Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I took my camera and got on the subway. No real plan, just going... somewhere. In the end, I rode the green line in a complete circle. It took me about 4 hours. I stopped a few times on the way. I admit, it was a bit lonely at times and my back is sore from standing. But it certainly provided a lot of thinking time and a few good pics.

I also decided to make it a wide angle lens day... it was okay... but I still favor the 50mm.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The New Flash, SPs (self-portraits), Slightly Disturbing

So I decided to do a bit of experimentation with the new flash. And since I have no model, and honestly, I wouldn't want to bore someone with my half thought out ideas, I have to do the classic self-portraits. So here are a few. I also decided to stick with black and white today. I think some came out a little creepy looking, but cool. Sorry.

It's interesting because on some of the pictures you can see the dust specs that are inside of my camera on the sensor itself (this happens with really tiny apertures). It's probably about time to go get it serviced. I looked into what it would take for me to clean it myself (disassembling the camera, cleaning the sensor, etc...) but most information said, "Don't do it, you'll just make it worse!"

Sleep Walking

the "cool hand Luke" pose

Maybe this is what a person's spirit looks like :)

A real tough model. Just wouldn't smile.

Night Light, Twilight, Coffee-ite

The Twilight movie poster pictures are for Ginny. I thought you'd like to see what they looked like in Korean(and actually, the movie title reads the same in Korean as it does in English). Every Korean girl I've talked to has loved the movie.

Personally, well, let's just say it's not my favorite movie of all time.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Gorilla, The Ghost, and The Girl

Because I've got the bike, it's been a long time since I rode on the subway. It's kind of fun actually. There's always something new to see... the man selling gloves, the giggling middle school girls, the sleeping old man...

I bought a camera flash. It's an old one. Doesn't work on my camera. But that's not why I wanted it. I love doing the "ghost" shots. Here's a quick sample. More to come.

The hunt for the flash was interesting. The sales guys could never seem to understand that I didn't want it for my camera... that I just wanted the cheapest used flash they had. Finally, I found an old dude that understood what I was talking about. Then he excitedly explained to me how to take the "ghost" pictures (I didn't tell him I already knew how. Have you ever done that before? You know, let someone keep talking just to be polite?). He was a friendly guy and sold me the flash for the equivalent of $35.

Also, this giant gorilla is on a building near one of my favorite restaurants. I took a quick pic.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

The school hired a guy to come in as Santa. The kids each got a present from him (their parents sent the presents in). It was really funny actually. The picture makes me laugh. A very interesting Santa. Seemed like a nice guy though.

In class, we wrote thank you cards to our parents. My student Jihan wrote one to Santa...

Dear Santa,
Thank you for giving presents/merry christmas!
I think your just a America person!
Also rein deers can't fly!

I took a few instant pictures of the kids. We put them on cards for their parents.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Birthday Museum

It was my birthday yesterday. I'm not sure how I feel about being 25. It seems kinda old. I don't really feel old, but it sure sounds old when I say it.

My birthday was fun. Spent it doing various things and meeting with different people. It was actually kind of tiring. But good.

I got a total of 4 cakes. I think that's the most birthday cakes I've ever had. It feels good when you know people care. It makes me want to do the same for someone else.

These pics are from the National Museum of Korea. I went there on my birthday.

Before my friend and I went into the museum, we grabbed a bite to eat at the museum cafe. There were two little kids that were sitting next to us (about 5 years old). The boy was more courageous and tried out his English.

"Hi!" he said. I replied with, "Hello." He asked, "What's your name?"(in Korean). I told him Ryan and then asked, "What's your name?"(in English). To which he said, "I am happy!" Hmmm... So I asked him in Korean what his name was and he then said that his English name was Alex.

Alex and I talked a bit more... mostly in Korean. I learned his little friend was Allie. I asked if she was his little sister and she said she didn't know... so I'm assuming they're just friends. :) Alex had some funny questions like "Do you have enough money?" which he asked in Korean. Then he asked for my Korean name and I told him "sa-ja" (which means lion). He and the little girl busted up laughing at that. And it was really funny because they kept calling me "Adjushee" which basically means "Mister". I've never really been called that before.

My friend made a very thoughtful and complimentary statement at that point.

He said, "Children can usually tell if a person is bad or good very quickly. These two have decided you are a good person."

Am I good? I have my weaknesses and failings, just as everyone does. I want to be good. What does it mean to be good?...

I've made a goal to try and learn something new each day. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Christmas Production in Korea

Every class did some sort of performance. Read poems, sang songs, etc.

The presentation was outrageous... huge inflatable mushrooms, fog machines, laser lights, confetti shot into the crowd, black lights, a professional MC, the works. Very Korean. They spare no expense to make it a big show. The Korean teachers thought nothing of it, but most of us foreign teachers were shocked. It felt nothing like Christmas. Oh well, it looked cool. I liked it.

I was so proud of my kids. Somehow, the play I wrote for them "The Search for the Magic Snowball" was a hit. The kids remembered their lines and it was funny. And I heard some laughter at my music choices which made me happy ("Eye of the Tiger" for when the kids were crossing a river, "Pirates of the Caribbean" for the sword fight scene, and "We Are the Champions" for the passing of the snowball to heal the sick mom.) I let the kids choose their character, and then wrote the play around their selections.

Cast of Characters:
-A Snow Angel
-A Baker
-A Baker (the bakers are brothers in the play, best friends in real life)
-A Scholar
-A Jet Pilot
-A Snow Man
-A Snow Man (the snowmen were guardians of the magic snowball)

And for brother Steven... the motorcycle and the suit as you requested, taken with my fancy wireless camera remote...

Some pictures... I decided not to make them big this time because there are so many.