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Updated: 1 hour 40 min ago

The cat, kitten and the dog

20 hours 47 min ago

Its been an interesting few weeks at home, lockdown and all, but more so due to the pets at home. So, first of all, a fawn labrador retriever has become an important member of our family. He'll be 4 on April 10th. He's awesome- he understands every word we say or don't say. More about this sweet guy in a later post. But the hullabaloo a few days back was because we had an interesting guest at home. The stray cat who thinks she owns us and our home brought her little kitten who hadn't even opened her eyes! After an exciting photo session, she disappeared. Yet again.

Then yesterday she reappears but without her kitty. But she wouldn't stop meowing. We discover that the kitty has somehow lodged herself inside a tiny rectangular hole in the car!! Dh, quick and dextrous with hands was able to pull her out of the hole in the car. Again, after the mandatory photo op, she was showing off her baby when the mother-of-all-tests arrived. Dhrish, our lab, made an extensive check over the situation through a thorough sniffing test to the new attraction. The kitty passed and we have a consensus at home now. The cat, kitten and the dog are happy together.

Dh has kindly named the kitten. Mitten when she's still a kitten, Mat when she is a cat!

My takeaway from The Book Thief

Wed, 2020-04-01 01:35

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Death is a great equalizer.

And when Death decides to narrate a story, not about a jewel thief (which is exciting and which would feed Him well) or a bread thief (which is heartbreaking but which will undoubtedly satiate Him) but a Book Thief, you kind of wonder why.

Is it because she's an innocent little 10year old girl? Is it because of her indelible encounter with Death so early in her tender life? Is it because of her selfless actions that help people around her cope up with the copious amounts of death and destruction around? Is Death in love with words himself that he finds The Book Thief interesting and exciting? Are the solid characters who tempt and tantalize The Book Thief an inspiration for Death? Maybe all of it. I think.

Set in a WWII era in Nazi Germany, the story unfolds the hardships and suffering endured by the Germans themselves as they toil and sweat through the drudgery of war. Though the story is set in melancholic times, it does have a fair bit of fun under the cloudy grey skies, a bit of romance with a person and a thing, a little heist planned and executed, and a lot of pain-killing words in books. A thriller under the Nazi flag under the stairs, unusual bonds from unusual places, strong, dependable unconditional love and a great many insults in German carelessly strewn about add up to make it a breezy read! 

The words were loaded, interesting and metaphorical making it thought-provoking and reflective. I went through periods of gloom and despair along with feelings of optimism and rejuvenation of faith for the human race falling into the depths of this book. But I loved that this was my first read on WWII! I would cool off with a lighter, sweeter Gerald Durrell next though :)

Covid conversations

Tue, 2020-03-31 02:38
Talking to a workaholic dad about the MOAB virus!The italicized words are the keywords that we've been hearing day in and day out ever since we've encountered the novel corona virus- covid 19.

March 10th 2020 Primary schools closed in IndiaDear dad, this new corona virus doesn’t seem to be relentingPrimary schools have been closed, maybe you should consider social distancing?****!#!****Of course, you should look after your customers, you should fulfill your obligationsMaybe you can try out phone call solicitations?It’s just that the virus is going viral and the epidemiologists aren’t reassuring
March 11th 2020 WHO declares Covid to be a PandemicDaddy, you know what? WHO has upgraded covid to a Pandemic.It is important that you don’t venture out, definitely not to a clinic.No more hugging your friends, just greet them with a namasteNor should we put our lives on the hands of farishte!Let’s get started with it, dad- let’s stay at home, Let’s protect our rishte!
March 14th 2020 America declares national emergencyAppa, Indians are stuck around the world including Atlanta;They could have been in Florida, enjoying the fiesta!No fun and games even though it’s the spring break,Right now, it is just important we don’t ignore a throat ache.The number of infections mustn't surge and flattening of the curve we must undertake.
March 19th 2020 X and XII Exams are cancelledExams are now cancelled for X and XII and rightfully so;This covid is a menace, but does it affect places that’s cold and with lots of snow?No, daddy, no, that doesn’t mean that it won’t affect places that are hotBetter to stay away from information pollution and fake news than not.The virus is bound to mutate, though, I hope it doesn’t find its epicentre in this spot.
March 22nd Janata curfewOh! Daddy! India is trying something new. We are willingly going under a lockdownNo one is to come out of their homes even after sundown.The infected people have been quarantined,Masks and ventilators will soon be in high need.Hope and pray that the people are washing hands and paying heed.
March 25th National Lockdown IndiaWhat an unprecedented occasion, to mitigate a death-trap situation21 days of #stayhome to #staysafe to overcome this conditionNo herd immunity technique, not for us,Oh, Look, Dad, maybe the hole in the ozone layer will close during all this buzz!And we have more fika and connect with Nature in her superfluousness!
March 29th Exodus of migrant workers
Oh dad, people are staying home, people are hoardingEvery day laborers have nowhere to go except their hometown- all the way, they've started walking.How can we get them home safe and secure? When can we produce the antigen?Can we try the Japanese Amabie to scare off the pathogen?The world's completely gone empty, including the Eiffel tower and the Vatican!
(To be continued)

