Welcome back! I decided to take a short hiatus from 50ft so I could focus time on another project I have been helping with locally but I hope to pick things up from where I left off and get a few new posts out the door in the coming weeks. I’m kicking things off with another shot from Seoul, still plenty of them kicking around in my archives to share. Another simple one, nothing poetic, I just love these low watt lightbulbs with the filaments showing through delicately. Enjoy!
Here is a “classic” style shot for you guys, shallow and full of direct sunlight. This was made back in Seoul while YoungDoo was showing me around her old university one chilly afternoon. We came across a few pine trees along a lake which were trimmed in layers and after noticing the sun shining through between branches I decided to take advantage of the late afternoon sunlight. A simple shot, sure, but one I thought some of you would enjoy as a desktop.
The iPhone 6+ is the first iPhone I have really admired as a camera. While many others have been preaching about their iPhone being their camera of choice for years, I never did fully buy into the phenomenon outside of the casual fun of taking and editing photos on the go.
The camera inside the 6+, however, is weirdly smart and capable. After shooting in Seoul and Japan with it this past December it hit me that I had no problem at all choosing the phone as my camera of choice in a handful of situations. I have a couple of writeup’s started in regards to this subject but for now I thought I would share one of my modest video experiments here which was taken with the higher frame rate slow motion feature of the 6+ and edited in iMovie on the phone. The music is from an excellent release from Exist Strategy on BandCamp. Enjoy.
Sure, I may be a month and a half late but catching up on a years best music is a great excuse to remember what music made an impact on my life over the course of a year. That said, I had a look back among albums and singles released 2014 and came up with a short list of music that stuck with me over the course of last year.
This is not so much a top music of the year list as it is a music that stuck with me the most through the year list. I have decided to focus the list this year on songs rather than albums because not all of them came out of full length LPs and I liked the idea of having a nice playlist of favorites from the year. The songs found here were those which lifted me up and kept me grounded through the year as only great music can do.
Pardon my candid writing style below, I simply put on this playlist of music and wrote what came to mind as I listened to each song. That said, in no particular order, here is a handful of songs that really stuck with me in 2014, hope you find something new to enjoy! Feel free to drop your personal favorites in the comments below. (more…)
It’s no secret, you guys love typewriters. Previously shared typewriter images here have often been among the most popular posts on the site. While in Korea we ate at a restaurant filled with vintage items used to decorate the space. Our table placed us right next to a nice old typewriter with Korean characters and a house plant so of course I took advantage and made a few photos while sitting there before we ate. The soft light and muted colors gave the images a nice tone. Download links can be found below, enjoy!
This morning I dug out four or five old hard drives I had in storage and after finding the right adaptors and power supplies I managed to mount all but one of them which I knew had problems long ago. I spent a couple hours too many today searching through these old digital time capsules full of old photographs, designs, and music.
Among the files was a photo of mine taken back in 2007. I remember the moment well because it was so unexpected and never repeated itself. I was off exploring my usual spots out at my favorite lake nearby and while sitting by the shore a large swan slowly drifted by in the water. One which I had never seen out there before and never saw again after. The light was moody that day and this one photo I managed to grab of that unexpected moment ended up being one of my old favorites.
After a few little tweaks I decided to share it here today. While spring is not quite here yet, something about this photo makes me feel like it’s not far off. The title is from back when I had originally posted it to Flickr long ago. The usual set of wallpaper links can be found below, enjoy!
Arriving at the tail end of dusk we managed to get onto the temple grounds at a discounted rate. We slowly wandered up into the darkness as a large single bell started to chime in the distance. Methodically it rang, growing louder as we approached. Large and deep, the notes it struck contained harmonics that I could feel deep in my chest as it rung and faded into the dark night.
Not long after, from behind the closed doors of a temple nearby, a gentle light glowing from inside, the tap of a wooden percussion instrument and the chime of another bell crept out from the walls and filled the courtyard. A voice inside started to chant followed by a few others, slowly and to an unknown rhythm. The wooden taps continued, one, two, three… Louder at first and steady then trailing off as if a marble was dropped onto a cement floor; tap… tap… tap.. tap.. tap.tap.
The only other sound was the chatter of those I came with as they wandered further onto the grounds ahead of me leaving behind a stillness that caused my heart to feel as though it would break. The delicate ring of a nameless emotion resonated deep in my chest and left me feeling venerable and alone. Truth be told, I love moments like these and the way they create feelings unknown to description and fill me with a peace so absolute that I fear once they fade, nothing else will be able to compare to the impossible standards they set in place.
It’s rare to come across moments like these and I feel it’s important to hold onto their memory any way I can. In this case, with a photo and a frantic attempt to describe the cause and effect in words just after we left that night. When I came across the photo in my library this morning I thought it would be nice to share what I had written that night along with one of two photos I managed to snap in near darkness by setting the camera on the ground to steady it during a long exposure.
