The person who owns this bicycle is a regular visitor to this countryside seniors’ centre. The bicycle is often parked out front next to the entrance.
   I made this photo with Foma’s black and white slide film. The film is cheap, but processing costs three times what regular black and white does. Also, the photos came out a bit flat. Lightroom saves the day with the ‘punch’ preset. The film was fun to try, but I won’t be buying it again.

Downtown On E100 Film

I used my last few rolls of Kodak E100 for photos of Gangneung’s streets. The results were not brilliant, but that’s my fault because I spent too much time pressing the shutter button and not enough time thinking about the scene. There were a few photos worth sharing, though.

It looks like two universes are meeting here.

A steamed bun shop at the edge of Central Market, where there is just about enough light to make a photo on film.

Heads not included.

Radish drying in front of a restaurant. As I was making this photo, the owner came out to see what I was doing. I thought she was going to tell me to piss off, but she was quite friendly. She asked where I was from and said that she uses the dried radish to make side dishes. Nice to meet you and off I went.

I had to wait a while for someone to pass by.

If I can, I try to buy something from a street vendor before making a photo. It softens them up for a photo opportunity, I guess. I asked for three of these fish-shaped buns and then stepped back to make a photo of him filling the paper bag. But he saw what I was doing and struck a pose. I like the result. And the buns were good, too. I ate them on a nearby park bench.

This is the entrance to a school for learning traditional etiquette, They also teach Korean language, Korean studies, Chinese characters and literature, and all the things that a cultured person might have learnt in the past. The doors are very short, but maybe there is another entrance around the corner.

I made a photo of this same clothes collection box in the past, but this one is a bit better.

I like this photo, but it doesn’t look that good on the film. It took a lot of messing around with sliders and colour adjustments to get the phone box to actually look red. Actually, this morning I went to this street and made the photo again with a digital camera. It’ll show up here next month sometime . . . .

The back side of a restaurant.

This is the window of a hotel that seems to have gone out of business a long time ago. This one also required a lot of fixing in computer, so I think I’ll make a trip to see if I can do it again properly. I doubt those drying shoots will be there, though, so perhaps this is an unreproducible scene.

 If I remember correctly, this is the entrance to a restaurant.

Poster for a hiking equipment store going-out-of-business sale.

I got some good photographs from those rolls of E100 film, but there were an unacceptable number of failures. I really need to practise my technical skills and not rely on the camera so much. This is where digital is very useful, even though I like the look of film.

Seoul Long, Winter Vacation

The time has come for vacation to end and the new semester to begin. Classes don’t begin until March 4th, but I need to go to school to prepare my classes, organise my desk, figure out the university’s buggy new portfolio system, sharpen my pencils, and so on. Yesterday was my last unofficial day of vacation so I decided to make a day trip to Seoul to visit a few places and practise my ‘tourist photography’.
   Although millions of tourists make millions upon millions of decent travel photos every day, it seems quite a challenge to do well. The lighting is often poor because of the time of day or building shadows, I worry about annoying the locals or market vendors, and I wonder how I can summarise a location in a few photographs. I would like to introduce Korean sights and sites to friends and family overseas, so making good travel photos is a skill I would like to improve.
   Good or not, I hope you enjoy the photos I made in Seoul on Thursday. There are quite a few of them, so I hope you’ve got a full cup of tea next to you.

This isn’t Seoul. The weather is quite mild in Gangneung, but the bus passes through the mountains on the way to Seoul and the weather is quite different up there. It was chilly and there is some snow on the ground. I made this photo mostly because I like the colour of the tractor.

My first stop in Seoul was a camera store near the Namdaemun Market. The store on the left is called Hyoseong Camera and I have spent millions of Won there over the years. Sometimes in person and sometimes through their website. I needed a spare battery for the Fujifilm X-T3 because one battery only gets you through a day of photography if you are very careful. And sometimes not even then. There are many small camera shops along this street. Some sell just one camera brand (see the Canon store on the right), some sell any sort of digital camera, some sell mostly used film cameras, and some shops specialise in lighting equipment and so on. Hyoseong didn’t have Fujifilm batteries, but the worker rang someone up and said, “Need a battery for an X-T3.” Then he told me to wait a minute, ran out of the store and down the street, and came back in a minute with the battery I needed.

Here is the inside of Hyoseong Camera. One corner of it, anyway. Everything is densely packed. Maybe all camera stores in the world are like this?

This is the window display of a different camera shop. Lots of interesting stuff on the second shelf.

After I dragged myself away from the camera shops, I entered the Namdaemun Market, which is a famous market for tourists. You’re as likely to hear people speaking Chinese or Japanese as you are to hear someone speaking Korean. Many shops have signs in several different languages and a woman selling make-up or inviting customers into her restaurant will switch from language to language depending on who is walking by.

Many stores in the market sell cheap clothes.

Scarves. The yellow sign says Inquire About Wholesale

If you do buy wholesale for your shop or business, it’s likely that the clothes will be delivered to you on the back of one of these scooters. You can seem them all over Seoul, weaving in and out of traffic with the most amazing amount of cargo tied to the backs.