How to learn Korean Numbers?

Sun, 2020-03-29 21:43

Korean numbers are counted in 2 different systems.sino korean system and native korean system. The number in korean is known as 숫자 – Sutja. First of all, let’s learn some Korean number related names or terms that are used for the calculation of numbers.

Plus is 더하기 in Korean

Subtraction is 빼기  in Korean

Multiplication is 곱하기 in Korean Division is 나누기 in Korean nattive number sino number
1 하나 hana 일 EEl
2 둘 Dul 이 EE
3 셋 Sam 삼 Sam
4 넷 net 사 sa
5 다섯 Daseot 오 wo
6 여섯 Yesoet 육 Yuk
7 일곱 Ilgop 칠 Chhil
8 여덟 Yedeolp 팔 Fal
9 아홉 Aahop 구 Gu
10 열 Yeol 십 Sip How do you count to 10 in Korean?

1 하나 / 일
2 둘 / 이
3 셋 / 삼
4 넷 / 사
5 다섯 / 오
6 여섯 / 육
7 일곱 / 칠
8 여덟 / 팔
9 아홉 / 구
10 열 / 십


How do Koreans read phone numbers?

01044294220 is 공 일 공 사 사 이 구 사 이 이 공. While saying zero people normally say 공 instead of 영. Sometimes phone numbers are also used in the Native number system.

South Korea emergency Numbers
119 일 일 구. which is used to contact fire station or Medical.
112 is used to report crime and contact police
120 is to  Provide information for foreign residents to adjust life in Seoul.

Here is a Korean counters list with English pronunciations. The list consists of korean numbers in English.

일{ Il} 1십{ sib} 10백{ Baek} 100천{ cheon} 1,000                                 One Thousand 만 { man} 10,000십만 {sib man} 100,000백만 { Baek man}1,000,000                  One million천만 { cheon man} 10,000,000 억 { uck} 100,000,000십억 { sib uck} 1,000,000,000               One Billion백억{ baek uck} 10,000,000,000천억 {cheon uck} 100,000,000,000 조 {jo} 1,000,000,000,000                     One Trillion십조{sib – jo} 10,000,000,000,000백조 { Baek – jo} 100,000,000,000,000천조 { cheon – jo} 1,000,000,000,000,000


(Ep 72) COVID-19 and Friends PT. 2

Sun, 2020-03-29 15:20
We’re back folks! Plans have changed and I’m sticking around in Korea for the undetermined future. I’ve decided to turn Covid-19 and Friends into a series. Chris Tharp, Sam Hazelton and I get together two weeks later to continue talking about the coronavirus and politics. Sam and Tharp tell me about Tiger King, and we review the new Bob Dylan song. We talk about the hilarity of male nudity, and discuss the stupidest things each one of us said in the last episode. We’re having fun. As always, if you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it, and please leave a review on iTunes or whatever app you listen to podcasts on. I’d really appreciate it!

 Nothing's Really Real Podcast:  Soundcloud    Stitcher
 @NothingsReally     @nothings.really.real

FilmLog: Developing Film in Korea

Fri, 2020-03-27 21:02
FilmLog: Developing Film in Korea

If you remember a little while ago, I wrote about how to buy a film camera in Korea. If you haven’t read that, please take the time to read that now, if you want. In that post I talked about a wonderful shop near the Dongdaemun Design Plaza called FilmLog.

