Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seoul Land at Night

While walking home from the Museum of Contemporary Art Sunday night, we passed Seoul Land all lit up for the night. This is an amusement park that steals some of Disney's ideas. My friend suggested a photo as we were walking past, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I like the reflection on the water and the outline of the buildings in lights.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I really like this photo for some reason. I think it's the contrast between bright red and fluorescent white. Besides, writing in other languages is always more interesting than in our own language. Would this be nearly as interesting if the signs were in English?

In the subway

These are all photos I took while in the subway. They aren't really my greatest shots. They seem a little dull to me. And they came out so blurry. Hopefully I will get a second shot at this when I get a new camera.

Ok, this doesn't look like a subway shot, but I actually took this while riding over a bridge over the Han river on Line 2. I had no idea there was a fence here, because when you're going that fast, your eyes can't distinguish that. I like this photo because of the brilliant blue of the water in contrast to the white fence. I also like that you can see the shadow of the cable on top of the train on the fence. It's really the only hint that you're on a train other than the fact that the fence is slightly blurred.

At first I didn't like this shot, but the more I look at it, the more it grows on me. This man looks a little sullen and just lost in his own world. Again, the photo is grainy and pixilated. This could be so much better.

Another boring, blurry photo from the subway that I took while waiting for my train in Dongdaemun Station.

I like these two photos because they are good perspective shots. Unfortunately, there is nothing interesting about them besides that.

Street Vendors

I always walk by street vendors and think that they would be perfect subjects for some shots. Unfortunately, I don't have the courage to go up to them and take their photo. Is it proper etiquette to ask permission? Either way it seems a little awkward, especially since I have no idea how to say that in Korean.

Yesterday I grabbed these two opportunities to take photos of vendors. In both cases they had no idea I was photographing, so I felt OK doing it. Does that make it better?? Or am I just now a creepy photographer who sneaks up on strangers??This is the fruit vendor near my house. I've always meant to buy something, but I hardly ever buy fruit, and when I do it's usually at the supermarket. Work seems to get stocked on fruit occasionally, so that's where I got my fruit fix. This photo was shot at about 6:00 in the evening. I wasn't sure whether or not to lighten this photo because it makes it a bit grainy. But, once I lightened it, you could see the writing on the boxes and the shine from the sewer cap, which I think makes it a little more interesting.

Here are some snack vendors in Myeongdong. They were so busy that they didn't even notice me right in front of them snapping this photo. I like this photo because this sort of cart is so common here, especially at this time of year. Chestnuts, especially roasted chestnuts are so popular with the Koreans. I tried my first chestnut a few weeks ago. I wasn't that impressed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Huaso in Chile

A Huaso is the Chilean version of the cowboy. These men are skilled horsemen and are often romanticized in the folklore tradition. My first week in Chile, I was able to view this demonstration of huaso horsemanship (is that a word?). The things this huaso could do with his horse were amazing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Playing with colors... Here are some wooden figures that I found in the Korean Folk Village in Suwon. I don't know much about these figures, but they are very interesting. Anyone know anything about these guys? I was playing around with the colors on this photo, but I can't decide what looks best. What do you think?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Canopy Walk in Costa Rica

Canopy walk in the rain forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. It was raining, but it was still spectacular.

Waterfall in Torres del Paine

This photo was taken in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile in March 2006. I'm glad that there is a person down there by the falls to give you some perspective to the size.


Today we headed down to Jongmyo and Changgyeonggung and I was able to get a few good shots. The skies were a little cloudy, but but there were so few people around that I was able to take lots of photos. Unfortunately, my camera batteries died half way through the palace, so these are what I was able to take.

A sun dial that is way to complicated for me to figure out

Front gate to Changgyeonggung

Brick wall inside Changgyeonggung

A structure inside Changgyeonggung that struck us as more intersesting than most of the other buildings.

An ajumma and two ajossis sitting outside Jongmyo

Typical Korean palace eaves. They generally follow the same color and pattern in every palace and temple.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Digital Editor

No, I don't have Photoshop, or any other fancy editing software. I use the newest edition of iPhoto. While I realize that you can do amazing things with Photoshop, I'm just an amateur, and I don't see the point of shelling out all that cash to get the fancy software. iPhoto lets me do 95%of what I want to do. Now with this photography blog, I've been spending more time in iPhoto trying to make my photos look more decent. I've just found some new features that I never noticed before. You can straighten images, reduce or increase shadows, sharpen (which sometimes looks good and sometimes just makes your photo look unnatural) along with many of the normal features like reducing red-eye, B&W, Sepia, etc. I really like this straightening feature. Check out what I was able to do with that photo with the boys at the folk village with this tool.

My Camera

I have to say, as sad as my camera seems sometimes, it has treated me very well over the years for what it is. Its 3.2 megapixels wasn't even high class when I got it about 5 years ago. It doesn't help that I've been taking most of my photos on the lowest resolution possible to maximize the space on my 512 mb memory card (I have about 1,000 photos on that thing, not including at least 10 videos). I complain a lot about my camera, but it really has been a good friend to me over the years.

I've been thinking recently that it might be time to invest in something a little more advanced. I've been shopping around. I don't want a DSLR, because as much as I like photography, I admit I'm never going to take the time to use it like it should be used. That being said, the more I investigate, the more I find some quite affordable cameras that have aperture and shutter priority.

Canon has two cameras that looked manageable for me. Does anyone know about these cameras, or other cameras? I don't want anything too bulky, or complicated. In theory I know how to use an SLR, but I was never great at it. I need something that gives me enough options that I can play around and have fun without getting lost and bogged down in some instruction manual. My camera knowledge is sadly lacking in many areas.

Boys Playing At The Korean Folk Village

I really like this photo I took at the Korean Folk Village in Suwon. These kids look like they are just having a blast with this mill. I know that stylistically this photo has some issues, but I still like it.

Seoul Station

This is a photo I took on my way into Seoul Station back in July. Seoul Station is a large station where two subway lines meet and where many intercity trains arrive and depart from. This photo doesn't have much soul (no pun intended) but I feel as though it would look great on some website advertising the station.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Images from Gyongbukgung

On a beautiful, but blisteringly cold day, I made my second trip to Gyongbuk Palace in Seoul. The skies were much clearer than the first time I went last summer and my photos came out much better.

On the roofs of many buildings within the palace walls, guardians such as these protect the royal family's residence.

Here is the front gate to the palace. I cropped more sky out of this photo because I was not sure if there was too much blue in the other photo. Here is the original. What do you think?

Part of me sort of likes this one better........

Here is a flag belonging to one of the palace guards. I took this during the changing of the guards ceremony. The wind was whipping so strongly that I could barely open my eyes because of the dirt blowing in my face, but I did snap this photo. I really like the clouds and sun in the background, and the flag itself is really fun. I wonder if the ugly buildings in the background detract from the photo though? And what about the fact that the upper corner of the flag is cut off?

Arco Iris de Patagonia

One of my all time favorite photos. I dare not touch it in editing because this captures exactly what the scenery looked like at the time. This photo was taken on a boat in Patagonia, Chile in March 2006. The water truly is this color due to the minerals from the glacier melt. Amazing.

Tomb Guardian

I took this photo on a beautiful day in October. Here in Seoul, there is a park not too far from COEX mall where the tombs of several kings of the Joseon dynasty are held. This is a guardian placed in front of the tomb of King Sejong, the greatest king in Korean history. He has been credited for many of the achievements of Korean civilization, such as hangul, the Korean alphabet.I don't know much about digital editing, but does this look better with a color boost?

I don't know much about digital editing, but does this look better with a color boost?