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FRIDAY MARCH 5, 2010
Expat Living is a section dedicated to the daily
living of expatriates. It is printed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. To share stories about your life abroad, send stories or story ideas to Matthew Lamers at
Submissions may be edited for length or clarity.
Asia Five Nations opens in April
By Jeremy Burks
PHOTO CHALLENGE weekly winner Feb. 28 A Kim Yu-na donut in a bakery in Seoul.
In the week that the blockbuster “Invictus” premiers in Korea, teams here are gearing up for the Asia Five Nations (a5n). With qualification for next year’s rugby world cup in New Zealand the prize for the winners, competition will be intense. “Invictus” tells the inspiring story of South Africa’s attempt to win one of the world’s great sporting trophies when the tournament was held in their country just after the fall of apartheid. It’s about Nelson Mandela’s attempt to use rugby to heal a divided nation and to convince skeptics that a democratic South Africa could work for all of its people. A natural No. 2 in Asia behind Japan, Korea really suffered in last year’s a5n tournament. Some extraordinary substitu-
tion decisions against Hong Kong meant they just squeaked out a win they should have coasted to. Poor preparation meant they lost on their visit to Kazakhstan. This year, they will be hoping for a much better performance and for a bigger impact, especially from their Japan-based players when they take on Japan. Fans wanting to catch any of this action should note the following dates: The a5n fixtures for Korea are as follows: April 24 vs. Hong Kong (away) May 1 vs. Japan (home) May 15 vs. Arabian Gulf (away) May 22 vs. Kazakhstan (home) Venue: TBC Winner: Auto qualification for Rugby World Cup Runners up: Playoff against South America (probably Uruguay) in July
International cast to present Shakespeare
By John Redmond
PHOTO CHALLENGE weekly winner March 1 Brett Crehan, an English teacher from Boston, poses in front of graffiti along the Oncheon River in Busan.
Actors Without Barders, a new theater company associated with long established group the Seoul Players, will present “A Night of Shakespeare,” beginning tomorrow night at Roofers in Itaewon beginning at 8 p.m. Comprising of a selection of scenes, sonnets and monologues from some of the Bard’s better known works, the show will also feature a scene with dialogue delivered in French from the play “Henry V.” Established late last year by Kevin Connors, Actors Without Barders is an international theater group comprised of more than 30 expat and Korean actors, directors and technicians. Connors stated that the name spells out the broad nature of the group. “The name is a play on words. As in doctors without borders and Shakespeare better known as the Bard, we put the two together,” he said by phone to the Korea Herald. He also acknowledged the company’s aim to give everyone a chance at getting involved, and was keen to give many talented actors the chance to work on some of the most challenging, rewarding and powerful dialogue and monologues ever written. “If you took the effort to turn up, we gave you a shot,” he said. Scenes will be from such diverse works as “Macbeth,” “Hamlet,” “Othello,” “Romeo
and Juliet,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Richard III.” All in all there will be more than 180 minutes of excerpts from 12 of Shakespeare’s greatest plays consisting of tragedies, comedies, history plays and sonnets. “We strived to provide a diversity of scenes,” said Connors. The show will run at Roofers in Itaewon, on the first two Saturdays of March. Organizer, Connors, said: “As an avid Shakespeare fan, I wanted to give audiences and actors in Seoul the chance to experience the drama, passion, action and humor of his work. It’s been a pleasure finding such an amazing company to bring the show to the stage, and I can’t wait for people to share The Bard’s world with us.” The show will run tomorrow and next Saturday from 8.p.m. The doors open at 7 p.m. There will be one intermission. Tickets cost 10,000 won, and there are no advanced reservations. Further information and photos contact Kevin Connors at (010) 3136-2462 or e-mail email@example.com. To get to Roofers leave Itaewon station (line 6) via exit 3 and walk straight one block, turn right at Dunkin Donuts. Walk up the hill for two blocks. Roofers is on the right, across from the Foreign Food Mart, up on the 3rd floor. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In focus: Which camera is right for you?
