The Streets Of Seoul – Part 1
I truly enjoy traveling and exploring new places but getting to your final destinations can sometimes be a challenge. Flight delays, bad seats, and layovers can make for some really long days. Recently I was returning to Portland from a trip to Vietnam and had a 14-hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. As I wrote in my earlier post Royal Guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace getting out of the airport is very welcomed and if you have enough time to enjoy some sights, that’s even better. On my previous visit I spent most of my time around the Gyeongbokgung Palace area. This time I wanted to explore some of the other parts of Seoul.
I had planned on taking the Express train from the airport to Seoul Station which should take 43 minutes. When I purchased my ticket I was told the train was downstairs and that it would be leaving in about 15 minutes so I headed down the escalator with my ticket in hand. As I got closer to the train platform I realized I couldn’t get to the train because there was a barrier obstructing me from getting to the side that the train was on. I strolled to the other side of the platform and it to was blocked. Sadly I don’t speak any Korean and the one person that looked like he worked there didn’t speak English. I could see people on the train, the train was heading in the right direction, and I only had 5 minutes to get on it. So after a few minutes of trying to figure out what I had done wrong I decided to risk it and jumped the barrier and got on the train. My adventure had begun….
As I left Incheon International Airport via what I thought was the express train to Seoul Station I started to review a few notes about the places I intended to visit that day. 5 minutes later the train stopped,then 10 minutes later another stop. I quickly realized that this was not the express train. Then I started asking myself where is this train heading? Should I get off at the next stop and head back to the airport? I decided to stay on and see where I’d end up. Eventually I did end up at Seoul Station where I caught the #1 subway line to my first stop, Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market.
The fish market is like no other place I’ve been. It’s a large open warehouse with every type of sea creature you could ever imagine, every one of them on display and most likely heading out to a restaurant or dinner table in the near future. All of this mixed with the energy of all the people working there and shopping made for an incredible visit.
The market is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The merchants there made me feel very welcome showing me the items they were selling and letting me take as many photos as I wanted knowing the entire time that I would probably not be purchasing anything from them. It’s worth remembering that it is a place of business and that this is how the people working there make a living. Respecting that along with having a good attitude and a smile will get you a long way even if you don’t speak the same language.
Taken with the X-T1 by Fujifilm X-T1 and stylized in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 by on1 Software.
I only had a short visit to Seoul, South Korea but after 24+ hours of being stuck aboard airplanes and in airports the time there was very welcome. Walking around the city was simply amazing. There are so many things to see but with only 8 hours I focused on the Gwanghwamun Square area of the city.
One of the things I was eager to see was the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace. I stopped at the palace in the early morning and I nearly had the entire place to myself. I was joined by 20-25 police officers that appeared to enjoy watching me photograph the place.
As I was heading to catch the bus back to the Seoul airport later in the day, my route happened to take me near the palace once again and this time I was fortunate to capture a few minutes of the guard changing ceremony.
Here’s one of the images from my day in Seoul.
Traveling on highway 30 back in to Portland the fog lingering over Sauvie Island was just incredible. I love the mystery fog brings to the landscape revealing just enough to draw in your imagination but leaving you with the question, what’s up ahead?
Available in print at http://goo.gl/AePaJb.
Shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 & 35mm lens and edited with Perfect Photo Suite 9 by on1.
I recently finished reading the book Photographs Not Taken, the book is full of short stories about why photographers didn’t capture the moment and in some cases how it hunts them. It made me think about some of the photographs that I haven’t taken and the reasons why.
June 2013 I was in Rome for a little over a week and wanted to capture as much of it as possible. Rome a city full of beautiful people, wonderful architecture, and amazing textures. It’s a photographer’s paradise.
On our last night there we decided to head up to Gianicolo hill to photograph the sun going down over the Roman Forum. It was already 17:00 when we started our hike up from our place in the Trastevere neighborhood.
Since it was getting late in the day and we didn’t exactly know where we where going we rushed out the door with one thing on our mind. Get to the top before sunset was over. This is where my story about the Photograph Not Taken begins.
On one of the back streets I noticed a gentleman enter the doorway of his vintage guitar shop and light a cigarette. I stopped and composed the scene in my mind. It was perfect. Vintage guitars in the background, him standing there with his wild hair a leather jacket and mirrored aviator sunglasses on, and to finish of the shot the cigarette smoke swirling around.
I stood there looking at this gift presented to me thinking should I grab my camera, would he mind me taking his photo?
Ultimately with the sunset over the city of Rome in the forefront of my mind I hastily headed back up the hill. And just like that the moment was gone!
