A Baker’s Dozen

Nothing to do with baking, in case you arrived here by web search looking for biscuits.

I don’t much like going to festivals because of the noise, the crowds, and the drunkeness, but it’s sometimes interesting to walk through the festival grounds early in the morning when everything is quiet. These photos are from the 2017 Dano Festival.

Blankets. Nikon F6, 50mm, Kodak Portra 800

There is a whole section of the Dano Festival dedicated to blanket and pillow sellers. I don’t know if it is true or not, but someone told me that some of these vendors can sell enough blankets during the festival week to keep them in money for a whole year.

Blankets and Mats. Nikon F6, 50mm, Kodak Portra 800

This vendor hadn’t showed up to open his/her stall that early in the morning. I think I passed through about 8:15 in the morning. No one is shopping at that hour anyway, so time enough for a lie-in.

transport truck delivering blankets under a sun screen at dano f
Blanket delivery. Nikon D810, 50mm

This was a different day and I had my digital camera with me. This large truck was parked so it was difficult to get past. I think I was on my bicycle as well, so it was more difficult to get around.

Early morning cyclist at Dano Festival. Nikon D810, 50mm

This photo probably looks okay on on a web site but seen at a bigger size you can see the cyclist was too fast for the shutter speed and the woman in the distance is very fuzzy because of the shallow depth of field. I had the camera set to ISO 64 for some reason. There was no reason to make such an amateur mistake when the D810 looks great at ISO 1600 and higher.

Man walking past tents. Nikon F6, 50mm, Kodak Portra 800.

This man is also slightly blurred but I think it was because I had a slow-ish shutter speed. The tents appear to be in focus.  I’m shy about making photos of people so what I often do is choose a background that I like, prefocus, and wait for someone to walk into the composition. When the person is in a good position I press the shutter release button. This doesn’t always work, especially with younger people. Most people are fairly snap-happy so they are aware of other photographers and avoid walking in front of cameras so they don’t spoil the picture. Even though I want them to be in the frame. Other times, people will stop just outside the frame and wait for me to finish taking the photo. Foiled again . . . .

Man walking through tents. Nikon F6, 50mm, Kodak Portra 800.

This guy is slightly out of focus, but it’s okay. I metered off the pavement so the bright tents wouldn’t cause the camera to underexpose. This guy stopped outside the frame but I told him to just pass on by. I made several photos at this spot but this was the most interesting person to pass by. In the wrong direction. There was a cart pusher that came my way but he turned off and went down another lane.

Tent ropes. Nikon F6, 50mm, Kodak Portra 800

Tents require a fair amount of rope.

Liquor Crates. Nikon F6, 50mm, Kodak Portra 800

The last tent photo, I promise. Like any festival, there is plenty of booze and some of the liquor companies are official sponsors.

Paddle boats and circus tents. Nikon F6, 50mm, Kodak Portra 800.

Okay, it’s more tents, but they are far away. The city closes off one of the river’s small dams to keep water around the festival grounds. The blue and yellow tent across the river is for a circus. I’ve never been inside because it’s a bit expensive and I don’t really like circuses (circos?). Still, it’s a nice balance for the yellow pontoons of these paddle boats.

I highly recommend Kodak Portra 800 when it’s not too bright out. Or even when it’s bright out, if your camera has high shutter speeds. It gives good colour, good contrast, and the grain is pleasant.

Deep fried crabs. Nikon F6, 50mm, Fomapan 400.

This is the first time I’ve seen deep-fried whole crabs at the festival. I didn’t try one, but I suspect the top shell is removed and batter poured in before frying. It doesn’t look like a thing that would be pleasant to eat, even if you like crab.

Fomapan is a cheap black and white film made in the Czech Republic. It’s only about half the price of Kodak and Ilford films. It can be very grainy and the negatives are a bit thin if you set your camera ISO to 400. I say ‘set your camera to 400’ because the cannisters don’t have the DX codes for automatic cameras. Saves on costs, I guess. I set the ISO to 320 on the last roll of film I used and the negatives look much better. I haven’t made large prints using this film so I don’t know how much grain would be in the print. I like this flm because it’s supposedly an old formula and gives photos an old-fashioned look.

Bowing to a pig’s head. Nikon F6, 50mm, Fomapan 400.

Korean traditional rituals sometimes involve a pig’s head. Supplicants put envelopes of money or bills into the mouth and then bow while asking for a blessing. Some people who buy new cars will perform this ceremony in front of their cars on the side of the road.

Traditional house with aluminium roof and fence. Nikon D810, 50mm.

Nothing to do with Dano Festival, but this house is on my walk to work. I spot metered off the odd white wall in the foreground and added about a +1 stop to get a good exposure.

Chair and wall stain. Nikon D810, 50mm.

The last ‘biscuit’ in this baker’s dozen. Not art I imagine, but I noticed that the wall stain on my office wall matched up nicely with the chair. Digital photograph. You wouldn’t want to waste a piece of film on this.



