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Of the few people I consider to be my inspiration and guides, my dad is solidly standing at the top. Not only is he a fair, logical and honest man, his sharp wits and seemingly never-ending source of quotations have helped me better myself countless times. Whenever I’ve felt stuck or difficult, he has a way to get me to find an answer.

Never shying away from speaking the truth no matter how difficult it may be to hear —and say—, my dad has always been a strong supporter to me. Although he’d rather see me stop “fiddling with code” and go photography full-time. But I digress.

I am truly honored and blessed to have a father as intelligent, cool and awesome as my dad. I’ll never consider myself as good or accomplished as him, but whenever I realize I picked up something from him I say to myself; There, I got a little closer.

Plus, he looks like a bloody gorgeous movie star, so suck it, people. I win.

Technical details:
I had a certain vision for his portrait photo, and minor focus issues aside, I think it came out pretty well. Thanks for helping me with this project, Dad. I know how much you enjoy sitting in front of a lens ;-).

Photo made with a Mamiya 645 1000s and 80mm lens on Ilford XP2 ISO 400 film. Shot with natural light in the living room of my parents’ home.

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Part two of my new Portrait series introduces Lieneke, my beautiful, smart and funny big little sister. Big because she’s older, little because, well, she’s tiny ;-).

I’ve witnessed my sister go through many a thing, from very good to very bad. What I admire in her is her resilience and positive attitude; she always lands on her feet, and as better person than before at that.

She’s a cat lover —like myself— which I believe says a lot about her character. Of course she also loves dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and has owned and lived with all of the aforementioned. No matter how small her (many, *many*) apartments were, there’s always room for a stray cat or dog-with-a-difficult-past.

After some all-too-natural reluctance, she agreed to pose for my new project. Without any kind of guidance, she found the pose you see here. That’s her, my big sister, right there.

Anyone who knows her will agree when I say; having her in your life is a joy and absolute honor. Thank you for this.

I love you, Lien.

Technical details; Photo made with a Mamiya 645 1000s and 80mm lens on Ilford XP2 ISO 400 film. Shot with natural (and too little) light in my mom’s hobby room.

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Introducing a new project of mine; portraits. My first attempts were less than perfect, having missed focus and generally making them a wee bit too dark, but I’m a big fan of the results anyway, probably more because of the subject at hand rather than my part messing up the settings ;).

Starting off is my beautiful little sister, who kindly (and only slightly reluctantly) allowed me to make a photo of her when I visited holland not too long ago. Considering this was a bit awkward for the both of us (I rarely do staged photos), I think she did admirably well, showing her beautiful and all-natural, honest smile.

Thank you, Roos. I’m honored and happy to have you as my little sister. High-five! :-)

Technical details; Photo made with a Mamiya 645 1000s and 80mm lens on Ilford XP2 ISO 400 film. Shot with natural (and too little) light in the living room of my parents’ home.

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Iri (이리) is a slow-paced, almost photo-like movie about agony, suffering and the apparent complete lack of human kindness in a small town that suffered a great tragedy many years ago. The end of the movie cuts to black with end credits slowly rolling by without any music or sound effect, very fitting to the entire mood of the movie.

Starting mid-way through, you sort of get the feeling a little too much bad stuff happens. The movie, too, has three separate instances of rape, making it more difficult for me to recommend this to others, especially as the story itself is already more of a “moment in the life of” rather than something that has a clear beginning, middle and end.

The cinematography is rather interesting. Rather than dynamic, moving scenes, most every scene is a (sometimes very) long take from a fixed position. At times, the camera makes a very slow 180 degree pan around, but not much more than that.

Acting, too, is very good. Not a moment did I get pulled out of the moment. The brother barely talks, and instead communicates almost completely through body movements, or the lack of them. His cropped up anger, frustration and hopelessness is expressed very well through this. As for the sister, her sometimes near expressionless face/pose, interestingly enough, expresses very much. It saddens you to look at her go through life almost like a stray cat, with the occasional people walking by figuratively kicking her, her brother included (perhaps less figuratively so, but I digress).

In the end, I enjoyed most parts of this movie, but it did put my patience to the test. Be ready to look at long scenes of people cleaning, walking, or simply sitting. Or, in short, life.

