Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Abstract Photography Vision

I appreciate minimalism and abstract concepts in life, and that is reflected in the creation of my photographic work.  The distracting elements are eliminated -- only the important concepts and facets are revealed.

I have on my personal website two volumes in my photography collection:  1)  Abstract and 2)  Minimalism.  Some of my projects can be viewed on the site; however, the projects are not a part of this current discussion.

By way of preview, Ear is a part of the collection:

© Mark Eaton

Specific details are irrelevant at the moment, but I will say that no colors were added for 99% of the compositions I make public.  Only available light, shadow, colors/tones, and imagination are used.  This does make for some very interesting and creative portraits, in my opinion.

Take a look at my Abstract gallery over at my website here.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Must Love Reading -- Photo for the Day

Nothing will stop a person who loves to read from reading.  I saw this scene a couple of days ago, and I knew that I had to stop everything else I was doing to photograph this scene.  It has become one of my favorites for personal reasons.

Must Love Reading
© Mark Eaton

A cherished memory.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sticky Fingers

The photographer Hengki Koentjoro had one of his photographs stolen by someone with sticky fingers.  That lifted image actually was the winning submission in a Samsung photography contest not too long ago.

This situation has caused a bit of an international row, and rightly so.  The win was voided, but...

Take a look at this news article about this at the Mail Online site here.

PetaPixel reported in ongoing incident here, but its version of the original version of the photograph is a bit different compared to other media sites.

Also, over at the Image and View site, there is some additional information that can be found here.

What a shame.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Journalism and Photojournalism Is Not All Fun and Games

On a regular basis I visit the Reporters Without Borders site to read the latest news about the worldwide effort to suppress the dissemination of news and information.  It's happening in the freedom loving USA, too.  Take a look at the RWB site here.

Now, to Egypt.  Most readers will recall the terror inflicted upon female journalists here and here.  Unconscionable acts of brutality.

Recently, Aymman Ismail posted over at the Animal site his experiences of being in the midst of the turmoil of rebellion and revolution while he was in Egypt.  It is a surreal tale with several compelling photographs to complement the often strange and bizarre story of life.  Read and view his article here.   

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Imamura Ayako: Japanese Deaf Filmmaker and University Professor

I completed my teaching practicum for the University of Arizona at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind in some past century.  I've always enjoyed the time I spent with my Deaf/deaf friends and colleagues while in the US.  My current city, Suncheon, has a rather large deaf community, and I have always enjoyed spending time with the group and with individual friends.

Topics on Deaf Japan is a blog I follow regularly.  Recently, I read a couple of posts at ToDJ about Imamura Ayako who is a Deaf filmmaker in Japan and who also happens to teach Japanese Sign Language at Nagoya Gakuin University, which is a private university in Nagoya.

Imamura Ayako made and released a short movie some time ago about Deaf people who were in the region of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the resultant tsunami that devastated many areas of Japan.  One can correctly surmise that many Deaf people in those areas never knew of the evacuation announcements and orders that were broadcast using the community alert systems and loudspeakers.

Read a couple of posts about her at the Topics on Deaf Japan blog here and here.

Learn more about Imamura Ayako at her website here.  She has a couple of short clips of her film on her site that can be seen here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Same Subject, Different Compositions

A couple of days ago I wrote a short post, with an accompanying photograph, about my favorite place to swim in Korea, Namyeol Beach, that can be read here.

Within the photography profession, there are other genres, such as sports photography and photojournalism to name a couple, that once a scene or moment has passed, so too the opportunity to photograph that specific event in time.  Other genres whose subjects are stationary, or mostly stationary, allows a photographer to shoot a subject multiple times from different angles and perspectives.

The following images from Namyeol Beach/남열해수욕장 provide some examples of how a subject can be approached in different ways.  These were all taken after the business of the beach was closed for the evening.

Tables, Chairs, and Umbrellas
© Mark Eaton

Namyeol Beach After Hours
© Mark Eaton

© Mark Eaton

Take the time to photograph a scene or subject again and again from differing positions and places.  Somewhere in that series there just might be a nice image to work with. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

남열해수욕장 문닫아요

Even the beaches will shut down at the appointed hour.

© Mark Eaton

This past May I wrote an article on this blog here about the new construction that was changing Namyeol Beach...남열해수욕장.  The dredging and the shore build up has all but eliminated the large wave action close to shore; however, the swimming experience remains excellent.  

Recently, I was able to travel to the beach twice in a single week, and there is another trip planned for tomorrow.  I would love to live on or near a beach...perhaps in the near future.  Back to the point of swimming -- being a mere 15 to 20 meters off shore means a genuine ocean swim begins.  

