Happy Chuseok Weekend

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Out and about with Little T, Lily, and Jo. Just like his papa, Tyrone love his #CoffeeTime.

How do you spend big holiday weekends? What’s important to you?

Silver Philippine Pesos in amazing clarity

This afternoon, I was shooting a few scenes for the very first episode of Explore Your Environment. The subject matter was a pair of very special silver pesos Jo and I picked up on Corregidor a few years ago. I shot the scenes with the Canon EOS C100 as well as the lenses they provided and the images were stunning. But I thought it might be fun to strap on my old (2006) Sigma 70-300mm lens. The resulting detail was amazing. The following are video stills I captured.

philippine-silver-peso-canon-eos-c100-steve-miller-qirangerThe color and detail are amazing.

philippine silver peso canon eos c100 steve miller qiranger-2While the Sigma lens isn’t as high as quality as the Canon lenses, it did a great job. While the C100 isn’t a camera, I have set up the thumb trigger to function as such. These images were not taken that way – but rather by exporting the single frame from video.

Playing with a 50mm/f1.2

I recently picked up a Canon 50mm/f1.2 lens from Canon in Seoul. I decided to put on one of the cameras I have here in the office to see what if looked like.

canon 50mm f/1.2 lensThese are some small flowers near a construction site. The incredible shallow depth of field is amazing.

canon 50mm f/1.2 lensWe Jo made some biscuits last night and I opted to try shooting something indoors. Taking a look at the diagonal layout of the pan, one can really see how focusing on farther objects changes plays with what actually comes into view. Using a lens with a f/1.2 is great, but one’s focus needs to be spot on, or you’ll miss out on capturing what you’re really after.

The camera and lens were provided by Canon for an upcoming project.

The 20D – My 2005 Camera Gets New Life

I grew up with a camera in my hand. My first compact camera was a Kodak 110-film based unit that I loved dearly. I especially loved the crazy four-sided flash cubes. In 2005, I opted to go digital and never looked back. My first DSLR was the Canon 20D. Over the years, I’ve snapped close to 20,000 photos. Not a lot for some, but it was for me. When I ventured into videos, I slowly put the camera away and it sat in its backpack.

Last fall I took it out again and started playing with it. I found the process of framing enjoyable and I wanted to do a few experiments. Life had other plans, for as soon as I made that decision, both of my batteries decided to die. Neither would fully charge. The power they did have wasn’t enough to power the camera. A quick look at GMarket in Korea, found replacement batteries too expensive… so we turned to Ebay. This weekend, I slipped in the new power source and crossed my fingers.

steve miller 20dsteve miller 20dsteve miller 20dsteve miller 20dsteve miller 20dThe above photos were taken with the Canon 20D, 50mm/f1.8/400 ISO at 1/250. I am happy to breathe new life into this old dog again! Happy shooting.

Philippines GoPro Pictures

I spent a few minutes uploading some of my favorite pictures from the Philippines to Flickr today. All images were taken with a GoPro Hero2 and usually with the aid of a QuikPod Monopod.



Fresh Snow, but not in the Philippines

I’ve been back in Korea for just a few days. Thankfully, stepping off the plane Saturday night wasn’t as bad as it was last year. The temperature, to be sure, was a bit colder than the Philippines (a difference of about 35C), and the fresh layer of snow on the ground clearly shows that. However, I am still enjoying the warm memories of my days in the sun and a new coffee mug.

boracay starbucks coffee mug philippines

During my month traveling with Jo, I took advantage of Flickr to upload a number of images. While  many were shared on Instagram, and subsequently on Facebook, I thought I would post the whole set here for those that may have missed it.



I have also just culled through 90 images from the GoPro and will be uploading that as a new set to Flickr during this month.

In addition to the photos I’ll be uploading, I have 6 new travel videos from the trip to edit. All will be featuring the GoPro and shot with a QuikPod Monopod.

I Am A Bad Father

Okay, so I don’t have a child, but I still feel like I’ve been a bad father. In 2010, I purchased Little T, a traveling mascot. It was my goal to take a picture with him every day for 365. That project failed after one month. Then it was my goal to take him on all my adventures and snap up shots with him out in the wild. For the most part, I’ve failed there as well. After seeing Chistopher Mast take some amazing shots of his new daughter, I’ve realized, that I am a bad father. Little T has been hidden too long… it is time for the little guy to fly!

