Shopping Buddhas

Yesterday, Jo and I had to travel in to Seoul on an emergency trip to get some shoes! Yes, it was a shopping trip! It was an emergency I tell you! After two years, my running shoes had gone kaput! I know what it feels like, since I made a mistake in 2004 and suffered for three months with feet problems. Now, as soon I feel the footwear going, I buy new things.

not wanting to waste a trip to Gangnam, and since Jo has never been to Bongeunsa, she thought it the perfect time to correct that oversight.

This is really one of my favorite temples, and using my handy iPhone, I was able to snap up three pretty good pictures.

QiRanger - Bongeunsa - Korea - Seoul - Trael - Buddha

One of the most dynamic shots at Bongeunsa, where the Buddha looks into Seoul.

QiRanger - Bongeunsa - Korea - Seoul - Trael - Buddha

A small pond in the center of the temple complex where visitors can obtain fresh spring water.

QiRanger - Bongeunsa - Korea - Seoul - Trael - Buddha

The Buddha standing tall.

What do you think? All three pictures were taken with Camera+ and slightly edited in the app. What did you do on Sunday?

Review: GoPro Hero2

Jo and I are sitting here in another café enjoying some afternoon beverages while we wait for our evening flight from Kalibo back to Manila and I thought I’d share some thought on my new GoPro Hero2.


Right out of the box, I really didn’t see too many changes, save for the extra LEDs. These are great additions, s one of the problems I ran I to on the original model was never knowing when I was recording. Now, a red LED flashes on the front, bottom, top, and back making it easy to know when video is being recorded or pictures are being taken.

The increased resolution is also a great boost to the camera. I was never all that pleased with the video from the original GoPro. Sure it did the job, but wasn’t great. This camera produces stellar video. The POV options are also great, but I do find the 170 degree fisheye a bit much for my liking. I do know there will be times I will need such a wide angle, but for most of my shots, the 127 angle works fine. I do wish there was a 11mp photo option for the 127 angle.

The side mic interface is an awesome inclusion to the camera and will change the way I shoot videos and vlogs. Since the camera has such a wide angle, pairing it with my RODE mic makes the perfect team for close ups and vlogs. I have already used this team and once I secure the GoPro Skeleton Housing so I can mount it on my L-Bracket, everything will be put in place.

However, as good as the GoPro is, it still falls short when under water. The camera is really designed for land and air use. Under water, the refraction rate causes a loss of clarity that is really not acceptable. GoPro knows this and even includes it I heir FAQ; however, even after two generations of cameras, one must rely on third party products when shooting underwater.

Even with that fault, I love this camera and definitely recommend it.

The Natural Beauty of Dokdo and Ulleungdo

Probably one of the most heated arguments you can start with a Korean is over the status of Dokdo, two small islets in the East Sea that Koreans claim were annexed by Japan in 1910 and never returned following World War II. Japan still holds out that the land is theirs, calling it Takishima and instructing school students to that effect. While overwhelming proof supports Korea’s claim on the islets, one thing that cannot be disputed is the beauty to be captured by visiting these remote landmasses.

This video is something special. Not because of the subject matter, but the source of the images. While I did all the editing and scored the piece… the images and the trip were done solely by Jo. I was still in Seoul filming Paul Ajosshi’s Neck of the Woods. This video is also marks the launch of – Jo’s new photo blog. It’s been something I’ve been encouraging her to do for a long time. She’s the eye behind most of the pictures you see here and on my articles for The Korea Blog.

I hope you’re surf on over to her site and welcome her to the Internet and subscribe to her RSS feed. You will not believe the photos she will be posting this year. She is by far the most talented photographer I know… granted I am a little biased.

When 24 isn’t enough…

One of the things I love about Korea is how convenient everything is. Since the Seoul metro is a city that never sleeps, movies are available for viewing until the wee hours of the morning. While in the United States, movie times are listed as 12:30am or 1:00am, movie times here are listed a little differently. I guess this is because many forget that 12:30am on June 15th means the night of June 14th after midnight and the morning of June 15th. Korean cinemas get around this problem by using a modified 24-hour clock… with more than 24 hours in a day.

In the preceding example, the movie time would have been listed as 2011.6.14 24:30. The 1am time would be listed as 2011.6.14 25:00. Since so many people have a problem keeping tract of when dates change after midnight, this system seems quite helpful.

Speaking of being helpful, I snapped this up on my Instagram the other day. Many convenience stores in Korea sport a “25” in their name. This one happens to be from my building. The Korea reads 세븐, which sounds like “seven.” Essentially, the store is boasting that it’s open 25 hours a day, seven days a week. While it is open every day… it does close around 3am.

What’s teh most unique thing you’ve seen in advertising lately?

Rounding out the weekend

This Memorial Day weekend, Jo and ventured down south to the port city of Busan to shoot a few videos and meet up with friends. As I sit in the Busan Station typing this on my iPhone, I have to report that this little camera once again came in handy, capturing a number of amazing shots that I shared on Twitter. However, many weren’t shared and I’d thought I’d do that now.

Th GoPro on the KTX. Shot with iPhone and edited in Camera+.

Daegaksa Temple. Shot with True HDR and edited in Camera+.

Younggungsa Temple. Shot with True HDR and edited in Camera+.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Please let me know how you spent your weekend!