Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lens Caps and some Yelling

     Last part of "Let me do it right this time" was just half of the last day I spent in Seoul (to take photographs).  On my quest to get a replacement for my lost lens cap, I got a bit more lessons on the street that I wasn't really prepared for.

     First lesson learned the hard way.  The missing lens cap was from Samyang 85mm, which I was sure it was a 72mm cap.  I decided to get a generic one without a name 'cause I find it a little pretentious putting a Nikon or a Canon cap on a 3rd party lens.  Namyang was supposed to be the place to go (in Seoul) when it comes to camera gear.  At the store, I specifically asked for a no-named 72mm lens cap.  But when I tried to fit it on my lens, it was slightly bigger.  I thought I made the mistake with the size, so I went back to the shop, bought a 67mm lens, and it didn't fit again.  Now this upsets me because once you open the product, you can not return it.  Out of frustration, I went to another store and gave in, thinking the "no-name" part was to blame.  I thought my first 72mm lens cap had a factory default.  To avoid that, I went ahead and bought a Nikon lens cap... 3 times more expensive because of the brand.  Well, it did fit.  And I'm slightly happy.  But when I went home, I examined my first 72mm cap and apparently it was 77mm.  Ok, I got it.  Examine the thing thoroughly before reacting.  Lesson learned.

     But that wasn't the interesting part of the afternoon.  It was what happened after I bought the right sized lens cap...

     Seoul, as typically all cities, on a typical Sunday, is very noisy.  You can hear someone shouting something through a megaphone/speaker on every turn.  So I wasn't listening to whatever (I thought) advertisement they're shouting on the street.  That was, until I saw traffic stopped for people to pass by.  A demonstration!

    I didn't see many photographers lurking and that gave me the boost.  With a manual lens stuck on my camera, I think this is the time to test what I can do so far.

Siamese Bag
I'm not sure if I like these two dogs being stuck the whole afternoon in this bag, but it was quite an attraction.  I like that the owner allowed me to take pictures too.  She even helped out when the two weren't looking at me (hence the hand).

Say It With Conviction
I think they were chanting in response to what their leader was saying.  I wasn't listening as I'm totally focused on what I'm seeing.  And I saw a strong outburst of emotion... if that makes sense.

Show It With Conviction
Now this, I think, need no sound.  In my years here in South Korea, whenever a "demonstration" was discussed, this gesture with the fist means only one thing: Strike!  But what I so love with this woman was her facial expression.  I admire that despite the heat and the long walk, she could still shout and raise fist with full emotion.

Unlike Some Of Them
Most of these participants are concerned of exposing their identity (unlike some of them) although they support the cause.  I think they're doing fine.  As they show less of who they are by covering their faces with "what their message is."  

Send The Message
A lot of them are really devoted to showing their posters and what not.  Of course, it's understandable that they also need a break and lower them from time to time.  But as I see them notice me, a photographer, it was their cue to lift up those things again.  But let me say, it's just their arms that gets tired.  They could really shout.

     As these people pass by, I took the least I could allow myself.  After all, it's not about what's happening.  It's how much I've grown.  It was a test of quality over quantity.  I thought to myself, "If I still just shoot randomly and hope at least one of them are decent, I haven't grown."

     The result?  I look at these photos and see a LOT to work on to.  And my keeper ratio isn't that high.  Photo journalism is a field I like but struggle with.  But I think I have improved a lot.  If I look back to what I can do before, and see what I have done now, I know I did some things right.

     It's still a long way to go.  But at least I'm getting there.

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