“Don’t post that.. I don’t think it is really your style? Right..? It is kind of happy..”
“Haha, I’m happy seeing this photo. That means it is my style.”
She was watching the snow. Snow doesn’t fall much here.
I remember Anders Petersen saying his style is dictated by his stomach and his heart. I feel like that. I take a happy photo when I feel happy. I’m happy when I see this. It is, and will be a good memory.
While I hadn’t been taking many photos for the past couple of months, the past couple of weeks has changed a bit. Slowly, I’m starting to take more photos.
Going back to some old places in Seoul has helped, like the above, from Namdaemun Market. I’m not taking the best photos I ever have, but, I am wanting to take photos again.
A good start.
I’ve been working on a fairly long post, as well, talking about photography (street and otherwise) and how I feel like I need to do it again. Also, it will introduce a new set from my portfolio that will be ongoing, entitled, My Korea. Stay tuned for that early next week. Night kids ;)
Yesterday, a friend asked me about the draft of a blog post he had been writing about using his mobile phone (or compact camera) to take photos of his daily life. It was an interesting read, many of the same feelings I often have. The mobile phone has changed the way we photograph because it really is, always there.
Last night, my girlfriend asked me to take her to school so she could do a little work. Tired from a day working myself, I didn’t even think to bring a camera. Why would I? Unlike some, cameras and photographs are far from the only thing I think about or do.
We weren’t there very long, maybe 30 minutes. Like a good boyfriend often does, I got bored, ha. So I took a photo with my phone while she mixed something. She is an art major, if you hadn’t guessed.
I can honestly say, I have no idea where I will be in five years, or ten. But, wherever I am, I know I will want to have remembered this. I’m from a small town in Newfoundland, Canada. Finding myself in the art room of a university in South Korea watching someone work after midnight wasn’t probably something I ever thought I would do.
I was glad I had read my friends blog post earlier, or else maybe I would have stayed in the car or bit my fingernails or whatever. I’m glad I took some photos to remember.
It got me to thinking as we drove home, people ask me often about cameras and smart phones versus real compact cameras and blah.
I’m happy to get questions, and this one is probably the easiest.
It is pretty simple.
When you feel like taking a photo, take one with whatever is fucking closest.
For me, that is usually my phone. I don’t carry more than one picture taking thingy with me at a time for two reasons.
Choice. Choice isn’t that good of a thing for me because by the time I figure out what to take the photo with whatever feeling that had driven me to want to take the photo in the first place is gone. Then, I’m doing for the sake of doing. I hate reading facebook posts from people about to travel where they lay out 15 cameras on the floor of their apartment asking for advice on which 5 they should take so they are covered for every situation. I wish those people would just shoot with their phone for a trip and feel how liberating it is to not have choice. How much better of a photographer it would make them.
The other reason is more important, I think, even if it can be said in just a couple of sentences. I don’t want to leave my house for the sake of taking photos, because if I do, I’m not doing anything else. I take photos of what I’m doing, I don’t “do” taking photos.
Don’t get offended, this is just “me.” Whatever floats your boat, as they say.
I’ve been working a little bit on this series of “contact sheets.” So far, I talked about a couple of my favorite photos from the past year or so. This one, ha, is a bit funny. The story behind taking Eric’s current (at the time of this writing) profile photo.
The story starts in the Hongdae District of Seoul. Eric and his girlfriend Cindy had come to Korea for a workshop that Eric and I would teach for Leica Korea. Not drinking much these days, Eric asked for a tour of coffee shops in Hongdae, famous mostly for a different type of drink.
I knew of one cool little cafe that I had been too a couple of years ago in the downstairs of a pub. Honestly, it had been converted into a coffee shop/house in which we ended up in the “library” sitting room.
This book above was on our table.
A cool photo, we thought. It is Truman Capote in case you were curious. I had seen it before as had Eric. He jokingly said he wanted me to take a similar one of him with the twist of my style, whatever that means, ha.
So, this ensued:
Overall, I took ten photos including the photo of the book. I used a Sony compact camera with flash. We tried some different poses and attempts to get the light I wanted.
The cafe was pretty dark so I used the flash on the camera. I almost always do now anyway. I still couldn’t really get it right so I had our other friend, Harry, hold a couple of phones with their flashes on for some extra light diffusing one with a napkin, lol. I guess the moral of the story is to use what you’ve got.
In fact, this was my favorite, ha. Eric and I usually agree on photos so I suppose it is kinda ironic that we would have different favorites. I think the one he likes is closer to the original, so that’s cool.
Either way, I quite like the photo. Like many of my photos now, I don’t care a whole lot about whether or not they are great photos as long as I like them and they serve their purpose to me.
On a bit of a side note, Eric will be at Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai coming up soon. I will also have a couple of photos being exhibited there, although I will not be there in person. This is one of the photos (also from Hongdae):