Several more shops selling clothes, luggage, and cheap tat.

Lots of Indonesians come to Korea and they love shopping at the markets. You can see a few Indonesian ladies in the bottom right of the frame.

Being a market, there are naturally lots of things to eat. This market sells a lot of dried fruit. I bought a bag of dried mangoes. Nice and chewy without too much sugar. Maybe not at all, actually. Good stuff. I wish I could find some in Gangneung.

For those interested in staying healthy, there are a lot of ginseng products for sale. Ginseng tea, ginseng capsules, fresh ginseng, ginseng extract, ginseng everything.

But not these jars of ginseng in alcohol. Not in this display, anyway. Maybe they sell some inside.

I stopped by this shop to make some photos of the buns and doughnuts. I didn’t feel comfortable just standing around and making photos, so I bought one ‘fish-paste kebab’ so that the ladies wouldn’t complain if I started making photos.

“Boiled Fish Paste Cakes on a Stick” doesn’t very appetising, but it’s really delicious. They are kept in a hot bath of seasoned broth and you brush on soy sauce just before eating. Very nice in winter. After you eat the kebab you can have a cup of the broth.

Stuffed buns and dumplings. Another winter favourite. The buns on the right appear to be made with black rice.

These deep fried doughnuts are made of rice flour. They’s sprinkled with sugar. They are very greasy and chewy. They’re okay, but not my favourite. Usually very cheap, though.

Fancy some trotters boiled in soy sauce? Again, doesn’t sound very appetising, but very delicious.

If the boiled feet of dead pigs doesn’t appeal to you, then maybe these deep-fried fish-paste kebabs and corn dogs will appeal to you. On the far right you can see corn dogs that have a french fry coating. Genius! Again, I didn’t want to bother the workers with my camera, so I bought a corn dog and then made some photos. These corn dogs seemed to be very popular amongst young Japanese women.

If you’re in the mood for something more than a snack, you can drop by one of these restaurants that have actual plates of food wrapped in plastic as their menu. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can probably see that the labels are in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese. The blue sign above says that this restaurant specialises in fried cutlassfish. I have no idea what a cutlassfish looks like. Well, like a cutlass, I guess . . . .

Every market in Seoul seems to have a Jesus freak attached to it. This lady spoke mostly in Korean, but whenever I passed by she would say in English, “Welcome to Korea. Welcome to Namedaemun Market. Jesus loves you. Please believe in Jesus.”

Here is Namdaemun, the large gate after which the market is named. Namdaemun means Great South Gate. It was torched and completely destroyed some years ago by a maniac with some sort of grudge against the government. Quite a tragedy. Luckily, the government had the gate so well studied and mapped out that they were able to make an exact replica. It’s dwarfed by the huge buildings behind it, but they don’t come close to being as impressive and beautiful.

Here is another neighbourhood survivor, of sorts. This small building with a wooden facing is surrounded by large office buildings. The first floor has a convenience store and the upper floors are used by a Japanese restaurant. I think the wooden facing is new, because I don’t remember the building looking this nice the last time I was in Seoul.

My next stop in Seoul was a neighbourhood inhabited by many people from Central Asia. There are grocery stores, travel agencies, phone shops, shipping companies, and restaurants catering to people from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and other countries.

My first stop was a very small store run by a Central Asian woman. There was a very loud, older Korean man in the shop while I was there, talking into his phone at someone.

This is one whole wall of the shop. There were a few items on the opposite wall and cooler at the end. I bought a loaf of dark rye bread and a bottle of Russian beer for my wife. She liked the beer a lot, though I thought it was worse than most beer. But I don’t like beer, so I’m no judge. The bread is delicious, especially with a generous portion of butter spread on it.

It was getting close to dinner time so I looked around for a restaurant. There were quite a few with menus outside, but this place seemed the most promising.

It was even visited by spittle-lipped, drooling celebrities from a television show. So you know it must be good. This sign was at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the restaurant.

The menu had many pages, so it was difficult to choose. Everything looked appetising.

While I was waiting for my order, I ate a few of these spicy croutons. There was a little basket of them on every table. Are they meant to be appetisers? Are they to put in soup if you order it? I wasn’t sure what to do with them. The Russian(?) lady at the table next to me seemed to ignore them.

The first thing to appear on the table was this carrot salad. It had some slightly spicy dressing and was quite good.

Next was a Central Asian samsa, a kind of dumpling stuffed with beef, lamb,and onions and cooked in a tandoor oven. I liked the flavour, but the shell was very tough and difficult to cut. Again, I wasn’t sure what to do. Are you supposed to eat it with your hands and tear it apart with your teeth? Are you supposed to cut it up like I was trying to do? Which method would make me look more foolish? I carried on with knife and fork when I thought the woman next to me and the staff weren’t looking.

The main course was lamb chopped with onion and potatoes. The lamb was very tender and delicious. The potatoes were soft, but not too soft. A bit of flat bread would have sopped up the juice in the plate quite nicely, but I didn’t think about it at the time.

