granite block wall
Resume, you say? Don’t really have one, not for photography anyway. I’m not really a photographer, more of a shutterbug. Honestly. I just like to take pictures. It’s fun.
And I haven’t really been doing it all that long, just a tad over 6 years or so as a regular thing. Started out as something to do while out on long walks here in Seoul, where I live. The walking was something I had started doing for health reasons purely, but at a certain point I was carrying the point&shoot whenever I left the house. Nowadays, of course, the camera is the reason for the long walks. And the P&S has upgraded to a four-thirds.
I have no ambitions to dive into any kind of professional life with the camera, but I think there’s plenty to be happy about being an enthusiastic amateur. Among other things, I don’t have to care if anyone likes my pictures except me – even an artist who claims not to care really has to at some point, or else the 9-to-5 cubicle job becomes a survival necessity – but one other advantage is that I don’t have to pretend to be any kind of expert. There’s a lot I don’t know, but that’s okay because learning is kickass fun.
And I suppose one of the purposes of this blog will be to sort of chronicle that learning process. This is a photoblog, where I’ll show my photos and talk about photography, but it is also a personal blog about my own journey into the genre.
I’ve always enjoyed writing and I’ve kept a peripatetic and less-than-prolific general-purpose blog for some years, and this site is an outgrowth or an adjunct to that. I’ve always used my own images there and after a while every fourth post was a photo essay and others were discussions only about photography – came to realize eventually that a lot of that was likely boring to my friends and the meager group of followers of the blog who don’t care about this particular thing, so it makes some sense to start a little fresh here.
I’ve had some small successes from time to time and lately one sort of large one. The first time I ever entered a photo contest was a call for images of food at the website Zenkimchi and I still sometimes wear the t-shirt I won from that. You can see the photo here.
In addition to the blog, I’ve written for a couple of online magazines, such as asiapundits and Three Wise Monkeys, and in most cases I was able to persuade the editors to use my photos as well, the latter also on some occasions asking to use some of my shots for articles by other authors. One such article of mine was seen by the editor of Groove Korea, a sterling gentleman and an excellent photographer, Matt Lamers, and he asked if he could reprint it, and so I had the pleasure of seeing my words and images on glossy paper in a magazine. This was especially nice because I had been thinking of submitting something there and it saved me the bother of finding an idea, pitching it, and then the anxiety of possible rejection after doing all the work. You can find that in ISSU format here.
I’m rather fond of street photography, and I often take pictures of things that are on walls, partly because there are so many of them in the city, and I am also somewhat fascinated by urbex, though I have not yet found the right moment to start trespassing on other people’s property. (Maybe soon.) I like the fact that photographs can communicate the image and the atmosphere of a location much more directly then words on a page. I like street art, what some call graffiti, and I live in a neighborhood where people respect that.
Lately I’ve been exploring a little bit of fine art photography, due to a workshop that I’ve been participating in. Truth is, I don’t really like to take beautiful pictures, though I sometimes do, and of course I don’t mind looking at them. I like grittiness, and I like reality, and I especially like finding something that is ugly and finding a way to make it interesting. I’ve never been able to figure out why something is art and something else is not, but I do know when something looks sort of cool.
I would love to take photos that that make me feel like this video of Tom Waits that I found, of all places, at National Geographic.
My bicycle, yellow wall
I live in Seoul, South Korea, and I’m not just visiting. This is my home. It’s a big, noisy, smelly city, sometimes dangerous – from traffic, though, not much from crime – and it’s full of flashing lights, loud noises, rude people and ugly buildings, and that’s all actually quite fine with me.
I only started taking photographs as a hobby after I had been living here a good many years and the longer I live here the more fascinating the city seems to me.
All the photos here are mine unless I say otherwise. If you like them, it’s okay if you say so, and you can pass them around on social media if you like, as long as you say where they came from – but please don’t try to make any money from them without asking me first. That would be bad, and I might get angry.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to grab my camera and go out for a walk. Be back in a while, not sure when.