The Photo Challenge is sponsored by Hyosung Camera (English: 010-7203-9599) and Babo Shirts (www.baboshirts. com). Winners of the weekly competition receive a 50,000 won store credit at Hyosung Camera and a Babo Shirt. To take part in the competition, simply upload your photo at www. flickr.com/groupsseoulphotoclub — Ed.
By Aaron Raisey
So you want to buy a camera? Or perhaps you’re wondering if it is the right time to upgrade or try something new? A casual walk through any “camera central” area, such as Namdaemun or Chungmuro in Seoul, will reveal a mind-boggling and confusing array of choices. Which choice is right for you? Well, the short and easy answer to that question is, it depends. As frustratingly correct as that answer is, it doesn’t help us at all. Depends on what? It depends on you of course — the reasons you want to buy a camera. I’m deliberately being a little evasive here to make the point that before you invest a possibly
significant amount of money into a device to capture images, it’s a good idea to examine exactly why you want it, and where you see yourself going with it. The usual thought process that goes into buying a camera is “Which camera takes the best pictures?” The answer is that a camera is in no way responsible for taking good pictures, it’s your ability to wield it that determines the quality of the images you will produce. In reality, what that bewildering variety of cameras offer you aren’t varying levels of picture quality, but different options to meet your needs or help you reach your creative ends. As I mentioned before and stress now, it is actually the “why” that should be the major influence in your decision. But to provide some kind of concrete answer, the camera that probably addresses most of the reasons you might want one is the entry level DSLR, and this would be my recommendation
for almost anyone. Travel snaps? Check. Sure, it’s bigger than a point and shoot — you can’t put it in your pocket — but it’s very compact for what it is and not heavy. Creative ability? Check. Having the option to manually control the aperture or shutter speed enables you to employ some advanced techniques if you want to pursue the development of your photography. Use different lenses? Check. To leverage that creative ability, there are a wide variety of interchangeable lenses available. All-round performance? Check. There is very little to limit you in your picture-taking. Good low light performance, quality prints at larger sizes, instant feedback on results, and being digital means that getting those great pics to family and friends is very easy. Of course your budget is also a crucial factor in determining what camera you will eventually purchase, and while entry level DSLRs are not all that expensive, there are cheaper options in the form of point and shoot cameras. They are unobtrusive, fit in your pocket and despite not offering as many creative options, will still allow you to take great pictures. This
brings me to my final point. It’s important to remember that no camera can be all things to all people, and every camera has limitations in one way or another. Personally, I shoot with a totally manual, 20+ year old medium format film camera and an iPhone. Each has disadvantages when compared to even entry level DSLRs, but each has special advantages too. The film camera is large, unwieldy, slow to use and requires everything to be done manually. But through it I get a sense of satisfaction and immersion in the photographic process I feel is missing with modern autoeverything cameras. The iPhone gives me control over nothing except the most crucial element — composition — but does allow me some limited processing options in-phone and the ability to upload or send that image immediately. Likewise, whatever kind camera you see as filling your needs — be it a $5 disposable film camera, a $100 digital point and shoot, or a $2500 high-end DSLR — will allow you to produce great images if used effectively.
The bottom line that many people don’t like to hear is that getting a “better” camera won’t make better pictures in much the same way a faster car doesn’t make you a better driver. Perhaps you will buy more options and better performance in some areas, but this in no way equates to magically improved driving skills nor magically better pictures. The “right” camera is the one that best meets your specific needs. For some it will be the fact that it fits in your pocket and for others it will be the ability to produce quality meterwide prints. Carefully consider your motivations and requirements before opening your wallet as you are the determining factor in the quality of your photographs, not that camera. Getting to know and working with your camera’s limitations means you can go a long way to getting the best from it and producing results that in no way makes those limitations apparent. You can check out quality images from a wide variety of cameras over at the Seoul Photo Club on Flickr. (email@example.com)
Written by Clayton Foster; Illustrated by Lino Divas; Typography by greenbuddha.com; Concept by Tiger and Bear in association with Spark Media (2009)