After picking up the cameras, I set out to test each one. This was a great experience and a needed one. I soon found out that my Canon G-III, needs new light seals. Shooting film really puts you into a pure photography mode. You are not relying on the computer in the camera at all and that really pushes you to be careful about each shot.

Sending in The Film

Once I had my 2 rolls completed, I sent them off to FilmLog. Now, if you lived in Seoul you could just head down to the shop and hand them in yourself. However, I live in Ulsan, so the method was a little different. However, it was not all that hard either.

one camera that I picked up needs to have the light seals replaced.

Basically all you have to do is send them the film and their address and instructions is in the FAQ section of there site. Click here for that information. The info is in Korean but it is all there. Just clock on the second question from the top. Also, they do speak English, so if you have any questions you can call them or leave a message via their site.

Once you send in the film, you must transfer the money. I just wanted to test the service so I went with a basic develop and scan. For black and white film, this cost me about 8,000 won per roll and around 3, 000 won for the shipping.

The Wait

The film got to the shop in about 3 days. Due to the fact that I sent in Black and White film, I was told that it would take about a week. The communication was amazing and in English.

When FilmLog received my film and payment, they gave me a call and let me know that I have to fill out a form on their site. Once that was done, they responded immediately letting me know when my films would be available to download.

Almost a week to the day, I received text messages letting me know that my images were ready. I logged in and it was amazing.

The Downloads

One of the great things about FilmLog is the fact that you have your images scanned and you can see them there on the site. You can also order prints from there as well.

Your photos appear in a set with the roll of film that you used. You then can cycle through each of the prints and download the ones that you want. You can also delete the crappy ones too.

The overall layout and ease of use is unlike anything that I have seen. That goes without saying for FilmLog as they are completely amazing and I love it. From their film vending machines to the amazing customer service, I will be using for a long time to come.

The bottomline here is that FlimLog is a great service to have in Korea and at reasonable prices. I can’t say enough good things about this shop. You really have to try them out. I certainly will be trying them out soon as I want to run a couple more rolls of film through these new cameras.

Check out their site here. This was not a paid piece, I simply really like their serive and I want you guys to check them out too.

The post FilmLog: Developing Film in Korea appeared first on The Sajin.


Seascapes: Shooting and Workflow

Thu, 2020-03-26 21:49

When you live in a place like Korea, you are surrounded by beautiful coastlines. Where I live, I can almost see the ocean from my apartment. So, shooting seascapes is something that is quite easy to do. However, it is not as simple as heading out and pressing a button. Here is how I shoot my seascapes.

Planning and Prep

Before I head out for any photo shoot I always have some sort of a plan of what I want to shoot. It is a little more involved than “shooting a pretty sunrise” or something like that. The first step is to check on the weather.

This is one of the more important factors here as the weather will dictate what kind of image you are going to get and especially with seascapes. Keep in mind, that you don’t have to have perfect weather for a good seascape shot. Clear skies also don’t make for a very interesting seascape either.

Once you check the location, use an app like Photopills or the Photographer’s Ephemeris to find the location of the sun in accordance to your intended location. This will allow you to pre-plan where you should go. For shots like the ones I have done recently, knowing the location of the sun in advance helps a great deal.

Location and Safety

One of the biggest challenges with seascape photography is the fact that if you are not careful you can get into some pretty serious danger. The reason being is that at times the ocean can be unpredictable and either you or your gear can get swept away if you are not paying attention.

First and foremost, don’t risk your life for a shot. I highly doubt anyone reading this blog is going to be taking a shot that is so valuable or amazing that they would risk their lives for. Simply put, it is not worth it.

An example of this is the other morning. I went out to shoot some interesting rock formations about 45 minutes away from my place in Ulsan. When I got there, there was a photographer on the rocks already. Of course, he was in a great spot but it was also a dangerous one in my opinion.

It was also off limits because it was dangerous and the fact that just getting down to that location in the dark would have been crazy. At any rate, I just decided to shoot from the path above as the sun was coming up as I got there anyway.

Locations should always be planned with a shot in mind unless you are scouting. That means that when you get to the location at whatever time that you’ve decided to shoot, you should always have a shot in mind. You can get creative and work the location to make the shot happen, but you should always have something in mind. It may not be 100% in the planning stage but it should be solid by the time that you get set up.

