Editing, Seongyojang, and Scraps

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I would rather edit photos by looking at prints rather than a computer screen. I got prints made straight from my digital camera card and prints, not scans, from my film. It didn’t work out like I wanted, though. For one thing, the order of the prints got messed up on the way to me and, as a result, I couldn’t be sure which print belonged to which frame when they were very similar. Also, the lab cropped quite a bit when printing, as I realised when I got the film scanned later. The Nikon F6 viewfinder is 100% and I compose very carefully so having cropped prints is not acceptable. Also, prints cost a fortune. So I decided to just get film scanned at a lowish quality (good enough for 4×6 prints and web viewing) for editing and get very good scans (50MB) of the best photos later. My digital prints didn’t get cropped but if I’m looking at film scans on the computer it’s just as well to look at digital photos on the computer as well. So, I’m spending more time on the computer but I’m saving quite a bit of money and seeing all of my film frames.

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I have recently made two trips to Seongyojang. Once with the F6 and once with the D810. For colour, the Provia 100F film I used has a distinctive look but the digital looks good as well. And printing on good paper makes them look even better. But for black and white I don’t think digital comes anywhere near film yet. The Fomapan 400 film I used looks really grainy (maybe it’s the low quality scans?) but it’s an oldish formula and I really like the look.  More experimentation is needed.

Seongyojang Museum Building

I kept my distance and used a 180mm lens to cut out all of the distracting things around this museum building. I’ve never been in the museum, even though it’s included in the price of admission to the grounds. I go to Seongyojang to photographs the buildings and the landscaping. I’m not that interested in the history. I suppose I shoud go in once, just to see what I’m missing.

Outer wall of Seongyojang

I think I like this photo. There’s nothing especially wrong with the composition but . . . but . . . something’s lacking. I’ll probably figure it out after I’ve paid a lot of money to get a good scan and print . . . . There are so many trees and things like paths and lamps near the wall that I again used a long lens (180mm? 85mm?) to cut out distractions.

Outer wall in colour

Mmmm, film . . . .

Wall disappearing into trees

I like the idea of this photo but the highlights in the top of the photo are too bright. I might try this again with digital the next time I go back.

Flower pots and traditional Korean house

I like this one and I like the colours produced by the Provia film, even though they are not accurate colours. There’s probably soy bean paste or chili paste in the two pots to the left.

Flower pots and traditional Korean house

I like this vertical view of the pots and house as well, but it lacks the breathing space of the horizontal view. This one feels crowded and less relaxing.

Flower pots and traditional house – digital version

Let the film vs. digital flame war begin! Here is more or less the same photo from the D810. Interesting that some colours in both photos, the tall plant’s leaves, for example, are the same but others are quite different. The clay walls are really different. The digital colours are accurate.

Two kinds of walls

The wall with the clay tiles on top surround a building, whereas the other wall is to keep a hill from sliding down into a path.

Two kinds of walls – digital

Flame War II! The D810 version of the photo above. You may notice that there is more foliage in the film version of the scene. That’s because 35mm film has a ratio of 3:2 but I’ve set my digital camera for a ratio of 5:4, the same as large format cameras. I like printing on 10×8 paper and the photo and the paper match perfectly so there is no cropping. Also, I like the ‘stubbier’ frame for most things.

Tree knot

This is a knot in an Asian pine tree. It’s interesting to look at the texture, but I’m not sure this one will make it to the large print stage.

Old brothers

I’m not so good at landscape photography and this was the best I could do all morning. The left tree trunk shouldn’t be touching the left side of the frame, maybe. I used a wide angle lens, so it was hell to compose.

Tree and flowers

I saw this on the way out. It looked better before I posted it here . . . .

I think I’ll go back to Seongyojang again before too long because I want another crack at the wall and maybe those two old trees. Someday I’ll make a photo of them good enough to cover a wall with.

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There are a few other photos from the rolls of film that I want to share but don’t have anything to do with Seongyojang.

Puppy and traditional house

I pass this house and puppy(?) on the way to school every day. He’s very friendly and always appreciative of a head scratch.

Door in birthplace of Heogyun

Low light and no tripod, but I managed to hold the camera steady enough to avoid blur.

pots and wall at the birthplace of Heogyun

The composition is okay and the shallow depth of field (no tripod) and the film grain structure really give this an old-fashioned look. I made this photo to test how much detail I could keep in the bright spot in the background and the dark pots in the foreground. The film passed with flying colours.

