Saturday, December 21, 2013

성탄 하고 과새해

기쁜 성탄 하고 과새 해 복 많이 받으세요!!  축하해요!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Photographers and Photography: Freedom

Photographic art is about freedom; the freedom to express honestly that which is in the heart, mind, and soul of a photographer.  It isn't about the ridiculous and unreal idea that photography must follow the expectations and guidelines of some faceless and nameless cabal that pontificates edicts that are nonsensical.  It is about being real and true to the self.

Expressing oneself honestly and truthfully is a liberating experience.  Yes, one does run the risk of alienating those whose vision is narrow.  On the other hand, one can find immense satisfaction and fulfillment following his or her own pathway.  Often times that path will have others who are also being true to the self, and wonderful attachments and relationships can be formed.

There is no one true way for all.  Each of us must find our way that is honest and true for each of us individually.  

I am sharing five different links to show how different processes have been used and are used when working to create a photograph.  None of the five links speak to the subject of digital photography.  I do this to show that those who have used film in the past, and those who photograph using film today, have and do manipulate their film negatives to create something special.  I am a digital photographer this day and age, however, I learned the art using a film camera in some other century.  To this day I continue to learn how to improve my skills.

Three of the five links are youtube videos.  I must warn you that some time will be needed to watch the video about Ansel Adams and the video about Alfred Stieglitz.  For those who are dedicated to photography, it will be time well spent.

In fact, the first video is about Ansel Adams and how he approached his profession.  His attention to details in the field and in his darkroom are lessons to be remembered.  A special thanks to Joe Wabe who made me aware of this video several months ago.  The link:  Ansel Adams.

The second video is about the man who worked so hard to create and to promote the arts and the art of photography.  He association with the great artists and photographers from Europe and America and his fearlessness in promoting the arts and the art of photography is nothing short of amazing, in my opinion.  The link:  Alfred Stieglitz.

Video number three is a short example of how a finished film print can be manipulated to enhance the final product.  Some of my favorite prints in the past were those I hand painted.  The link:  Manipulation.

The fourth link is an example of how film negatives can be manipulated to create one artistic effect or another.  A viewer will be able to search the internet to find articles about how the great photographers from the past processed their film negatives in order to create some stunning images.  The link:  Distressing Negatives.

The fifth and final link leads to a forum discussion.  A photographer discusses his manipulation process:  Kill Your Darlings.  To see the results of his darkroom manipulation, visit his portfolio over at  Emil Schildt Photography.

In this age of the internet, so many examples and stories of photographic art by way of a film camera exist and can be accessed for anyone to learn from.  That is the easy part.  The hard part is the honest retrospection and inspection of the heart and the mind that is necessary to be the creative being that is full and fulfilled.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The People of the Mud

Suncheon Bay -- Home of waterfowl, crabs, fish, reeds, and tourists on the one side.

Tour Boat Thrill
© Mark Eaton

On the other side, the side that sees far less tourists, is the working side.  To me it is no less beautiful; in fact I think it is more beautiful for the reason that it is not commercialized.  It is a place where the inhabitants of the fishing villages that dot the coastal enclaves of Suncheon Bay toil on a daily basis to harvest seafood for everyone else.

South Korea experiences extreme tidal flows, and I've wondered if Poseidon plays games with mere mortals by simply pulling the plug to drain the waters that surround this peninsular country.  Alas, that is not so, 'tis not so. 

Suncheon Bay Workplace II
© Mark Eaton

The tidal flows, however, do provide many opportunities for harvesters to collect different species of seafood for consumer consumption.  During the low tide period at Suncheon Bay, vast amounts of mudflats are exposed.  The only way to travel across the mudflats is by a sled that a harvester propels with a single leg.

 Secured Sleds
© Mark Eaton

The harvesters, men and women of all ages, drive the sleds to a specific farm or collection area on the bay.  The seafood is put into baskets or buckets.  These baskets and buckets are the handlebars, so to speak, that allow the harvesters to successfully guide their rig to and from the farm located on the mudflats.  

© Mark Eaton

The people of South Korea who enjoy eating shellfish and other types of seafood do so because of the work of these harvesters.  

Over at my website I have uploaded an ongoing longitudinal study of those who harvest the farms on the mudflats of Suncheon Bay.  Do you ever wonder what happens to all of those shells after a meal?  I'll show you; it's a part of the project.  To view the study, please visit The People of the Mud.