But then again, we were at a mountain park, nowhere else to go but up.
After a shrug. "Alright..."
We made it past the stairs and about halfway up before going "Screw this! It's too hot. I'm going home to stand in front of the A/C."
I think I'll do more exploring in the fall.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11, 2013. Ghost

A little exploring of the park by my house, but wen't back early because at 8pm it was still absurdly hot and I was sweating like I had drenched my face in water.
August sucks.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 10, 2013. Changing Skins

There is a ridiculous amount of cicadas buzzing in Korea right now, and while we humans are dying in this intense humid heat, insect life is flourishing. This shell left behind reminded me of a conversation I had with someone last night about people changing. He commented on how much the people he knew changed after they came to Korea, unfortunately it didn't seem like a good thing. I feel the situation is different on my side. My friends all changed a lot here, but a lot of that involved becoming more mature and responsible. Though my relationships with them haven't changed much (other than the frequency with which we see each other) everyone is a completely different person now. Life is more serious, and we had to leave behind that skin of careless teenagers that just want to have fun.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 8, 2013. Morning Chores

Simple life people doing simple life things.
Everyone wants to be big and successful... or do they? From young we are taught that we need a lot or we will be failures, and so we grow unsatisfied when we have less. Thing is, we will always have less, because someone will always have more. But what is wrong with a simple life where you just earn enough for what you need and the rest is up to you? No need to make more money, no need to buy more toys that throw you in debt, no more expensive clothes that are no better quality than the cheap stuff. A simple home with simple stuff. No stress from worrying about others think of you. Did everyone ever tell you that's okay too?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August 7, 2013. Anonymous Simplicity

It's amusing how Seoul tries to be so symmetrical and uniform when in reality the city is on crooked land. If you look at Korea on Google maps it looks like a wrinkled napkin, which makes my attempts at minimalist, symmetrical composition a nightmare. I've seen other photographers struggle with this too. You try to line everything up but if you make one thing stand straight something else goes crooked, and if you have the horizon straight then all your vertical lines will be tilted to one side. You sort of have to find an angle where it balances out and FEELS straight but if you stare at it long enough it's like a pile of pick-up-sticks. I guess that's why the first floor of most buildings is marked as B1, since you can walk in on one side but on the other it's underground because the building is standing on a slant. You never know what floor you are on here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 6, 2013. Low

I'm really happy with my new neighborhood. It's tough to get to on foot because of the height, but that pays off with a view and quiet. I hope this is the last time I feel the need to move in Korea since it's an expensive and stressful process, but it helps you reflect on things like the realization of how much stuff you actually have, and also gives you a chance to do some manual labor (carrying things, cleaning, etc) which keeps you busy and mostly disconnected from the internet. Once you're all settled in you feel much lighter and more organized, and excited for all of the opportunities to make change in your life since it's sort of a new start.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 4, 2013. Rare Day

It was a rare day in Seoul and I had to capture the sunset. I live on the side of a mountain now, so it's easy to get views over the city.  My neighborhood is quiet and relatively clean, a great place to relax and watch the sun go down with some company and a camera on a tripod. I really like where I am right now. I feel good.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31, 2013. Anew

I'm moving to a new house tomorrow. It's closer to my school and has a lot of space. Now that I will have a living room available I'm hoping this space will allow me to try new things and grow more. The new area I will be living in will also present opportunities when I take on photo walks. I'm hoping all this change will be positive and promoting growth. I don't know if I'll be able to get anything up tomorrow, and I really should be packing right now (not even halfway done) but I hope you enjoy this vibrant flower edited in vintage fashion!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013. 6am Walk

The city barely waking up, subways running but still empty. A quiet walk in the morning through mostly deserted streets provides you with a silent, rare scene of Seoul.