Around town

These photos are from the first day with my new camera. It’s been about a week now and I’m getting used to all the buttons and dials. Tomorrow I’m going to take a bus to a town north of here and make some photos in a hilly neighbourhood and then the seaside. The town has lots of photogenic locations and it’ll be a good chance to use the camera ‘for real’. I’m going to use a tripod so I can see what 36 megapixels is really capable of.


This was taken on my way to school. Notice the cement truck in the background. Oh, ho ho — timing is everything. Though I wish I had pressed the shutter button when it was between the two utility poles.


This one was taken as I was leaving school in the afternoon. I guess they are cleaning the panels on the stadium.


I thought this was an odd place for farmers to park their bicycles. The farmers thought I was odd for making a photo of their bicycles. One of them laughed and shouted, “Hey! Hey! Take a picture of my truck next!” Philistine . . . .


I like this photo and don’t. I wish those birds were lower.


Queer Old Things

I am going to add a new category to this blog called ‘Queer Old Things’. Photos of odd things that I see will be put into this category. I’m using the name Queer Old Things because when I was young anyone odd was referred to as a ‘queer old stick’. Anyway, here are my first two queer old things.


Pink doesn’t have so many feminine connotations in Korea as it does in some western countries. Men wore traditional festive clothes with lots of pink fabric and I’ve seen more than once soldiers walking the high street with bright pink shopping bags. You’ll notice that this man is riding a woman’s bike. Many older people in Korea either don’t know or don’t care that bicycles without crossbars are made for women. Judging by the water can on the back of his cycle, he’s probably just come from a spring somewhere in town.

2016-02-17-003-wheelbarrows-tree-sidewalk Here’s a thing you don’t see every day. A hardware store with wheelbarrows chained to a tree on the sidewalk. Have people been running off with these? Notice that Korean (Asian?) wheelbarrows have two wheels. Easier to balance but not so good for dumping loads sideways.These have rust on them so perhaps they are rentals.


The two hundred thousand people of Gangneung have a choice of two hypermarts, many smaller grocery stores, several traditional markets, and a very large number of convenience stores. I usually go to an organic/local cooperative for fruits and vegetables but most everything else I buy at HomePlus (Tesco) or Emart (Owned by Samsung but now split off and run by a Samsung family member). Because I walk or cycle to these supermarkets, I often approach the buildings by back roads. Behind HomePlus is the Central Market and the many shops and street vendors that seem to have tumbled into the streets and alleys surrounding it. Also behind HomePlus is a traditional building with a stone tile roof. I wanted to contrast the traditional architecture of Korea with the huge buildings of modern Korea.

20150316-010Much farther away from my house is Emart, another large building that is practical but lacks the charm and grace of traditional Korean buildings. But how much charm does one need when buying Froot Loops? I usually cycle along the riverside to get to Emart because the dykes separate the river from the noisy city. There are ducks, trees, and gardens planted by the city. I leave the river behind Emart, go up over the dyke, and end up by Emart’s loading bay. One day I noticed several bicycles parked against the wall and decided to make the photo. I don’t know if the bicycles belong to employees or customers who don’t like the bicycle racks.

20150322-001I tried converting this to black and white but I think the colour version is more interesting.

Why I bought the Ricoh GR10

I mentioned in a previous post that I bought a Ricoh GR10.  I’m still enjoying it and the camera is always with me in a pocket or a bag.  I have a medium format camera and a Zeiss rangefinder for my serious photos but for documenting daily life, places I visit, or people I meet then the compact GR10 is the camera to use.

Convenience store and bicycle, Seongsan, South Korea Ricoh GR10, Fujicolor C200
Convenience store and bicycle, Seongsan, South Korea
Ricoh GR10, Fujicolor C200

This isn’t a photo destined for a gallery wall but it is a good reminder of the convenience store I visit when I cycle to the village of Seongsan for exercise.  It was taken on cheap-o film but it’s good enough.  Actually, I think I might start spending a tiny bit more money and use ISO 400 film in the camera.  That’ll get me a little faster shutter speed and/or greater depth of field.


There are many ways to get around.  Boats, trains, trucks, bicycles, and motorcycles.  Some of these are ridden for pleasure and some are used for work.  The bicycle is my favourite for getting myself around and the train is the most relaxing way to travel to other cities.

Bicycle and Expressway Bridge
Bicycle and Expressway Bridge, iPhone Hipstamatic
Buses, Subway Station, Technomart, Apartments
Buses, Subway Station, Technomart, Apartments, iPhone Hipstamatic
Number 88 coal car
Number 88 coal car, iPhone Hipstamatic
Boat with Crane
Boat with Crane, Zeiss Ikon ZM, Agfa CT Precisa 100
Boarding a train
Boarding a train, Zeiss Ikon ZM, Agfa CT Precisa 100
Dump Truck, Door, and Window
Dump Truck, Door, and Window, Contax 645, Provia 100F
Scooter with Trailer
Scooter with Trailer, Fuji X-Pro 1