This past Thursday was a national holiday in South Korea, and I was actually invited to go to the beach.  After setting up camp on one of the rental platforms atop the beach in a small forested area, I entered the water.  Even though I was within the designated swimming boundaries, I saw that I was beyond the lookout point where many people gather to watch the rocket launches from nearby Naro Space Center.

Because I do wear my broad rimmed hat when I swim, like so many Korean citizens do, I'm sure the young Coast Guard rescuer, who was also wearing a broad rimmed hat, couldn't see my face.  He swam near me, unbeknownst to me since I wasn't looking shoreward, and he blew his whistle as he rested on his red rescue float.  Even though I was in the swimming area he was in the act of waving me to shore, politely, but he stopped when I turned around and began speaking in Korean to him.  So, as we casually swam away from the beach, and as we tread water, we chatted about the weather, family, language skills.  We were both passable speaking to the subject of our foreign language skills.

The Coast Guard rescuer was keeping a watchful eye, because he was the only one on station until a second young man arrived a few hours later.  After our watery chat, he swam to his rescue jet ski, which was the number 3 unit from 여수, and he let me be.  With the exception of a Korean man swimming parallel to the shore, I was the only person swimming without a vest or using some sort of floatation device.  I like swimming in the ocean; watching the swells hide the horizon, feeling the alternating warm and cool currents below the surface.  Being in the water brings peace to me.

Then at 6 p.m. it's closing time.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Billionaire Photographer

The business side of the arts is the most difficult aspect for most artists.  Kim Gittleson over at the BBC site wrote an article about how Jon Oringer became a billionaire in photography.  

Read the news article here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Timing is an important facet of life.  Timing is most important in photography, too.  For example, a photographer photographing a sunset doesn't just arrive at a designated spot at sunset.  He or she will arrive earlier in order to prepare the camera gear and to resolve any issues that a photographer can face when shooting outdoors.

Back to that timing concept in life -- the time for the punchline is not when the barber is in the act of trimming eyebrows with a pair of scissors.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Zach Rensberger -- Nagoya to Nagasaki for a Better World

I had the good fortune to meet Zach Rensberger in Suncheon, which is a city in the southern part of South Korea, when we both happened to be living and working there at the same time.  We even exhibited together as part of a Gwangju Artist Collective group show at the Jami Gallery in Gwangju-si, Jeollanam-do, South Korea.

Zach has since moved to live and work in Japan, and he made me aware of a project that he is starting there.  He is a cycling enthusiast, to say the least, and his project involves a 1,000 kilometer bike tour for a cause.  This is part of his project statement:

"Like many people, I always wish I could be better or wish I could do more. When I first decided to do a long-distance cycling trip I just wanted to test myself. I thought it would be a chance to see what I am really capable of, and of course it would be a great experience as well! Then I thought that this would be a great chance for me to do more! I decided to use this journey as a way to spread the word about a cause that’s important to me. And because I’m totally convinced that creating a better world for our children is the best thing we can do, I wanted to advocate an amazing organization that helps and supports children! Save the Children is an independent organization that strives to better the lives of children all over the world, including Japan!

So as I am about to embark on this adventure across western Japan, I ask you to please visit the Save the Children website and donate! Your donation, whatever amount, will be a chance for you too to do something more, to make an impact and make the future a better place!"

To read more about Zach's project in fine detail, please visit the Common Road site here.  I believe you will be impressed, too.

Why am I promoting Zach and his project?  Because the catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear plant that was destroyed by the tsunami in 2011 continues today as it will for years to come.  Read a recent Reuters news article about it here
Good luck, Zach!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday's Musing - The Sun Is Going Down Edition

I have no one to blame but me.  We didn't survive this -- I talked myself into believing that I was overcoming the loss, the betrayal, and the anger, but I hadn't.  And the family relationships I had worked hard to cultivate have been for naught, because I hadn't worked through the loss, the betrayal, and the anger with a trained professional.  South Korea has the best medical and dental care I've seen anywhere in the world; however, the mental and emotional fields are lacking.  My queries about finding a psychologist in this region was met with furrowed brows or shoulder shrugs.  So I told myself I could do this myself, but I erred.  I have no one to blame but me.

I will take several weeks to cease my business ventures here.  That time will allow me to send my archived photographic work overseas.  The significantly large number of framed images intended for exhibition and for sale have mostly been dealt with at this writing.  Those few that remain that can't be sold or donated will be destroyed prior to my departure.  

I have a lovely group of friends in Gwangju, and I am indebted to them for their assistance during this period of time.  Their help has been invaluable.   

I believe Elton John says it best:  Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

© Mark Eaton

This story I share with my readers for a couple of reasons.  First, if your spouse, family member, or friend experiences the death of the child, please realize that someone needs to step up to help that person who experiences the loss...and that person will be you.  No shit, if the grieving person tells you he is okay, he is bullshitting himself and he is bullshitting you.  A parent will never fully recover from losing a child, because of the guilt and because of the 'what if I had...' type of questions, but the parent can learn to develop some tools to deal with the loss.  By way of illustration, maybe you can start here, or maybe someplace else.  Understand that the grieving parent will not know which way is up or down for a long time, and the process of starting to help your friend or family member can possibly save relationships.

