Sunday, April 28, 2013

from mackerel in a faraway market to desert blooms...

Yesterday, I was honored to find out that this photo ("Mackerel in the Market") is featured in this week's showcase that The App Whisperer curates...

I took this photo a couple of summers ago while visiting the coastal city of Sokcho, just south of the DMZ on the east coast of South Korea. Reminded of this market scene a few days ago, I decided to re-snapseed it. I was a bit surprised that the main thing I wanted to do was to de-saturate the image--normally, you tend to want to add color intensity, but the color of the fresh mackerel and the plastic buckets was already so vivid, that I thought the picture would benefit from slightly less color--but then I did warm up the white balance a bit...Below is the original.

When I was in the market, I loved the fact that this husband-and-wife team had a baseball-game on in the background as they worked on the day's catch...

Nearby, part of the waterfront, with the mountains of Seoraksan National Park in the background:

I am just starting to experiment with the Scratchcam app. I am wary of 'over-apping,' (slapping a filter on a scene does not necessarily a 'good image' make), but I have come to like textures...So, after reading some blog posts and interviews with mobile photographers whose images I've been admiring, I added Scratchcam to my iPhone...

...And scenes from Sokcho, again, came to mind. Sokcho is scenically-situated, but it definitely ain't quaint; it's a working port with lax zoning laws. Although it's near some spectacular mountains, the town itself is not a particular draw for visitors from outside of Korea; I ended up there a couple of summers ago because an uncle of mine had moved there...And while the town's modern architecture is haphazard (and at times breathtakingly ugly), there are some historically interesting neighborhoods, the air is clean, and the seafood is amazing...

So. The bridge--I liked the idea of the segmented texture overlaid on a panorama.

...the original, three-shots-blended-by-AutoStitch:

The neighborhood around this bridge, directly north of where I was staying, was originally settled in the 1950's, during the Korean War: refugees from the North built small--what they thought would be temporary--homes. Then, when the war stopped and the DMZ was drawn, they ended up stranded here. People who had farmed the same lands for generations found themselves now on a spit of land between a lagoon and the sea...and their ad hoc construction became their new homes. In the decades since then, the neighborhood has filled in even more--a dense, utilitarian, poignant hodge-podge:

--snapseed, then Scratchcam, then snapseed again, for this edit.
And here's the original:
Compared to the now-internationally-known images of Seoul (via "Gangnam-style"), this part of Sokcho is like stepping back in time...


Now, back to where home is now: the Sonoran Desert...

One of my favorite desert flowers around Tucson, "sacred datura:"
Solely snapseed for this edit.

I often take my iPhone with me on my long weekend morning runs, and there's a spot in Sabino Canyon where there's almost always a bunch of these blooming from April through December. Each flower lasts for just a day--opening at night, and within a few hours of the following sunrise, closing up, finished... 

Before the 'grunge'-filter texturizing:
Purple-tinged and almost lunar..

Here's one that's closed up after having bloomed,
with a new bud underneath:
post-bloom and pre-bloom; point, counterpoint...

(the original)

With PicFrame--different ways of seeing:
the original...b&w...

...and then for the bottom two variations, I went back to Scratchcam...

This image was chosen for this week's "Capturing the Moment" showcase by

After initial cropping and editing for exposure with snapseed, I chose this particular Scratchcam texture for its geometrical qualities; I like the contrast of the overlay of 'folds' on the tendril-tipped hexagonal flower. Each rectangular 'segment' of the scene could almost stand on its own as a study of texture- or color-detail. The bottom right--with the previous day's spent bloom in the shadow of its fully open 'sibling' on this particular morning--seems, to me, to be a 'memento mori:' a foil to the largest and brightest rectangular section to its left, so full of light and life.


Something less somber--
effervescent spring: a bee in a palo verde tree:

(kind of going for a Japanese wood-block on Korean-paper effect here...)

This time of year, my wife and I do miss the cherry blossoms up in Seattle, 
but in their own way, the palo verde here almost make up for it...

And, turning things upside down,
a reflective moment in the canyon:

featured on AMPt's twitter challenge this week.

One last image--

yesterday's #fmsPhotoADay challenge theme was "earth;"
I couldn't resist the word- and visual-play,
so I used the TinyPlanets app to
manipulate a scene from a few weeks ago
at the Mission San Xavier del Bac:
 "Mission on Earth."

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