A camera may very well be just a camera. In fact, it certainly is nothing more than a tool. We use it to record; use it to capture. As equipment, the camera does nothing more or nothing less.
As an object, a camera can mean much more. As an object, this camera means a lot more to me. A difficult time and a friendly gesture. Given because it was the right thing to do. Not a turning point in the craft of a photographer but certainly one in the maturity of a man.
Just like any other it takes photos. It’s not the prettiest, nor is it the most expensive or convenient.
It is however,
I love the nights in Seoul. I love the bustle and the movement. People often ask me:
"Why do you stay here? Why not start your real life?"
Your real life is what you make it. It’s what you want it to be. For me, this is my real life. I walk the streets at night coming home with the sun. Me and a camera. I used to care what, now it doesn’t matter much. With whatever I have I walk. Sometimes I don’t take any photos. Sometimes I take a lot.
I don’t do it for that. I do it because I need it. Any depression that seeps into my soul is quickly cured by the street. I love the smells and the movement. I love the lights; the vibe.
Seoul’s got soul.
At least, for me.
In jtinseoul’s camera bag, lol.
After updating this section on my blog I thought I’d post it here as well. This is what I generally carry for shooting in Seoul or otherwise.
So, for a while I had the same gear page. The key parts of my gear generally stay the same, that being said I often change my bag configuration depending on what I need and what I’m doing.
Keeping that in mind, I’m going to update this page once in a while to reflect what I’m using during a certain season. I for the inspiration for this from Anton Kusters’site. If you don’t know about him give a look. He spent two years living and photographing the Yakuza in Tokyo. Amazing stuff. Anyway, here’s my normal setup.
1. Oakley AP 3.0 Bag
(http://www.oakley.com/products/ap-backpack-3-0/92151-001) I know it’s not a camera bag. Honestly, I f%$king hate most camera bags. I’ve used some iteration of this bag since I was in high school. I’ve tried a million others and always end up coming back to this. I’ve concocted my own insert out of a Billingham Hedley bag that I use for some of the camera stuff if need be.
I occasionally use the Oakley Kitchen Sink if I’m going on a long trip. It came with me to Japan last month.
I usually carry some clothes in the bag depending on the conditions. Weather in Korea changes fast so I usually take a hoody and a wool cap.
The main camera is the Leica M9P, black. It’s a wonderful camera. I never take more than one lens with me. These days the 35mm Summilux stays on most often. My all time favorite lens. I never use lens caps. My M9P has a bunny sticker on top that you can’t see, lol. It was featured on Photojojo and Seoulcamerastyle.
Pictured next to the body is the Luigi half case. I rarely use the case unless I’m throwing the camera in the bag for a while.
I also carry a small point and shoot as a backup to the M9. The usual cameras that I carry are a couple of Ricoh film cameras, the GR21 and the GR1V. I like the GRD series as well, and will for sure get the GRIV when it’s available in Korea. I usually bring a couple of rolls of film, colour and black and white.
Pictured to the right is my watch which I never leave without. It’s an Oakley Time Bomb II limited edition. No batteries, works on motion, and is built like a tank. Expensive, but worth every penny (or 10 won, lol).
There is also a pocket knife there which usually stays in the bag side from when I’m boarding a plane. It’s a leatherman something or other.
You can also see some chargers there. I take some for my cameras, phone, and laptop (if I take it, it’s a 15 inch newest series Macbook Pro). There’s also an SD card reader.
I also take my passport and other important documents. They never leave the bag and are always wrapped in plastic. I take eye drops, bandaides, a marker, and small notebook all the time as well. Usually take spare batteries for the main camera as well as extra memory.
6. Not Pictured
Not pictured is my iPhone (which was used to take the picture) and my wallet. Neither usually stay in the bag. My laptop, a 15 inch Macbook Pro.
If I’m shooting video, I’ll take the Canon 7D (not pictured) with the 50mm f1.2L. I’ll also add a small tripod. I’ll sometimes take the 7D in lue of the M9 if the weather seamed inclement or if I feel the need to use it. Very rarely though.
That’s about it for what I take. Dani once teased me about the gear I take and how it looks little like a “camera” setup. I suppose it doesn’t. Fuck it, it’s fairly light (sans laptop) and has everything I need. Sounds ridiculous, but I often imagine what I would want to have if I was outside of my apartment when NK finally attack for real. If I couldn’t come back I’d wanna be ready to shoot and post with what I’ve got. Funny way to look at it but works for my rational, lol.
A lot of you may know me from my wordpress blog, jtinseoul.wordpress.com . Recently, I’ve decided to start a tumblr for some less serious stuff.
Like today for example, I got this Ricoh GR1V. I wanted to talk about it on my blog, but felt like my blog is a little too serious for a picture and couple comments. Anyway, been digging’ this camera so far! It feels like the camera I wish the GRDIII would be. Mainly, because of the viewfinder. Considering I rarely shoot from the hip, viewfinders are a must. I promised myself I’d never buy another camera without one again, and I won’t. And I FUCKING hate external ones. If the GRDIII was built like the GR1V, I don’t think I’d need another camera for street photography.
I’m excited to get through the first roll. I also have a GR21 waiting for me in Seoul which I’m looking forward to. Will have a photo essay on my blog from the weekend with both the cameras. Should be a departure from my M9 stuff.
Until next time!