Sunrises and Sunsets

When most people think of seascapes, the think of a beautiful sunrise or sunset with a sandy beach and whatnot. Who doesn’t? It is beautiful to the point of being a bit cliche. However, don’t let that stop you. Just find a way to put your own stamp on it.

The first tips that I have here is to start shooting during the end of blue hour and the start of the golden hour. This is before the sunrise and after the sunset. The reason here is that you can put on a 10-stop filter and really smooth out the water. If the sun is in the shot you may turn it into some sort of oblong shape.

Also, the colours are amazing during those times. Especially, in the early mornings if you are lucky, the colour will explode just before the sun comes up.

Mid-Day Photos

I talked about mid-day photography before but this is really useful for nice days at the beach. While you may think that it is all about sunrises and sunset, puffy clouds and blue skies are great from seascapes. Again, it goes back to what you want to express. Sometimes, those mid-day shots really resonate with people. It reminds them of their days at the beach with family. Few people hit the seaside at 5 am.

So, don’t shy away from these kinds of shots. If you slept in but the day looks great. Grab your gear and go. This could be a great exercise in storytelling. Also, bring your polarizer to get those skies nice and blue.


This is where you can start to tell your story. It is not just about the sunrise or sunset. It is also not just about the ocean and the horizon, either. I have seen too many photographs, including my own, with the horizon centred and not much of anything going on.

So here is where you can follow the basic rules of composition and see what works. However, I would start by keeping things simple. If the foreground is interesting, then tilt the camera down and focus on that. If they sky has some amazing clouds or colour, drop that horizon and get more of the sky in.

Another thing to try is to get down low and see how that goes. Get as close as you safely can to the water and try some images there. The trick here is to experiment and improve on the story that you want to tell. Don’t just walk up with your camera and pop off a few shots thinking that because you have a new camera that it will magically make a great image for you.


Once you get back, grab some coffee or take a nap while you upload your photos. Then get cracking on the edits. Again, this all goes back to your story and what you want to show. Photoshop or lightroom can’t fix a crappy photo. However, these day Luminar 4 probably can make a massive improvement…

The trick here is to bring out what you want in an image. For really colourful sunsets, I shoot bracketed images and use Aurora HDR 2019 to bring everything together. I then tweak the image in lightroom. I should point out that many of the programs that I use are plugins inside of lightroom. The reason being is that I like the organization and once you are finished editing in say Luminar 4, it will go back into the lightroom catalog.

The big thing that you really have to watchout for is the horizon. Is it straights and level? The process that I use is fairly straightforward and goes like this:


The reason that I work this way is that the profile correction will remove and distortion from the image and then the auto upright typically will do a good job of straightening the horizon too. You can also hit R and use the auto in the crop section as well. Not to mention you can click on the level tool and draw a line across the horizon if the auto feature doesn’t work.

The bottom line here is that seascapes are a great and accessible way to get some great landscape shots. It is a rewarding exercise if you are looking to test out that 10-stop filter too.

People are always enamoured by the sheer vastness of the sea and it’s beauty. As a photographer, it is your job to show this in your images. How you do that is up to you but I hope that this post can give you some ideas.

The post Seascapes: Shooting and Workflow appeared first on The Sajin.

Changes in the World.

Wed, 2020-03-25 17:51
Some people lap on the daily routines, take sanctuary in regular habits, fall prey to the usual conventions. Not me, I thought. I like adventure. I crave change. I want different. Every day, every moment, no routine for me, no siree! Or so, I thought. 
The change the world has brought to us isn't the change I wanted or craved or thirsted for, I guess.  But then, can you have changes that you approve of? Can you set standards or levels for the change you approve of? Changes just barge into our lives. Sometimes as a sweet surprise of a welcome guest or sometimes just as a shocking discovery of an unexpected infestation. Sometimes we let the change in and let it reshape us, our attitudes and ourselves. Sometimes we bang the door on it, resist it and try to alter it. Either way, it gets in. 
This pandemic, it's different, it is reshaping the world, it is scary. Though we have people holed safe, sound and comfy in their homes, it's is a difficult, dangerous, nerve-wrecking world for a lot many. But then, the change is here. 

No point in wishing it away. Just need to do the next thing to do. The right thing to do. Let the changes descend on us and let the world recuperate back to its original glory.