1) What kind of dog is Holly? Male or female?

    Female, Boston Terrier

2) How old is she?

    She was born on April 19th, 2009

3) How much does she weigh?

    11.8 kg or about 26 lbs

4) When and why did you come to Korea?

    I came here in November of 2002. Why? That’s a long story, I’ll try to keep it brief but I can’t make any promises. I came here for a new experience. I wanted to challenge myself. I had never been outside of the US and I’d never taught students at that point. Before coming to Korea I worked in the IT department of an international manufacturing company for about 2 years. I did not like that job much and I wasn’t very good at it, but I did learn an important lesson which was that I never want to work a typical 9-5 office job again. I often encourage my students now in a job interview skills class that I teach at my university to get as many different experiences (internships, part-time jobs, volunteer work) as you can to not only pad your resume and find out what you want to do, but also to find out what you don’t want to do. This manufacturing company that I worked at was very similar to the movie Office Space – we had TPS Reports and daily problems with the copy machines (PC Load Letter). I never knew what I was going to be doing on any given day. Some days I would sit there for 8 hours and do absolutely nothing other than brush up on 1980s baseball player stats and chat with Matt Arden on Yahoo IM. I had 3-4 different people in various departments who might have been my boss, but I was never really sure. Anyway, it was time for a new start.
    I came to Korea in 2002 and started working for an academy in Gangnam, Seoul (yes, the Gangnam of “Gangnam Style”). By the way, when you see a Korean word that contains an “a”, it is usually a short “a” as in “father”. Continuing on, I made a lot of great friends, enjoyed teaching and was quite good at it, and within 3 months I fell in love with a coworker. We ended up dating for about 5 years and enjoyed living and working here together. After 5 years we (I) fell out of love but at that point I had a really good job at a university just outside of Seoul in Yongin (hi to all my friends from there!) and was just about done with my master’s degree in education. After a couple years at that university I moved on to my current job at Chung-ang University (remember the short “a” thing) in Seoul, where I’ve been since 2010.

5) Why don’t you speak Korean better?

    That’s a great question!

6) How did you become a photographer?

7) What kind of camera do you use?

    The question everyone wants to know. Alright, here we go.

    Camera Bodies
    Nikon D810
    Nikon D70 (infrared)
    Nikon F4 (film)
    Pentax 6×7 (film)
    Leica M3 (film)
    Holga 120GTLR (film)
    Apple IPhone 6

    Samyang (short “a”) 12mm f/2.8 fisheye
    Nikon 20mm f/1.8 G
    Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AIS
    Nikon 58mm f/1.4 G
    Nikon 70-200mm f/4 G
    Rodenstock APO-Rodagon D 75mm f/4 (for scanning film)
    SMC Pentax 55mm f/4
    SMC Takumar 105mm f/2.4 (with the radioactive lens elements, beautiful lens)
    SMC Pentax 165mm f/2.8
    Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron

    Lee Foundation Kit
    Lee 2 Stop GND Soft
    Lee Big Stopper 10 Stop ND
    Singh Ray 2 Stop Reverse GND
    Singh Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer (review of this filter coming soon)
    Hoya HMC 3 Stop ND
    Hoya R72 Infrared
    Heliopan Digital ES Orange (for B/W film)
    B&W Orange Filter

    Manfrotto 055CXPRO3
    Manfrotto 498RC4 Ballhead

    Case Logic SLRC-206 (an old cheapie that I’ve been trying to replace, but it just won’t die)
    ThinkTank Retrospective 10

    I have a lot of other little bits and bobs that I use (shutter release cables, rain covers, etc.) but that’s my main gear

8) Can you eat spicy food?

    Yes, I love spicy food, especially Indian!

9) What is your favorite or most important piece of gear?

    Not listed above, my automobile – a 2003 Kia Retona

10) Do you have a favorite picture that you’ve taken?

    Well, that changes often. I guess at the moment, the one I have on my computer background:

Foggy Morning in Korea

11) Do you have a nickname?

    Cereal Killer

12) Who are some of your favorite photographers?

    Michael Kenna, Josef Hoflehner, Saul Leiter, Hengki Koentjoro, Elliott Erwitt, Martin Parr, and Fan Ho

13) What are some of your favorite places to shoot in Korea?

    That’s tough, so many. Seosan, Gyoungju coastline, Sokcho and Goseong, Namhae, and Gochang to name a few

14) Where can I see a collection of your best work?

15) Why do you like/love photography?

    A great question, I will list some random thoughts that come to mind.

    First of all, I don’t take pictures because I love Korea. One of the most common comments I get from people when they look at my pictures is “Oh, you must really love Korea!”. This does not mean that I dislike Korea. I love living here, otherwise I wouldn’t have lived here so long. But that has no strong connection to my love for photography and I would try to make the best pictures that I could regardless of where I live. So,

    I like open space. I like nature and fresh air. I like observing. I like the feeling that I am overcome with when I am out taking pictures. I like not knowing what I will see that day. I like exercise and eating various countryside foods after a sunrise shoot. I like seeing a moment that is so (fill in the blank with just about any adjective) that it seems surreal. I like experimenting and failing in order to learn and improve. I like connecting with a scene. I like deciding what to include in a frame. I like deciding what to leave out of a frame. I like deciding how to arrange the elements in a frame to tell a compelling story. I like sharing my experiences with you.


Well, there you have it folks – those are the 15 questions that I most often receive. If you have any comments or other questions please leave them below and I’ll get back to you. Have a nice day!

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