Winter

Seoul. November, 2013. Ricoh GRD3
Seoul. November, 2013. Ricoh GRD3.

The season of change.

“Trees withstand the hardest things nature throw at them and never waver. Trees loose their leaves in winter, but they never loose their gumption. When winter comes, they stand strong as they know winter is just a part of a cycle that will once again bring spring.”

(From my project, The Culture)

Things change, always. Things are cyclical, always. 

A year ago looking at a similar scene out of my Toronto window felt completely different. Living with people but being alone. Feeling alone. Having nothing left to take this picture. 

Things always come back around. A year later and I see winter entirely differently. Things are in my favor. The coming cold represents nothing more than the need for a coat. 

I don’t care much for cameras anymore. Three years ago, my blog was all about gear. All about cameras. It’s true, I really don’t care anymore. I suppose a representation of something much bigger than a camera. Using an old Ricoh GRD3 donated by a friend I remembered having one before. 

A new appreciation for everything now. Something as simple as a small camera represents a change in mentality. I’ve learned to appreciate. 

I think that’s a word I didn’t know the meaning of until recently. 

Sometimes it takes things to come around a couple of times in order to really appreciate their value. 

"Old Friend" Seoul, November 2013.
“Old Friend” Seoul, November 2013.

Exposed

Seoul. Leica M5.
Seoul. Leica M5.

After a bit of a joke between friends, my boy Ryan and I decided it would be an interesting experiment to double expose the first couple of photos on a roll of film. We would take the photos at different times, not together just with a vague idea of what was on the other side.

Seoul. Leica M5.
Seoul. Leica M5.
Seoul. Leica M5.
Seoul. Leica M5.
Seoul. Leica M5.
Seoul. Leica M5.
Seoul. Leica M5.
Seoul. Leica M5.

It was one of the more fun things I’ve done with a camera lately. Some of the photos we even triple exposed. While it’s not something I would say go out and do haphazardly, it was a lot of fun. Plus, a good way to spend an afternoon with a buddy!

The Kids: GTA

GTA
“GTA” From the project, “The Kids”

After watching a couple of disturbing videos today, I’m fucking astonished at what’s happened to the kids of this generation. Astonished.

Seeing kids act out video games on the streets. Knocking out unsuspecting teachers and laughing about it. Really fucking funny.

Whose to blame? Probably all of us. This generation is defined by fine lines of pressure and stress relief. Video games relieve stress.

If you’re pissed off in a game like GTA, you can punch a teacher. Knock him out. It’s funny and helps relieve stress.

Learned behavior.

How can a 14 year old differentiate between the video game and real life. Why are they being asked to? A18 ratings don’t stop kids from playing these games. Ratings are a fucking cop out.

It’s easy for me to say I would have been smarter than these kids. It’s easy for me to say I would have easily been able to see the difference between the real world and the one being played out on a screen.

Nothing is easy anymore.

It’s also easy to say that the kids doing these things are hooligans or “gangstas.” Fuck that, they were all once just kids on the playground. They learned to act like this.

The kid in this photo is a great kid. I know him well.

That being said, the non nonchalant-ness of a gesture may not be that serious but I remember laughing it off as I took the photo.

We’re all to fucking blame for this.

Shit’s got to change.

From my ongoing project, “The Kids”

http://www.jtwhitephotography.com/projects-the-kids

Project Update: The Kids

From, The Kids.
From, The Kids.

A project I’ve always wanted to do in Korea. “The Kids” will examine the lives of students in Korea and the pressures they face.

The pressures of being perfect. Strong enough and smart enough. Innocent enough and cool enough.

The project will be shot over the course of this next year. I will update the progress from time to time.

http://www.jtwhitephotography.com/projects-the-kids-coming-soon

From, The Kids.
From, The Kids.

Project update: The Culture

From, "The Culture"
From, “The Culture”

I’m really excited that my project, The Culture, is just about ready to go live on my portfolio.

The project follows the life of a Korean tattoo artist over the course of half a year in Toronto. Brad, the “master” of Soul Train Tattoo is one of the most genuine individuals I’ve ever met. He and his wife and daughter treated me like part of the family and I feel ever so blessed to say that the friendship we made will be one I will always cherish.

The project took place over five months as part of one of the biggest photo endeavors I’ve taken on. It was a great experience. I’ve learned a great deal about these people and about myself. A great deal about loyalty and family. About struggles, hardship, and perseverance. Big thanks to a great group of people.

It will go live end of this week.

Stay tuned.

Friends

Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

I love being back in Korea. Love it. Love Seoul, all of it. I haven’t felt at peace like this in maybe, ever?

That being said, I miss the people in Toronto. I miss the time I spent there. Relationships, I’ll cherish forever. It’s during the hardest times you see the reality of your friends and the people who care about you.

Sometimes friends can be closer than family.

Outtake from my nearly finished project, The Culture.