One afternoon in Korea we set off to find an old abandoned salt storage building near the coast located on a salt flat near Incheon, part of a larger area near the ocean called a Mudflat. The large, flat plot of land seems to be preserved today mostly as a park and bird reserve. Long meandering trails lead throughout the park and offered us a nice place to wander one cold, overcast winter day.
While the building we set out to find and photograph had since collapsed we did enjoy exploring the area, a high point of which was this set of three windmills somewhat randomly sitting out in the middle of the field. I never did figure out what purpose they served, if any, but they sure were fun to shoot! Lucky for us the dreary weather and obscure location kept the reserve more or less void of any other people outside of a few hikers and locals walking their dogs, a rare site in Korea where most places of interest are flooded with visitors on weekends.
I took more photos of these mystery windmills than I would care to admit, on a few different cameras, but really I couldn’t help myself. I love coming across odd landscapes serendipitously and wish I could more often. I have cropped a couple of them down for you guys to enjoy as wallpapers, you can find links below.
Here we are in a brand new year and what do you know, we are the same people as we were a few days ago. Always the same story with a slight variation. I may have no resolutions this year, but I do have resolve. Every new year is a reminder that time never waits for us to make up our minds, it just keeps on ticking. If anything, the new year is an excuse to reflect on how far we have come and imagine how much further we have yet to go. One step forward, a glance back, and we are on our way to any other day.
When I think back on 2014 as a whole I find myself lingering a couple of broad observations which are probably more relevant to my own personal viewpoint than that of your own.
One involves the wider spread popularity of a bespoke lifestyle. Discovering the best of the best has become commonplace for many of us. Sites and bloggers who feature their favorite affiliate links started to pop up right and left. Not that this did not exist before, I just feel as though it has reached a tipping point. The amount of ‘my favorite thing’ lists and ‘best of everything’ sites has given me pause coming into the new year as my eyes gloss over any best of lists I come across.
I once had a lot of fun seeking out cool new things all the time. Gadgets, tools, applications, clothing, accessories, anything and everything, it’s nice having the best of any one idea because you know it will last, and work well over time. Over the years I have refined my taste in every obscure corner of my life and I am well aware of what I like and why. A connoisseur of virtually every random menial task in my life.
The only caveat within the sustainability of this trend toward niche product categories is that by living a life surrounded by only the best things for any one need then eventually we will have enough of what we need and clever ideas start to seem redundant once we give ourselves permission to feel satisfied with things we already own. When we surround ourselves by want it’s natural to buy into it, even if on a subconscious level. The thrill of the hunt and staying hip and relevant is a carrot that will forever be just out of reach.
Lately the more I browse through cool new things online, the more it all blurs together. So, while I will admit am still a sucker for the latest and greatest I have caught myself becoming less and less interested in sites that constantly feature new products because it is starting to make me feel as though I will never catch up.
There is one other subject that I have been thinking about coming into the new year. I feel as though, in 2014, photography reached another period of convergence. Not unlike when digital cameras first started to be accepted as a viable replacement to our trusty old film cameras, there is no longer much of any distinction between photographers who choose to shoot with a “proper” camera versus those using ones attached to a mobile phone. The same goes for those of us who still choose to shoot and develop film, it is all a means to reach an end and in the face of digital post processing presets becoming what is more or less “digital film,” there is little reason to criticize any photographer for their choice of format. The only real difference can be found at the end goal of any photographers output whether that be a magazine cover, on a gallery wall, or simply posted to Instagram.
We are moving into a post format era of photography where what we shoot with is irrelevant in the face of ones personal vision. An interesting side effect to this has me thinking as well. There is such a huge amount of brilliant photography coming from all corners of the world that when I glance through highlights on VSCO, flickr, or Instagram It has become difficult to tell the difference between photographers.
I remember discovering interesting new photographers based on their distinct styles yet now we are so heavily influenced by one another and the tools we use are so similar that it’s getting increasingly hard to find such distinction between shooters. Maybe you’re thinking I have a jaded point of view, but you have to admit, it is getting harder to find photographers with a unique output. I admire artists who take chances. Those who find ways to express themselves by exploring what photography is able to help them learn about themselves and the world around them then share their findings with the rest of us. A thirst for curiosity, a gravitation toward wit, a sense of awe for the beauty hiding in light and shadow; attributes such as these are easy to romanticize but surprisingly difficult to harness.
Moving into the new year, I look forward to exploring what it means to be a photographer in todays world and what it takes to stand out among literal floods of images that consume our minds from day to day. Is it possible to break free of the double tap instant like lifestyle and find honesty, curiosity, and awe in photography again? I have a couple of ideas that may finally see the light of day this year that I’m hoping will bring back a sense of connection between myself as a photographer and those who support my efforts and its an exciting prospect to see them through after endless planning and second guessing.
Sitting here a few days into the new year, finishing up editing these loose ideas together I already feel as though 2014 is an abstract thought, lost in the obscurity of photographs, stories, and hazy memories, heres hoping for a great set of new ones in 2015. Cheers.
(The image above can be found as a wallpaper using the links below.)