lake.jpg

None At All

While out on a walk at my favorite nearby lake I decided to pack light and set off with a thermos of coffee, an old film camera (in this case my Canonet), and my iPhone. I came out to have a little peace after a month and a half abroad in a mild attempt to reset my mind and get some fresh air. Thankfully, it just so happened to be an absolutely perfect day, a cool, slightly cloudy spring day with a touch of wind to give the lake gentle waves and the trees a beautiful white noise as it blew among the leaves.

As I walked along stopping by a few of my favorite spots along the way I could not help but take a number of photos with my trusty Canonet. I eventually arrived at one of my favorite places on the trail, a small boardwalk. I pulled the camera to my face and slowly started to swing back the film advance and to my horror found I could only wind it half way back meaning I had run out of film.

After a moment of disappointment I simply wound the film back into the canister, slipped the camera into my jacket pocket and pulled out my iPhone to take a few so-so photos of the scene to mess around with later. Disappointed with the results, I had a moment where I felt stupid for not bringing along more film. It was a weight that made me feel like I had wasted the walk out there. A few seconds later I realized it was not at all worth the worry. Why burden myself with such thoughts? This in mind I simply lifted the weight of the loss off of my shoulders, took a deep breath, and continued to enjoy my time in the forest without the need to photograph it.

I decided to take my time walking back and wandered off the trail, forging my own path. A few minutes later I discovered two trees that had fallen across the shore of the lake and rested at peace over the water. Vines with green leaves had started to grow outward from the forest and onto the sunny trunk of the fallen tree. I picked up a weathered old 2×6 piece of wood found nearby then slowly walked out onto one of the trees.  After placing the wood across the two trunks I had a nice makeshift bench to sit on. I let my phone sit in my pocket, took a few sips of coffee and enjoyed my time without feeling the need to photograph the beautiful lake aorund me. It was perfect, legs dangling down above the surface of the lake, wind was creating deeper waves at this point and I was lost in the beauty of it all.

Many people talk about the iPhone being a great camera or go on and on about the benefits of digital cameras and their seemingly unlimited capacities, but this day decided to evolve a bit differently than others and left me with a fresh, welcome perspective. This day left my mind at rest among the trees, water, and sounds of a perfect afternoon. Then I got to thinking and the now common phrase, “the best camera is the one you have with you” came to mind and I thought to myself, sometimes the best one is an ellaborate DSLR, sometimes it is a simple old film camera, and sometimes it is the one built into your phone, but today, on this perfect afternoon with a cool breeze on my face, the best camera was none at all.

Sunset

The night of the wedding we were given a large three room suite as part of the wedding package high up on the 23rd floor. The view overlooked Seoul and what was forecast as a rainy day a few days beforehand ended up being a beautiful afternoon.

We had all of our friends over to the suite after the wedding for wine and finger food. As the sun began to set the many photographers, including YoungDoo and I, in attendance were all glued to the windows as an epic sunset rolled across the city below.

Time slowed and the sun and buildings seemed to sing to us. Even as the sun dipped behind the edge of the horizon the world seemed to be putting on a show just for those of us in that room. Lights around the city started to slowly trickle into existence and subtly mimicked the few stars in the sky that crept through the cities impeding glow.

One by one the guests started to leave until it was just the two of us alone among empty plates and wine bottles. Everything seemed so very quiet and at once I felt a calm fall down onto me and I knew something great had just taken place, something we would not soon forget.

Night fell deeper, the city grew quiet as a bitter cold wind started to echo through the streets yet I put my mind at ease because I knew that from that day forward, no wind would ever feel quite as cold, no room would be as empty, and my heart would, from that day on, have nothing left to fear.

Sorry, no desktop this time. I was posting this photo to flickr simply for the sake of sharing something new and as I looked at it before making it public some thoughts started to come to mind so I started to write the above. I was laying around here in our room and decided it may be nice to share it here as well because I know not everyone follows along on flickr and its something I wanted to share. Just a memory that was brought back to me through this photograph. I love that about photography. Its power to rekindle memories is uncanny and I am thankful to have the ability to capture things within my life this way. I don’t often get too sentimental here on 50ft but I figured why not share a little bit of the joy I felt that day with all of you.

Tenganan

First thing is first, Bali is HOT. As in, most days are spent soggy with sweat while wandering streets full of bright, unforgiving sunlight. It has not only slowed our pace a bit but also left me not shooting as much on this trip. I decided yesterday to leave the Hasseblad and Canonet behind in favor of the LCA and Holga because I never really come across too many delicate moments to shoot and the LCA/Holga are best suited for nice bright sun so hopefully this switch in pace will lave me more relaxed about shooting in general. We have also been invited to the home of a driver that we have started to befriend so that could be a nice opportunity to get a feel for a more local lifestyle.

Up to this point what I have seen of Bali constantly reminds me of the Disney World backlot where they have neighborhoods of fake houses built for shooting movies and TV. Within the central tourist filled areas the buildings and businesses are built purely to fuel the needs of the mobs of lobster skinned tourists. Signs to resorts and tour packages line the streets speaking of secret locations they can take you to see the “real” Bali. Everywhere I go I hear “Taxi? Transport?” coming from all imaginable directions as anyone with a car seems to offer some kind of tour package. These pleas have all but become white noise along the way and blend, like static, into the hum and roar of the hundreds of scooters, cars, and trucks constantly filtering through every street.

While in a car on the way back to our room yesterday evening we took a few backroads that lead us through areas where I could not spot one single foreigner and the atmosphere completely changed from sweaty tourists and swarms of locals doing their best to take advantage of their potentially deep pockets to a more relaxed, modest speed of life with small food stalls with real local food, cell phone shops, and mechanics. I am hoping to see more of that side of the Island as we continue to explore but it can be difficult without your own car or scooter and hired drivers never seem to understand that you don’t want to do what everyone else usually wants to do. I am almost certain at this point that the best way to explore this Island would be with a scooter and a well updated GPS for when you inevitably get lost.

At any rate, I shot the image above in a small village called Tenganan known for its basket weaving among other things. While we did not stay too long I did find this one lovely lit spot to shoot what I immediately knew would make a great wallpaper image to share with everyone. Moments like these are rare in the blistering sun that has graced most of what we have seen up to now so when I come across them I can’t help but start shooting.

I’m not sure when I will have time to write again, but rest assured that things should settle back into place when I return from my travels and I will start to share more images and stories from my time here and catch up with the world that I have left behind to a certain extent. So until then, all the best, and enjoy the new image!

Dial Tone

Whew, so weddings take a lot of time out of regularly scheduled programming eh? Time has been flying by here in Seoul and I am packing up the last couple of things and getting ready to head down south with YoungDoo to Bali for ten days. This time, however, the trip is purely recreational so I hope to have a camera around all the way through. From what I have seen it’s been raining a bit recently down there so hopefully it’s not going to be too unbearably hot or muggy. I have been shooting where I can the past few weeks and will resume regular posting as soon as I can manage. I will try to post some new desktops while down there, time and internet access willing.

For the time being I managed to get this image together for you guys, nothing too special but I thought it was nice. The late afternoon light called me into the phone booth for it and I figured it would be a nice shot to share. Hopefully the fairly liberal post work doesn’t bother you too much. I tried not to get too carried away with it but it’s all in good fun anyhow. At any rate, the next time you hear from me I will hopefully be happily nestled into my room in Bali. Maybe I can get that post about the new 5D up, it’s all but done, just a paragraph and a conclusion away from posting. Just can’t find the time to finish refining it a bit. Till then, enjoy the new image and I will see you again soon.

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