As I walked past the guitar shop later that evening all I could think of was I should have taken a moment to capture it…
Photographs Not Taken
Publisher: Daylight Books; 2nd edition (March 31, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0983231613 / ISBN-13: 978-0983231615
While traveling down a country road recently I came across a seemingly endless run of huge rolls of hay strewn throughout one fenced acreage after another. I pulled to the side of the road to scope out the best vantage points for shooting but everywhere I looked I found I would have to cross a fence or barrier of some kind and it got me to thinking. One of the problems I constantly run into in the U.S. is that every place I want to shoot is surrounded by barbed wire and strung with “No Trespassing” signs warning me away. This was something I rarely saw on my recent trip to Europe. I recognize that not everyone who stops along the road just wants to take a few photos but I find it sad that you have to “break the law” in order to capture a beautiful scene or unique moment. This time I decided to take the risk. I walked around the fence, past the sign, set up my tripod and got to work.
Yeah, I know. I am such a rebel.
Prints available at shop.arnojenkins.com.
Like every other landscape photographer I know I find it difficult to pass up photographing those stark, old, dilapidated buildings you can see on just about every rural back road in the U.S. I found this one on a recent trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. At least twice a day for nearly a week I would drive by this abandoned barn out in the middle of meadow. With each pass I tried to imagine the best way to set up taking this shot. Finally, near the end of the week and with a couple of extra hours to spare, I headed back to the barn having decided to focus on highlighting the rich colors and textures of the wood. Unfortunately, having become so fixated on the barn I forgot to scope out the intervening terrain. What I thought was a shallow easily traversed stream quickly had me up to my knees in cold running water. But hey, I was committed. In for an inch, in for a mile. So with waterlogged shoes and pants, I forged ahead. I am glad I did.
Dilapidated Barn available in print at shop.arnojenkins.com.
As I had previously written in my post Inside My Camera Bag I’m in the process of changing my gear when I travel to a lighter and smaller setup. A couple of weeks ago I headed out to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for a short vacation. This was another chance to test my “traveling lite” strategy and refine it for my next trip. I packed my FujiFilm X100S, XPro-1 along with the new 56mm f/1.2 and 10-22mm f/4 both by FujiFilm. At the last minute I ended up throwing in a couple of PocketWizards and a 580 EXII Speedlite in case I wanted to shoot some portraits (of course I never used them).
In spite of adding a few last minute extras that weren’t used, the camera and lens combination worked out amazingly well. Having the 56mm attached to the XPro-1 most of the time combined with the 23mm on the X100S provided me with a broad range of shooting options so the majority of the time that was my setup.
Here are a few images from the Steamboat Springs area. Prints available at shop.arnojenkins.com.
For me one of the more challenging things to photograph has always been a group of trees in the forest. When I’m standing there visualizing my shot the scale and beauty of my surrounding seems almost impossible to capture with a camera. My senses are overwhelmed. The phrase “Can’t see the forest from the trees” comes to mind.
Most of the time when I transfer the images to my computer they’re not as exciting as I remember the place being. The scale, beauty, and mystery are all lost. But every once in a while the photo is better than I remember the actual place being. These are the moments I live for.
Dreamy Aspen Grove available in print at shop.arnojenkins.com.
Forest Of Aspen Trees In Colorado available in print at shop.arnojenkins.com.
Taken with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and 10-22mm f/4 by FujiFilm. Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Perfect Photo Suite 8.5 by onOne Software.
With the arrival of my new Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens I was very exited to get out and shoot some landscape photos. I attached the new addition to my Fuji X-Pro1 and got ready to hit the road. Over the last year I’ve been in the process of downsizing my travel gear and the plan is to use this lens in place of my Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens.
I regularly use Lee Filters when shooting landscapes or cityscapes and have no plans to stop but without a 72mm ring to attach the filters I was not going to be able to use them this trip so I decided to stop by a local camera store (Pro Photo Supply) and pickup a 72-77mm step-up ring. The step-up ring will allow me to use one of my 77mm rings on the 72mm 10-24mm lens. As a bonus it was only $12.00 opposed to the $60.00 + shipping it would cost for the Lee Filter ring.
So how did the step-up ring preform? In my opinion it performed incredibly well. I did notice a little vignetting but nothing I couldn’t fix in Lightroom. I have been very impressed with Fuji’s lenses and this one lives up to their reputation of building high quality glass.
I’m not saving much as far to space and weight with this lens as both the Fuji 10-24mm and Canon 17-40mm weigh just about the same with the Canon 17-40mm coming in just 90g more than the Fuji lens but over all my travel pack is much lighter.