Architecture, photography, speculation and scandal from the Middle Kingdom


Narrative obsession

One thing seems to lead the issues at the heart of a modern proffessional photographer. That the potential to get a decent photostory into the press and subsequent funding for said story is becoming increasingly unrealistic.  While at the same time photographers are replacing stills work with video,a possibly earned by recent developments in technology.
It’s oft argued that the greed for more for less media has got photogs doing film and stills at once. That new tech and distribution had opened up the potential mediums of syndication. But part of this I shift is I believe, down to the current failures of the photograph/image to fail to live up to the targets modern journalistic photography expects of it. There is a misunderstanding I believe at the heart of photojournalism. That the great photostory is a work of great narrative. Even the hybrid term photostory is a misdemeanor, a casually constructed lost leader. The true power of the image is held in it’s isolation from narrative, in it’s harrowing ambiguity. A void at the heart, negociated, not filled with narrative or explaination. A scientific example would be Capa and Dunkirk. Little can be learnt from the images yet they haunt our imagination.

To be continued…


Seoul:Zoomable cityscape night-time shot. A thousand Seouls

This is an extremely low res version of what can be achieved, but gives some food for thought. Going to have to do some more high-res shots maybe 4×5 composites, enough to get a good look into the houses. This one is a composite of 3 6×7 frames but due to high wind and long exposures and a shaky wooden platform the shots are a little blurred to high res scans.


Climbing mountains in Seoul

portrait of ice covered trees on Seoul mountain

Met up with some old Korean friends on a recent trip to Seoul, we went a mountain climbing.


I had been told that the reason Koreans climbed mountains was in part due to a belief that drinking at altitude is superior to the low altitude boozing most of us are accustomed to.  I needed little excuse.  Stocked up on a bottle of Soju for the peak.  Beautiful day, I’d not in nature for quite some time.  Pretty relaxing and slow ascent for most of the mountain until point where local we telling us not to go further. We’d were warned and advised that the last 30m assent was extremely dangerous without the proper shoe blades, but no way we were about to turn back having spent 3 hours climbing, waiting for that all important bottle of heavenly Soju, righteously earned upon our arrival at the peak. Yea it was dangerous, sheer rock covered in ice with lengths of rope and ice covered railings to pull oneself up with. Koreans seem to have an aptitude for anything, young attractive women clambering up the slope giggling and shrieking upon every near death crack on the ice or slip on the rope.

portrait of ice covered trees on Seoul mountain

I’d bough my 4×5 Sinar along for the ride.  Stupidly spent most of the film on the way up.  Loading film on the peak of a mountain is not the best way to spend the time.

Was also the coldest place I’ve ever seen a cat.