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013. Urban Warrior 3

The last from this set. For a while I wanted to do something with a Kumdo suit, graciously provided by Phillip. Next I needed a buff model to which Thomas awesomely agreed to. I was lacking a location though, but after discovering this abandoned neighborhood thanks to Jessica, everything fell into place! Thanks to everyone who helped and made this possible, it was an awesome time!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28, 2013. Urban Warrior 2

For a while I wanted to do something with a Kumdo suit, graciously provided by Phillip. Next I needed a buff model to which Thomas awesomely agreed to. I was lacking a location though, but after discovering this abandoned neighborhood thanks to Jessica, everything fell into place! Thanks to everyone who helped and made this possible, it was an awesome time!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 27, 2013. Urban Warrior

For a while I wanted to do something with a Kumdo suit, graciously provided by Phillip. Next I needed a buff model to which Thomas awesomely agreed to. I was lacking a location though, but after discovering this abandoned neighborhood thanks to Jessica, everything fell into place! Thanks to everyone who helped and made this possible, it was an awesome time!

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013. No Bubbles

One more shot from yesterday's shoot. Had another shoot today but I need time to edit before I can get them up. Plus out of 500 shots yesterday it would be a shame if only one made it up on the blog no?

July 25, 2013. Bubbles!

Admit it. I don't care how old you are, you still think bubbles are fun, and you'd be happy if you had this bubble gun. Well with all this free vacation time I borrowed a ton of equipment from school to play around a bit. There wasn't much of an original concept at first, we just went with what seemed like fun.
Many thanks to Fern for doing the makeup and bringing the bubble gun.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013. Perceived Perpetual

I don't know if there is much to say about this one. Simply contemplation on the massive structures humans are able to make to get us passed massive natural accidents like this river.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013. Taken Apart

More from the abandoned neighborhood. It's a fascinating place to let your imagination run free. Even with most of people's belonging's and valuables removed, there is so much you can piece together there from what's left, and then there's the array of random things that really get you curious. An empty crab shell, a VHS cassette, rolls off film, a suitcase filled with a variety of empty whisky bottles... Life was happening in these places, and now they're empty. Eventually the area will be leveled and then transformed into another set of apartments (because Korea needs more of those!) where people will move in to lead cookie cutter lives in cookie cutter homes...

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013. The Right Hour

I got up at 3pm today.
I had a lazy Monday.
I'm on vacation. No deep thoughts today.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21, 2013. Down In Pink

Another sunset over the city with clouds of soft color. I'll miss this park I've been to a handful of times now, but I'm no longer going to live near it, and won't be able to frequent it as much anymore. I learned a lot at Dream Forest, as repetition allowed me to improve, returning to locations to rethink how I could photograph them. I'll be living right by a new park now, hoping it will bring me lots of opportunities.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, 2013. Birth

Stormy clouds have been looming above us at fast speed. They come and go in an apocalyptic manner, and these chilling moments warn us of the rain.

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19, 2013. Left Behind

At that moment it was hard to distinguish what to take and what to leave. Objects had to be evaluated by their practical use as anything with emotional value would just end up being dead weight. Clothes, food, water, first aid, money... without second thought he left behind furniture, electronics, pictures, books. Turning to the window sill he paused for 5 long seconds, 5 seconds he didn't have to spare. Staring at the jar full of origami stars that had been there forever, something he never got over, he was never able to throw away. He never thought this would be the moment he'd move on, when he was left with no choice.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, 2013. Sunflow

Cooped up indoors for too long, we decided to walk to the park in this rare, rainless afternoon. Enjoyed a nice sunset and stretched out our legs. Rainy season will be over soon...welcoming Korea's horrid summer humidity.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013. Just the Wind's Light Blow

I have only fished a handful of times in my life, but each was a good time. With the exception of the one time I went deep see fishing with my aunt, which is exciting and a totally different experience, it's so relaxing to sit by calm water with an excuse to do nothing but wait to see if the fish will bite. I don't even care if they don't.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013. Escape