Little T Korea - QiRanger - sejong

While taking John to some of the sights in the Jongno area, I thought placing Little T inside the honcheonui would be brilliant. I love the way the picture turned out with King Sejong looking down in the back.

Little T Korea - QiRanger - coffee

Not necessarily the best coffee in the world, but I find it the best instant coffee I’ve had in a long time. On days when I need to get up and out in a hurry, I turn to this trusted stash of caffeinated goodness. It appears that Little T also wanted to stake his claim on the  goodness.

Over the next year, get ready for a lot of Little T. I am on a mission to get him out and about! Look for more pictures on the blog, but be sure you’re following on Instagram, since he’ll be showing up there quite often!

What I would like to know, is this: do you have a traveling companion that you take with you? Some small item that always is with you that you take pictures of while out on the road? If you do, please tell me about it and post an image in the comments below!

 

Instagram Stats

One of my favorite applications for my iPhone is Instagram. The ability to take pictures, apply a filter, and share them instantly to that community, Twitter, and Facebook has been a driving force in my taking more pictures… all inspired by Jo.

Instagram - statigram - qirangerInstagram Stats

Earlier this year, Jo found the website Statigram. This API connects to your Instagram feed and gives you some pretty cool stats. As of this post, the above are my five most popular images on the photo sharing website.

I have to say, I’m a little surprised at what was selected as the most liked. The gathering at Jogyesa (top left) is the most popular. Second, is the Swastika near my school (top right). That surprises me a little less, since one of the top search terms on QiRanger.com is Swastika. Number 3 (bottom right) is a sam tae guk ki taken from a drop top in Gwanghwamun square. The bottom middle picture was taken at the Suwan Haenggung during our WKB meet up. The final picture, with 44 likes (bottom left), is a bowl of kalguksu we had in Myeongdong.

With more and more of my friends using Instagram, I’m continuously being amazed at the diversity of shots being uploaded. One of my favorite past times on the commute these days is looking at photos. So I put the question to you.

Do you use Statigram? If so, what are your most popular photos? Please post a response sharing them. Also, I’d love to know what features of the application you enjoy the most.

Cute Kids

This past week, while traveling about in Seoul, Jo and I were walking through Gwanghwamun Square. Since it was a holiday, many families were out and about. That meant that they had their delightful children with them. Since I had dusted off my 20D, I thought it fitting to try and capture a few fun photos of the youngsters. Here’s what I came up with.

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Above, you see a young boy running after his parents. he doesn’t look to thrilled!

street photography children - south korea - qiranger

A few minutes later, his younger brother stole his hat and plopped down on the lawn.

What are some of your favorite candid memories of your children, nieces, or nephews?

Muye24Ki: Korea’s Deadly Martial Arts

King Jeongjo commissioned Shilhak scholars Lee Deok-Mu and Park Je-Ga to cull the best practices of Korean Martial Arts with those of China and Japan to create a comprehensive military training guide. Together, these great men crafted twenty-four martial arts into a single work and disseminated them to field troops. The Muye24Ki are contained in the Muyedobotongji, a four-volume set that was released in 1790.

On my resent trip to the Hwaseong Haengung, I was fortunate to catch the daily show. Here are some of my favorite pictures.

Muye24ki - South Korea - Martial Arts - QiRanger

 

Hwalssoki – Korean Traditional Archery. This deadly art encompasses warriors using small bows. Whirling around, they quickly pull an arrow from their quiver, string their bow, pull it back, aim, and let the projectile fly across the courtyard to a target.

Muye24ki - South Korea - Martial Arts - QiRanger

DeungPae – Sword and rattan shield skill.

Muye24ki - South Korea - Martial Arts - QiRanger

 

Above, Song Seung-In uses a weoldo in the final Beki, or slicing demonstration.

Those wishing to view the performance in person can do by visiting the Hwaseong Haenggung. Performances are at 11am and 3pm daily, except Mondays. During December, there is one show on weekends. The performance is free and suitable for all ages. To get to the Heaseong Haengung, make your way to Suwon Station (Line 1), go out Exit 6 and cross the street. At Yeokjeon Market stop, board bus 7, 7-2 or 32-1 and get off at Hwaseong Haenggung.