6.8/10.

iMDB | Hancinema

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Sooner or later I’ll find my photography inspiration again. For now, though, a small moment in time, to remember that what is so easily forgotten; peace.

“Always complaining, never changing.”
-Yours truly.

It surprises me how many people in this world are fully capable of noticing problems, yet never even attempt to try to fix things. At least those who don’t notice the problem could claim ignorance, but what is your excuse? What right do you have complaining about a problem, while sitting back, not even attempting to fix it? That, to me, makes you worse than the problem.

Grow a voice, or shut the fuck up.

For the past 27 years I’ve been making mistakes, learning from them (occasionally), and generally doing the same thing over again. I’ve expressed my opinion, spoken the truth even when a lie would’ve been so much easier for all parties involved, caught a liar, listened to unspoken words, understood a person by listening, tried my best to be honest, fair, loyal, reasonable and forgiving, and pressured others on occasion to the same. And, of course, I’ve also done the opposite of all the aforementioned, maybe more often than not.

When I look at what I am, who I am, my failures and how I’ve dealt with them, my successes and what I’ve learned from them, I can’t help but see my parents’ involvement in each and every part of this. For this, I am, was and always will be grateful. For them, I am writing this letter. A thank you — nay, a thank you.

Today, thirteen thousand, five hundred and fourteen days ago, my parents said “I do” to each other, perhaps not even realising fully the power those two words would have (or, one, or, five, depending on what words they actually chose to say. Contrary to what age my “old soul” may indicate, I wasn’t around to witness this in-person just yet). Thirty seven years together, on this very day. In a way, a number that is hard to fathom for someone who’s been wobbling about only two-thirds of this time they’ve lived, yelled, laughed and held hands together.

And, yes, five children. They’re surprisingly Christian, for people who are not Christian.

I’ve seen my parents get through many a thing. Some things simply devastating, others slowly and methodically tried to break them, hurt them deeply, wound them. But they’ve gotten through it all, and then some. Whenever I feel down, weak, hopeless or simply awful, I reminisce, think about the many moments they must’ve felt the same or, probably, worse, and how they got through. Their strength and perseverance, their hope, and their thirty seven years of togetherness have given me the strength to carry on, to find hope where at times I thought none existed. They are, without a shadow of a doubt, my role models and my pride.

I’ve been living in Korea for nearly five years now. The day I left Holland I felt very similar to my father who, at a young age, did the same thing when he left for New Zealand by boat. six months on a boat, and six more months actually in New Zealand later, he was on his way back, to where my mom was. His and my journey started in similar ways, though they’ve since gone rather different routes. I’ve managed to find a girl half-way across the globe who somehow has some very striking similarities with my mother (I CANNOT ESCAPE YOU LEAVE ME ALO– ahem, pardon.), and I am here, being more and more like my father in a country filled with people who would very much prefer I wasn’t.

And that, as they say, is the beauty of life. The growing similarities between you and your parents, the growing realisations that while, yes, you are more similar, you too are very much not the same just yet. Next time I’ll do better, dad.

I love you, mom and dad. Happy thirty seventh anniversary.

- Your proud and lucky to have you as parents middle son.

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Sigh, gadgets..

B-side:

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“Everybody is lonely in their own way.”
- Me

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Every now and then I ride the bike, most often to and from Youn-hee’s house. With weather as hot and humid as Korea has, it’s both a blessing and pure torture to ride the bike. The minute you stop riding (traffic light, random children suddenly running across the street with parents not blinking nor saying a thing about it, etc.), you’re suddenly smacked right in the face with hotness, to which your body tends to respond by turning itself into an instant waterfall generator.

But other than that.. it’s kind of nice ;-).

(Nikon D7000 w/ Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.2)

on YouTube, or Direct Download (720p H.264, 76mb).

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I recently started going to the PC room to play a game with Youn-hee (Left 4 Dead 2, in case you’re wondering). It’s been a few years since I went, and it’s nice to be able to enjoy a game together on a screaming fast computer.

The other night a mom and her child came to the PC room and the child sat down next to us, and he looked so cute, surrounded by teenagers and tweeners playing shooting games, MMORPGs and what-not, eating noodles and chips and drinking sodas. 

It’s an interesting world, at times.

(Nikon D7000 w/ Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.2)

on Vimeo, or Direct Download (720p H.264, 290mb).

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