I often think about how different life is from one person to the next. I also end up thinking a lot about how different life is now as compared to tens, hundreds, and even thousands of years ago. When we talk thousands, there are definitely things from back then we will never experience now (and who hasn't dreamed about going to the past with modern technology and ruling the world?) but something that always seems to intrigue me the most is the visual experiences we get to have now that people way back when couldn't have. More specifically, I'm talking about being in the air. I'm talking about being at heights that were once impossible and now are common. Down below, it is hard to marvel at the majesty of the world, it's hard to take in the scale, understand how small we are. (Yet most of us will never experience being as high up as space, I'm sure that's even more belittling.) I love being in high places, I love the views, I love peering down at what was once large and is now small figures in the remote distance. It is the best place for the mind to rest.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013. Stormy Days

I have been able to get my hands on the Canon 5D mkII a few times now and it has been a beautiful thing to work with. For those who don't know, the camera with the lens sells for around $2500 without even a lens. Using it has made me look down on my camera a bit as it's really easy to get used to the good stuff.
For reference, I have a Canon 500D. By now it has been outdated by the 550D, 600D, 650D and 700D. At the time of purchase it went for around 550$ but now I'd say it would sell for less than 300$. It's small and light and won't get you much respect around professionals. However, it's always easy to forget that even though the camera can make your life easier, it's won't take good photos for you. That's up to you. So using it today was kind of like what it feels like to drive a 125cc bike after being on a 650cc. There's a difference alright, but as long as you can drive well you can get just as far on either one.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14, 2013. Quiet Blue

Blue hour, on a bridge in the middle of nowhere. No sounds of cars, no ringing phones. No apartment buildings and skyscrapers, no heavy sewage smells. Just the river, trees, mountains and you.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 13, 2013. Drowning

Water is such an innocent looking thing. Playing in a pool or the ocean was definitely one of my favorite activities as a kid, but I had frequent nightmares in which I drowned at the beach. Simply looking at turbulent water, with it's loud splashing roar, brings a little fear in me. That feeling you're gonna somehow fall in and be sucked into a spinning, dark vortex where you quickly lose sense of which way is up and your breath quickly fails you. That is what I felt in this image.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013. A Moment

You can find many ways to entertain your evening. Go out drinking and partying, stay home and watch movies, play video games, listen/play music, go out for dinner. Or you can find yourself a spot high up where the wind blows cool, and enjoy the sunset over a chat with a friend.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013. Taeguk

Hongcheon river has a portion that spirals into the shape of the Taeguk which is the centerpiece of the Korean flag. After a brief hike up GeumHak Mountain to observe it, we came back down to Kayak through it's calm, cool waters.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7, 2013. Getting Lost

Getting lost isn't so fun when you're a kid.
That moment when you turn around and your parent's aren't around in the supermarket. That time when you got too distracted playing you forgot your way home. Terror quickly takes over as you try to maintain your composure, of course getting lost isn't something we naturally enjoy. Specially as a kid, when you are so dependent and know you're doomed on your own.
I'm sure some get a thrill out of getting lost, but I'm sure for most of us, we can only enjoy the idea of getting lost, knowing we are still safe though we do not know exactly where we are or how to get to our destination. Getting lost is only fun when you know you'll be alright, you're just deviating from course, losing a little time, exploring somewhere unplanned. But is that really getting lost? Would we enjoy it if we didn't know if we'd make it to our destination, or even back home?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 6, 2013. Pull Through

When you set yourself out with an objective, it's like going through a tunnel. You see the light at the end, evaluate the distance and prepare the amount of energy necessary to go through. Sometimes, however, your eyes trick you and the distance is farther than you expected, and even if it wasn't that far you feel the excess distance eternal. At times when you can't see the end of the tunnel, you prepare all of the energy that you can to be prepared for anything. When you do that, you may surprise yourself with how far you can go. You come to realize this way that you can do what you set yourself out to do, and when you set yourself to less, you will always achieve less. Always aim higher than where you intend to reach.

Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5, 2013. Nobody's Business

Walking down Busan's fish market on an overcast day, perfect for street photography! On goes a man minding his own business on one of the millions of red scooters in Korea. It's like if you ride one of these you're required to drive like crazy, going on sidewalks and running red lights. They're just out to get the job done and done fast, done dangerous.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18, 2013. Gold Flares

Early summer greens are so rich and bright, especially after the long winter gray. I can't believe we are almost halfway through the year already.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 16, 2013. Summer

I haven't been too proud of any of the work I've turned to my photography classes this semester, and now that I got the chance to do something individually with a little more freedom, I wanted to show what I could do, but had little time (only had the camera available the day after I got the assignment) so we set up a small, spontaneous shoot and headed out the next afternoon. For the suddenness and little preparation, I was actually quite happy with the results. I wasn't quite sure what I would do so I just picked a nature theme and figured I'd wing it at golden hour. Yvonne pulled off a really neat makeup look and we were good to go!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013. Legit

Here's a guy you don't need to ask to smile because he always does.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7, 2013. Do What You Love

When people do things that they love, we find they can be divided into two categories. Those who do it just because they love it, and those who do it to get good. Sunny loves dancing, but he's not just out there to do it, he's out there to get good and climb up the ladder.
Dance is something very foreign to me, I can't do it, I never do it. I'm as awkward as they come on the dance floor so seeing Sunny do his thing is just fascinating, viewing how much movement humans are capable of. Working with him was easy as pie because he can be himself and enjoy it, and that shows on camera, in his dance, and in his way of being. It was a fun shoot.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 4, 2013. Punk as Funk

Hellooooo, anybody still here?
Yes it has been a while. School has been busy and the weight of 9 classes is starting to hit, but I have a few photos to post for the time being.
Meet Emily. She is a rare mix of character and attitude stored in a cool and calm container, and exactly who I was looking for. She jumped right on board with the idea and we were shooting less than 2 weeks later, though the concept had been slowly brewing in my head for a while. With the help of Yvonne's makeup skills we got her fixed up with a punk look and headed over to this rocking tunnel (which took us half an hour because I forgot the way...)
All thanks due to the talent and wait for a little more to come!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 14, 2013. Abandon

So much for the Spring mood huh? Well I wanted to do another shoot, and I managed to get my hands on school equipment again so midterm weekend couldn't really stop me... Well this was rather quickly thrown together, originally intended to be a bright, happy photo with a red umbrella but I didn't wanna go hunting for some expensive red umbrella so things sorta changed... This cheap 3$ umbrella had been sitting outside my door for months now, rusting and falling apart and giving me a new idea... this is more my style anyway.
Now I have evidence my girlfriend is crazy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013. Knowing Eyes

My generation, so proudly referring to themselves as "90's kids" complain a lot about how kids have it these days, with their cellphones, fast internet and all means of video games. We bicker like old men about the next generation, as if we lived through WWII. Of course older people would say the same about us, but I wonder if they did so when they were our age, about those only one generation below them. Were they just as whiny as us? I feel like they weren't, but with times changing and technology developing so quickly, my generation is quickly becoming what can seem like "outdated" or even "obsolete," so the difference between us and one generation down is unusually large.
I could be wrong though.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013. No Machines

Two ladies making traditional Korean clothing by hand, weaving every thread with weathered fingers. The product is expensive because it is all done manually, but you cannot argue with that quality.
What I find amazing is how the device the lady in the back is using is ridiculously similar to that which Mayans use to create their textiles, on the other side of the world. Coincidence?
As my friend Pablo put it: "Aliens."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013. Standalone

Some people don't take the first step, they only follow. They are afraid of being judged for doing something different, they are the flowers you don't notice individually on the tree because they are among many others. It's the first ones that really stand out, that seem bold, that let you know it's the new season.
And it's ok to be a follower, we can't all be leaders.