When I go digging in my Aperture library it always takes a while to settle on which image to share here. This largely depends on my mood on the day I find time to post. Today when I went digging this image simply jumped out at me and said, “my turn”. Shot in a back alley of Chungmuro I first noticed it for the sparse, random collection of bottles collecting and quickly got a couple of shots in before a delivery bike came up and parked in frot of it. Simple but somehow calm, in my eyes at least.
Here’s something a little different. I like to change things up sometimes around here anyhow and what better way to do that than to sample someone else’s artwork. I am a fan of nice graffiti but am rarely around anything good so when I travel I do try to grab a shot or two of things I like. While at first I felt maybe this would not make for an appropriate desktop simply because it’s not exactly my artwork I ended up deciding, why not. Street art is clearly designed to be shared is is not? This bright abstract work caught my eye and it’s the color that made me want to share it here as a desktop. The color is a little odd because of the way light was coming in but hopefully that does not distract too much from the minimalism of the image. It was on a wall in a trendy college kid filled area of Seoul which houses plenty of color and wonderful shops and places to explore.
A few days ago I Started up a simple contest to give away a tiny contact sheet print. I chose a number at random based on the number of individual comments left on that post and I am happy to announce that reader m_s is the lucky winner this time around. Over the weekend I decided to sweeten the deal a bit and make a full 8×10 darkroom print of the image on the center of the little contact sheet print which you can see above. I have ben experimenting with rough edges on my prints and while I think there is still room for improvement it has been a lot of fun to mess about and try new things. No need for photoshop here, just a metal file. ;)
This is just the beginning though as I will soon be announcing a launch date for the new site design design which will also kick off plenty of other great things to come here on the site including free prints like this one and more. Thanks for everyone who jumped in for the giveaway and rest assured you will have other chances in the future so stick around.
Happy monday, here’s a shiny new desktop to get you through the day. I love the transparent plastic umbrellas for sale in Korea that just about every convenience shop pulls out when it rains. They don’t last forever but they certainly are fun to shoot. This was taken on the same day as this favorite inside Changdeok Palace. Rainy days are not always all bad, just have to keep your gear a little dry but really, I never feel the need to worry about my 5D in the rain. As long as it’s not poring I don’t mind it getting a bit soggy.
How did these spiral signs become so universal for hair cuts? Maybe a trip to Wikipedia is in order. I noticed this one in a back alley of Chugmuro and noticed it had a nice glow about it and figured why not, it’s a bit dirty but still has something unique enough about it to capture. I can tell already that these images from Seoul will last me quite a while still. I have plenty more to share so don’t worry, lots more to come. I would post a pack of them but tI have decided to focus more on individual images more often. There will still be the occasional pack available, sure, but the new format I am using with the upcoming design shift favors the simplicity of single image desktop posts. It will make life easier on all of us. I have been doing my best to get a steadier stream of posts going so come back soon for more!
Over the last few days I have successfully gotten a darkroom working in my bathroom and made a couple of prints on my brother’s outdated photo paper. While there is still a good amount of work to be done to have it fully capable, it still feels so wonderful to be back in a darkroom again! You will be hearing more about it in the future here on the site but for now, just for the fun of it really, I thought I would give away the first darkroom printed image I have made in 10 years or so for free.
Yes, it’s exactly what you see above, a tiny bit of poorly exposed contact sheet to be sure all was in working order. It’s a little bigger than a business card and has a couple spots of water/chemical left on it but I figured it would be cheap and really easy to toss into an envelope and mail to someone who may enjoy having a tiny quasi print around (anywhere in the world!). The images are from the Pacific Coast in California and Yosemite and were taken with my trusty little Olympus XA2. I fully plan to begin selling darkroom prints with time as I settle back into my darkroom life so keep an eye out!
So, if you would like this fine little piece of 50ft memorabilia to tack up on a wall or toss in a drawer somewhere, signed the back as proof ;) simply toss a yes, or please, or thank you or any comment really into the comments below with a valid email address (never ever shared or used for anything else) and next monday the 18th I will randomly pick a name and write the person to get a mailing address. Sound good?
