Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2nd Meet With Fred

     I got a mail from Fred (the Urbex guy) to meet on Sunday evening for re-shoots.  That's why I ended up in Gunja the night before.  The plan was to take a few pictures on Saturday night, sleep in Gunja, get to the location hours earlier to pre-shoot, then get into serious business when Fred arrives.  Well, it was just a plan.

Follow My Path: A walk on the streets of Gunja

     Gunja Station. I've been here a few times. There's a cheap place I could sleep in whenever I'm close by. But whenever I come here, I go straight to the motel. No roaming around. No scouting. No photography. In fact, I might come here after a long night's session. But I'd be too tired to venture out. I found this place dull. That is, until I took a cab (I almost always take the subway) and found myself in the middle of the busiest area of this place. There was life after all! Since I could be a regular here, I searched for places to eat first. It was easy. So I started looking for interesting subjects. It was night time. But I'm not in the mood for cityscapes. I found myself looking at subjects as an individual instead of the whole picture. It makes street photography easier for me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Follow My Path: A walk on the streets of Taereung.

     Lugging my gear the day after meeting Urbex photographers, I felt like I did not accomplish much.  Sure, I've taken some pictures.  Sure, I have some mental notes.  Sure, I've learned some by watching them.  But since I was used to taking pictures alone, yet was on a group that night, I felt like I have not done what I was meant to do... take pictures.

A Lighter Load

     Thank God, I packed a lighter load than I used to.  I knew I was going to walk around Seoul for two days.  So despite my love for my manual lenses, I had to settle for my kit lenses.  Canon 18-55mm, and Canon's nifty-fifty.  But the biggest concern was my tripod.  My bad just doesn't have means for it to be attached.  And it was heavy!

Close Encounters of the Real Kind

     On one of my earliest blogs, I talked about meeting a group of people regularly doing photo-walks in Seoul.  I had a blast with them during my first time.  The problem is I was more interested on talking to them first, taking photos second, and never really observed them or how they work.  It's been a year now (I think).  And this same group announced another photo walk.  But this time, they have subjects that I'm very interested in, lately.  The group I joined before were a bunch of street photographers.  This time, it's different.

Flash vs Flashlight

     Ok, so I got a speedlite.  Big whoop!  I never thought learning about flash was this hard.  I read people say it's easy.  And I had a couple of shots using it.  But really, it's mostly frustrating.

Ahah! I found you!

     On one of my blogs, I mentioned about birds chirping and screeching and mocking me outside my window.  I also mentioned that I had the opportunity to capture a beauty, but failed.  Well, that event kept bugging me.  Beautiful as their songs may be, I couldn't stand them when I don't see them.  I look out my window and see nothing but trees.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Urgent Call: A plea to the animal rescuers

     June 23, 2012.  7:00 a.m.
     Walking down from Bukahyeon-ro (북아현로) towards Ahyeon Station (아현 역), exit 2, where a huge part of the right side of the road is flattened, I was taking pictures of a traffic guy.  Colorful uniform, glowing stick, old hair, but plump and younger-looking face, like a Santa.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Project: Seeing Things in Black and White

     Ever since I got into photography, I started getting more and more skeptical of B&W images.  I appreciate the art of it and I even like them done on my pictures.  The problem is, in most cases, I feel it's like band-aid.  Convert a lousy image to black-and-white and it looks better already.  And it feels like so when I take a picture without the initial thought of setting it to monochrome.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

History Repeats Itself

     I'm one of those who got into digitally manipulating photos first, before going into actually taking pictures.  I'm not good at it like those professionals who can really make magic.  I just know some basics and love to play around with it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


     People who know me well, knows that I've been sober for years now.  I never counted how many 'cause it's not really a big deal to me.  I never considered myself an alcoholic in the first place.  But I still remember how it feels like, the day after drowning myself in gin.

     Apparently, I was suffering from it again.  I had too much urbex the day before, and gave me so much headache but wanting for more, a couple of hours later.  Yes, it's a photography hangover.  No, "UrBex" is not gin... although a bit intoxicating.

     On one of my blogs, there was this one particular image that really bothered me.  I mean, I like what I was seeing, but whatever's on my mind was not transcending through the picture.  Maybe it's the way I composed it.  Maybe it's my POV.  But I'll start with the background.  I want some heavy clouds in it.

     Fortunately, the day after shooting this, I saw some very nice nimbus clouds hovering over my work place.  It was noon, I had work.  But the most upsetting part was none of those beautiful clouds are near that abandoned factory that I took pictures of.  So instead of hoping for it to come near that place, I just thought I'll make the clouds my subject.

     For some reason, I'm also addicted to reflections.  Time and time again, I've been attempting shots of mirrors but I always fail.  Well, during those earlier times, I was happy with my results.  But looking at them again, I feel it doesn't really make so much punch.  Kinda needs more gin in it.

     Fortunately, as connected to my urbex hangover, I found this board from a pile of garbage.  What makes it interesting is the handles attached to it.  I think it was supposed to be for display or something.  Didn't matter much to me.  I just had my eyes on how shiny those handles are... reflections!  Clouds!  urbex-ish!  Headache!

Skies On My Mind
I've always wondered why some photographers are fascinated with these type of subjects.  Some take a picture of a door-knob and they get raves most of the time.  I still don't get much of it until I saw these handles.  Aside from the range of textures, I see those blue reflections of the sky.  Something I enjoy more.

Not So Obvious
It's a sarcastic title.  Of course everything is obvious!  The texture, the reflection.  The treatment.  And it's very HDR.  The thing is, didn't run through HDR software.  And the tones came straight from the camera.  It just happens to be nearing sunset.

I See You
I think I failed on this one.  But I was trying to make it look more street photography -ish.  Or at least film -ish.  But I'm having difficulty bringing that out.  So out of frustration, I saw myself on the reflection again.  I guess I could just fool around with this and hope it's not a crime.

Three Sides of Me
Now this is something I stared at for a long time.  I'm studying how bent objects reflect light in many different ways.  In this image, the effect is subtle, but still different.  As it shows, I'm standing in a single spot and at the exact position.  Yet the reflection shows three different points of view on each.

     Before I took any shots, I already anticipated these images will give me problems with dynamic range.  I know a lot will simply use Photomatix to fix that.  But I've never had much luck with that software.  Besides, I'm more interested on how people do things before these HDR software came about.  But that's another story. Next time, I'll be talking about how I'm coping up with Photoshop.

     Until then, let me tell you about my last image.

Rusty Wall
Since today I was talking about my urbex hangover, I remember seeing an abandoned container (sort of a trailer with no wheels).  One side of it is totally rusted.  And I also observed that many photographers take pictures of rusty stuff.  For some reason, I still don't get much of it.  I mean I like the texture and colors.  But that's about it.  So I took a picture of this... strangely enough, I like it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Coming to the Dark Side

     No no no.  It's not about dark theme, nor creepy pictures.  I'm talking about moving to the dark side.  The ones I used to avoid.  I'm talking about Photoshop.  No, not the verb.  I'm talking about using the software instead of just sticking to the free stuff.  Yes, I've always used the free stuff.