InstaFocus is a weekly Q+A curated by @astrodub.
One of the first people I followed on Instagram is Philip Park (@komeda) from Korea. His monotone posts evoke a certain calm that I became engrossed by. The added bonus in his photography is the human element, which is mostly defined by the big scale of the surrounding landscapes or structures.
Where are you in the world and how long have you been on Instagram ?
I live in Namyangju, a suburb outside of Seoul, but I commute to the city for work. Those two different places are main scenes of my pics. I posted my first pic on Instagram on October 8th, 2010. Actually I am the 428th registered member of this community.
That’s impressive. Tell us how you got into photography.
I’m just a hobbyist and never gave serious thought to photography. I don’t have too much time for a photo walk. Most of my photos are taken around my dayly life: during lunch time, commute, and family weekend trip. Ten years ago, my doctor told me that I needed to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. On my doctor’s advice, I started walking around my workplace, and one day my wife bought me a Lomo LC-A film camera to carry with me while I walked. My wife checked the film once a month to keep track of my walking. This was my first experience with photography.
You were one of the first people I followed on Instagram. I was drawn to the geometry, symmetry and general feel of serenity in your pictures, as well as the people hiding in them. Why only black and white or sepia?
As you mentioned, one or two people appear in my pictures. I try to express my emotions and feelings through the people in my images. Traditionally, Korea was a tight-knit community, but the process of industrialization has trapped Seoul in concrete walls. Most people feel solitude in this city, and I’m also not free from this feeling. In order to express this feeling in a straightforward way, to see things as they really are, I always set my camera at eye-level and emphasize a single person (or sometimes a couple) against the background of the city. Some may imagine that the person I capture in my photos is me, or some may empathizes with my photos. Sharing emotion and feeling is part of the reason I take photos. Monotone or BW images are just my simple way to express these feelings.
Indeed, the mood transfers through. Great execution. What cameras and apps do you use to edit your photos on Instagram?
I have several cameras: DSLR, TLR and RF, but mostly I use a small digital camera and the iPhone 4S. I use Snapseed to edit my pics.
Finally, whose posts do you look forward in seeing in your feed? Name your top 5 IGers.
It is not easy to say only 5 IGers. I would just like to introduce some of my old IG friends that I have known since I signed up. Dimitris Karathanos (@dimitriskarathanos), Eros Sana (@eros_sana), Millo Salgado (@mifjuz), Mikho Misho (@mikhomisho), Thomas Kakareko (@thomas_k). Their steady posts and warm heart will always be welcome by me.
Thank you Philip for taking the time to share with Instagram NYC. Keep on walking and snapping those beautiful images.