‘Get in behind’, leads to luminous photos


Sometimes in photography, it comes down to moments of minutes or even hours. In this case cherry blossoms were the  subject of the photos. Sakura (桜) as they are in Japan or as they are in  South Korea, (벚꽃).  I had been waiting for sometime for the right moment to come up. Actually a concerted effort too, to take my camera gear out and actually shoot some of them in bloom. The one day I’d taken my camera to school and to the university, where I took the photos,  the weather had set an dull grey overcast of cloud.  The one thing I wanted in this shot was the beauty of the cherry blooms that could the luminosity of the setting sun. With this I had a matter of an hour or less; plenty of time. The trees, nor the blossoms weren’t going to disappear. In catching the light on the petals, I really had to place the sun behind the blooms, that meant pointing the camera towards the sun. Then it was a matter of fiddling with the camera settings. The effect as you can see, is rather pleasing.

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Electioneering, for that ‘just so’ look

Elections and electioneering is on again in South Korea. Wednesday is in fact election day (for the Koreans) and, universally seen as an opportune holiday day for all. As to the electioneering, it’s been ajumma-fronted

cheer leading squads, grandstanding from the back of trucks and posters, extolling their promises. Someone taped a strip of election posters outside my apartment. Returning later in the afternoon, I found that someone had taken it off, neatly folded it  placed it folded under the apartment.

As an uneducated eye, the posters all look the same, and compare well to
those modeled by Kim, il-sung or Chairman Mao himself. All they lack are some over exposure in certain primary colours.

Had chocolate cravings, but it’s too late for fish bread

An Onyang student High school student eyes up a fish bread

IMG_6514It almost never fails to lure me into buying a bag of pikelety smelling fish bread, or 붕어 빵. I’ve been told quite recently that it’s a food that’s made almost in the Winter months. So much for the idea of treating my after-school students with fish bread. I got some Ghana chocolate for them instead. More recently, Lotte have sold a darker chocolate which suits my tastes perfectly. Most of the chocolate on the market here in Korea is milk chocolate. Unlike the stuff  in New Zealand (as in Cadbury’s) is, though standard chocolate, has more cocoa mass in it than four of the local milk chocolate bars combined. But biting into a fish bread in all it’s pikelety goodness takes a bit of patience; sometimes the fish bread can be too hot to consume and leave it’s after-taste for you to taste the next day.

Laptop donor graft onto broken chair, results in Franken-chair

The one good thing about living in Korea is the things that people throw away. Outwardly the office chair that I’d spied and then repossessed from the garbage area was in perfect nick. It wasn’t until I sat down I found out it’s flaw. The amount of friction that the chair recline was way too much.  It wasn’t until the next day that I’d had a chance to examine it that I’d found the crack in the fibre-reenforced plastic. Someone had lent back much too often, literally ripping an incomplete rectangular tear in the backing. Looking at the design I concluded that the plastic was, too thin. Surprise, surprise. It needed strengthening with something. Looking around at the neatly stacked rubbish pile, all I saw was cardboard and plastic bottles. Something more staunch than what I could see was needed. In the end I used the back cover of a used laptop that a friend of mine had given me. The plastic cover from the Harddrive fit the bill. though, a bit on the thin side but I was hoping that it, combined with the preexisting plastic, it would hold.

Making a hole in the plastic was the easiest part of the fix-it-up project.  The Chromium-Vanadium alloy of my ‘X’ screw driver I use for opening up the backs of laptops was surprisingly robust. Next to enlarge the hole, for that I used the Phillips attachment on my Swiss army knife and then the metal file attachment to bring it up to the 8mm diameter. Shavings of plastic were now sprinkled over a small area. Mounting the former laptop part cum re-enforcing was easy. No glue required but simply the unscrewing and re-attaching of the tension knob. Yes!

A post script:  It works, but to a point. Maybe I need to graft on more parts of the laptop to aid the back support.