Second, you, as the grieving parent will not know what the fuck you are doing.  You will not even have sense enough to pull down your pink panties when you need to piss and shit.  Don't think so?  Just wait, man, when that shit happens.  One or two of your buddies will be a great help, because they read the above paragraph, but most will not know what the fuck is happening either.  I can tell you to be patient with others, and that the rage you vent at others won't be taken personally, but that is bullshit.  You are going to need help, sooner, not later, and that help will come from outside sources.  None of this stiff upper lip nonsense; that mindset will only destroy relationships in the world of now.  Ask, and continue to ask, and ask again for assistance, and for resources.  

If you live somewhere that doesn't have resources, then planes, trains, or automobiles to someplace that does have resources.  Can't afford that?  Not to worry, man, when your job performance or business takes a dive to the bottom of the won't have any money then either.  Better to go sooner, not later.  

Third, if your friend or family member experiences loss, then patience, patience, and patience.  That person doesn't know what the fuck is going on.  If they continue to talk about the loss, that person needs professional help.  Especially true for family, the grieving person will rage at the strangest of times; something triggered a memory, or guilt, or something subconscious that hasn't been work on yet with a trained professional.  In these instances, do not take anything personally, because you are not the just happen to be there when something triggered the outburst.  If you haven't sought out professional help, then now is the time to do it.  Forget the priest, rabbi, and imam, because they don't know what the fuck is going on either...speaking from personal experience.

I don't know what else to say, except that I royally fucked up the best situation and relationship I've ever been in.  Sooner, not later.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Meat of the Matter is not Sunsets, Wispy Markets, or Duck Lips. The Meat of the Matter is Freedom.

I have added to my blogroll, on the lower right hand side under the "Freedom and Anti-censorship Blogs" heading, a link to the Reporters Without Borders blog.  I would be remiss if I didn't say thanks to Steve Miller who made me aware of that important organization -- he posted an article from RWB over at the Linkedin site that reported that yet another photojournalist from the Philippines was shot to death recently.

Journalists, artists, and bloggers are being targeted by governments and illicit organizations (yes, I do agree that government and illicit organization can be one and the same) for shedding light on various activities that need to be made public.  Even in my home country, the USA, journalists, artists, photographers, and bloggers are being targeted for informing the public of the goings-on of different groups and organizations.  The Chinese artist Ai WeiWei has a thing or two to say at the RWB site. 

Take a look at the Reporters Without Borders site here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Memorias: A Solo Exhibition by Joe Wabe at PDG Gallery in Gwangju

Joe Wabe is a fixture in the city of Gwangju.  He is a dynamic mover in several different facets of life and living.  I've had the good fortune to know Joe for the past few years here in South Korea, and it is an honor for me to present this bit of news about him here. 

Joe will be hosting his first solo photography exhibition beginning Saturday, August 10, 2013.  The exhibit will be at the increasingly popular PDG Gallery in Gwangju-si, Jeollanam-do, South Korea.  There will be an opening reception at the gallery from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, and this will be a great opportunity to meet and greet the artist.  The theme of his show is Memorias

The following is the exhibition statement as posted on the event page over at Facebook:

"Memories are the only real treasure that we can keep forever. I'll like to share with all of you my first solo photo exhibition. A small walk into my past memories, without leaving the present. A nostalgic visual recount of my time here in wonderful Korea. Each photograph will have a story to tell, a story that requires no verbal form. This is just a small expression of gratitude for the land that has giving me so much."

Joe Wabe's photographic style is one that connects well and resonates well with my view and outlook on life.  Here are two photographs that will be on display during the event:

Old Love
© Joe Wabe

By the Sea
© Joe Wabe

Paul Kerry from The Korea Herald has taken note of Joe's photographic work, too.  Read the article written by Paul Kerry about Memorias here.

As I mentioned above, the exhibition begins 2013/8/10, and it will conclude some time in the middle of September.  

For those who are not familiar with Gwangju be assured that it isn't difficult to find PDG Gallery.  In fact, it is just across the street from the U-Square express bus terminal in Gwangju.  It is important to note that the building that has the gallery is on the Shinsegae department store side of the bus terminal.  

Exit from the Shinsegae department store itself directly outside, not in the terminal itself but rather outside of the store, and look across the street for the Mr. Pizza sign.  The gallery is on the 5th floor of that building that displays the Mr. Pizza sign.

Here is the address of the building:

460-33 Nong Sung Dong, 
Dana Medical Arts Building
Gwangju-si, Jeollanam-do