Dyke and garbage bags.

I think the bags were put there by city council workers who pick up garbage by the river and leave it in bags for pick-up later. I don’t know what that drak stain might have come from.

Look this way,
look that way,
go for a nap.

Thanks for looking and reading!


Zeiss Ikon ZM, FomaPan 400
Zeiss Ikon ZM, FomaPan 400
Zeiss Ikon ZM, FomaPan 400
Zeiss Ikon ZM, FomaPan 400

I like the look of FomaPan Action 400 film and it’s quite cheap but I’ve started buying Ilford’s XP2 Super 400 because I can get it developed in my local lab instead of sending it away to Seoul.

There is nothing special about these photos but everyone likes to see a cat on the Internet. You’re welcome.

180 Degree Turn

I’m skint at the moment so the film cameras are put away and the FujiFilm X-Pro 1 is getting its shutter exercised. I’m still working on the same projects and, depending on how poor I remain or how irritating I feel it is to send film away for development, they may turn into completely digital projects. The photos look very very clean (un-artsy?) on computer but the prints look nicer. Here are three photos from several days ago.

Wood and Brick. XF35mmF1.4R lens.
Wood and Brick. XF35mmF1.4R lens.
Motorcycle parked at the bottom of a staircase. I am still not sure if I like this one or not. My wife likes it a lot so some of you may also like it. XF18mmF2R lens.
Motorcycle parked at the bottom of a staircase. I am still not sure if I like this one or not. My wife likes it a lot so some of you may also like it. XF18mmF2R lens.
Broom in Alley. I have the same photo on film. XF35mmF1.4R
Broom in Alley. I have the same photo on film. XF35mmF1.4R

Some of you are thinking, “Crapp-o”. So here are a couple of cat pictures. Everyone loves cat pictures.

Cat taking a nap.
Cat taking a nap.
Cat discovers the turntable.
Cat discovers the turntable.

While You’re Waiting or Not Waiting

A couple of weeks ago I visited an historical site and made some photos using a Zeiss Ikon ZM without using a tripod. I liked some of the photos I got back but they are a bit soft. I’m not sure if this is because of the film (Ilford XP2 Super 400), my technique (though it doesn’t look like camera shake), or the scans. So I went back several days ago and tried to make the same photos using ISO50 black and white film in the Contax 645. I think I will wait until I get that film back before deciding whether or not to share on this website. I hope they are better than the 35mm photos but who knows? Perhaps the light wasn’t as interesting, etc.

In the meantime, here’s a cat.

Cat in window light. Zeiss Ikon ZM, Planar 2/50, Agfa CT PRecisa 100.
Cat in window light. Zeiss Ikon ZM, Planar 2/50, Agfa CT PRecisa 100.

A Cat Photo (Can’t be Arsed)

Since having the exhibition in Seoul and now waiting for the exhibition in Gangneung I find myself a bit uninspired. I hope this lack of will to take photos passes soon after the exhibition is all over with.

I haven’t even bothered to order more film lately and now I only have three rolls of 120 film left and none at all of 135 film.  Sticking a medium format camera in my pocket isn’t that easy so I took out my Fuji X-Pro 1 and I’ve been carrying that with me for the past few days. I haven’t made any good photos (or tried) but here is a photograph of my cat lying in the sun. Everyone likes a photo of a cat.

The cat's favourite place in the house.
The cat’s favourite place in the house. Fujifilm X-Pro 1, XF35mm F1.4 R lens

Yesterday I dropped some slide film at the lab to get prints done. If I still like the photos after seeing them as 8x12s then I will post them here.



This dog found a very nice place to take an afternoon nap.  Did he dream of fish, I wonder?
(iPhone, Hipstamatic)


His dream, if he had one, probably didn’t look like this.  These small fish were placed in shallow baskets on a pedestrian bridge to dry.
(Zeiss Ikon, Planar 2/50, Kodak Tri-X 400)


This friend is sitting on the waste basket looking like a king of Egypt.  A sleepy king.
(iPhone, Hipstamatic)


This friend is not so lucky.  Some farmer tied this stuffed bear to a post and a stick with an awful lot of rope to stop him from escaping.  Is this supposed to work as a scarecrow?  It unsettled me but maybe crows don’t mind.
(Zeiss Ikon, Planar 2/50, Kodak Tri-X 400)