Update: So great to see all of you jumping in for a chance to win the little print! I just wanted to be sure it’s clear that this is the piece you see above, a small test strip of a contact sheet :) I hear talks of frames and the like down below and its fantastic but I want to be sure no one is disappointed in its humble small nature. Maybe I’m being too modest, who knows.
I would also like to mention that this is just the beginning, in the coming month or so I will be launching the new site design and am planning a nice giveaway and during that time a couple of proper darkroom prints will be among the fun things to share with everyone in the process. I am excited about the future and excited to the the interest this simple memento has conjured up so as always, thanks so much for your kindness and support!
While on a short road trip outside of Seoul the bus made a stop in a tiny village known for its local beef which is pretty expensive in Korea. While we were not nearly as interested in all the butchers as others were, we did take a chance to wander down the road a little to take photos of the beautiful area we stopped in. The road was lined with these lovely yellow flowers and I could not help but see a desktop waiting in there. Plenty of shallow DOF for your icon needs.
When was the last time you sat or laid down to listen to an album all the way through, start to finish? Just you, the music, the environment you are in, and maybe a significant other. Could be an older album that you have heard a million times before or a new one where your ears and mind come in fresh, ready to explore. I asked this question over on Twitter earlier today and had mixed responses. Many have never done this while others could not remember the last time they have. It is an experience that requires a few simple things, a love for music, a little patience, and time.
Many people seem to think it is unreasonable to do something like this because of the amount of time it takes to devote to the process. Odd thing is that most of us wouldn’t think twice when deciding to watch a two hour film yet when asked to devote 45 minutes to an hour with a collection of songs it seems like a far fetched notion, a waste of valuable time.
A good album can read like a book if you let yourself fall in. Just like reading a new book there is sometimes that little bit of hesitance within the first few chapters, your’e not sure if this will be worth your time when you get started and you let yourself get distracted or anxious. I feel focusing your attention to music without doing other things at the same time is akin to meditation. To many it would seem it is seen as simply white noise to fill the silence while they work and play. Even if you have your favorite songs that you listen to countless times over there is still something magic about letting yourself exist purely with the music and nothing else.
When I give myself time in the morning or evening to simply lay down and listen to music I catch myself getting lost in the words or nuances of a recording. Other times I find I am staring off into the sky lost in a memory or an idea. It gives me a chance to slow down and get lost in my own mind rather than having my hand be held as I am guided through a story and instructed how to feel as movies or books often do.
Music allows you to be anything, it gives you the chance to clear your mind and let your thoughts guide you to a place not often visited within the fast moving world around us. If you give yourself an empty palate within your mind the music will fill it with color and emotion. If you allow yourself to get lost from time to time you will quickly start to discover ideas and memories once forgotten or create new ones in the process.
Here in lies the beautiful part of the idea. Take a moment here to consider the last time you gave yourself a few minutes to simply exist with no distractions. Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking we have while in reality it seems a lost art. The art of doing nothing. It can seem to be a bit of a zen idea, sure, but I believe we could all use a few zen moments in our busy lives. I do realize that things change, and maybe for some of us there really is no time in today’s world for admiring music in this way but that idea makes me kind of sad to imagine.
Music can be an experience just like any other form of art or meditation and it should not be overlooked so casually. Life is too short not to allow yourself to get lost in your imagination every now and then, it’s a gift and it should be exploited. I think what brought these thoughts to my mind was the fact that I have a few distinct memories of listening to albums in this way and they are such fond old memories that will stay with me. This is not something I would expect everyone to do on a regular basis, but it’s something that I could encourage anyone to explore at least once.
I have mentioned it before I believe but one of my favorite parts of Seoul is the cafe culture. Small indie coffee shops are around nearly every corner and offer countless places to relax with some music and a cup of coffee. Most have a theme of sorts and have impeccable interior design which adds a lot to the experience of going out for a cup. This was shot near where I stayed the last time I was in Seoul and offered a comfy ambience to get some work done. The spring brought with it open windows and doorways letting in fresh air and an even more relaxed atmosphere.
Those are YoungDoo’s new headphones made by Urban Ears and offer a great feature that allow you to connect a friend’s headphones to one side of them allowing you to easily share music with who you are sitting with. We took advantage of this a number of times while traveling on the bus or sitting around working at cafes such as this.