The counter at the front of the restaurant. There were a few wines and many varieties of vodka. Possibly they aren’t all vodka.

The young Russian(?) lady I was so self-conscious about while barbarously taking apart the samsa and eating croutons.

 The television was set to Youtube and was playing Central Asian music. Nice idea. The food was good in this restaurant and the staff were friendly. I want to go again because there were so many things on the menu I want to try.

My last stop in the neighbourhood was this grocery store and bakery. A much better place than the first store I visited.

Various dumplings and pastries. They looked good, but I was full and I was worried they would get squashed up in my bag on the way home if I bought some for later.

I wish this store was in Gangneung. I bought a load of the dark rye bread and a flat bread.

In a refrigerated display case at the back of the store (where there were some tables and chairs) were some things like sausages and cheese. I wanted to get some sausage, but I was worried about them being out of the fridge for so long before I got home. Though maybe that’s not really a worry for sausage. Especially in winter. Anyway, I was running out of room in my bag. Also in the display case were small plastic tubs of the carrot salad I had in the restaurant. I bought some because I figured my wife might like to try it.

A shelf of assorted goods in the store. I bought some strong black tea, a couple of Kinder eggs with Cyrillic labelling, and some chocolate. Yum yum.

My next destination was Dongmyo Flea Market, which was just a thirty minute walk from the Central Asian Neighbourhood. I figured it would take half an hour to find a taxi and then sit in the back while the driver fought his way to the market, so I decided to walk. I made a couple of photographs on the way.

I like bums.

This is a bit of interesting 3-D art. It says “Miracle Again!”, but I’m not sure what the first miracle was. Obviously something to do with football. Maybe it was Korea getting to the quarter finals in the 2002 World Cup? I don’t think they got as far before or after. Wait. Is that picture about football? That looks more like a volleyball and the player appears to be throwing with his hands. Okay, I don’t know what this is about at all.

This was near the entrance to flea market, and this lady was selling everything from tins of baked beans, to belts, to back massagers, to coffee mix, to fly spray, to hair dye, to tubs of microwavable rice porridge. All for reasonable prices! Probably . . . .

In the background is Dongmyo (Eastern Shrine), which is dedicated to the 3rd Century Chinese general Guan Yu, who was worshipped as a deity by the Chinese. The Japanese invasion of 1592 was repelled with the aid of the Chinese, who then ‘persuaded’ the Koreans they should set up shrines to famous Chinese general/deities. At least they paid for it. Anyway, that’s not what I came to see, though, in hindsight, I would have been better off spending some time photographing the shrine rather than continuing up the market street. The woman with the dog was walking down the street, realised she was in front of my camera and tried to beat a hasty retreat. I pressed the shutter button just as she was turning around.

There were a couple of used book book stores on the street. Literally, on the street. The books were overflowing on to the sidewalks and then into baskets on the side of the road. I’m not sure how you find anything, but maybe the owner knows where everything is.

This guy was selling a bit of everything. Old stereos, a Korean typewriter, sewing machines, tools, and so on.

This being the Year of the Golden Pig, it was tempted to buy this golden (bronze) pig. No idea how I would get it home, though. Or where to put it.

This market is popular with old people, and haircuts here are very cheap. Most barber shops these days charge 12,000 Won for a men’s haircut, but these places are all charging 5,000 Won. You can get your hair coloured for the same price. Maybe they save money by buying their hair dye from the lady in the first market photo.

There were many interesting things to see in this street market, but the chaotic crowd was more than I could handle. There were motorcycles going back and forth and some arsehole drove his BMW down the street while hanging his hand out the window with a lit cigarette in it. This trip to the market did me in, and I escaped the area instead of going back through to make more photos.

My final destination of the day was Deoksu Palace near City Hall. I wanted to visit this palace because I read that it had some modern and western buildings along with the traditional Korean halls. This is the front gate where you buy tickets to enter. Tickets are only 1,000 Won.

The city hires people (or they are volunteers?) to dress up as Joseon Dynasty guards. The man in back was fixing his paste-on moustache.

On top of many Korean buildings are there figures. Someone told me each one has a special meaning, but I didn’t bother to find out.

One of the halls in the palace complex. Although the buildings are very nice, there don’t seem to be that many of them. There’s a lot of empty space in the palace grounds, but perhaps the space was once used for ceremonies?

This building was built by a Russian when Korea still had a king just before the Japanese colonisation. It’s quite interesting because although it’s a Russian building, there are many Korean touches that are quite nice.

The carvings on this pillar are Korean in nature. I really like the colours.

I’ve seen the deer and tree design in other places in Korea. These carvings are very impressive and I can’t imagine how long it took to do enough to surround the whole building.

The building is open and just had these tables and chairs. I don’t know what might have been there originally. It was used as a cafeteria by the Japanese during the occupation.

Here is the other western building on the palace grounds. Quite a contrast, isn’t it? This one was done by a British architect. It’s now under renovation inside, but is the palace museum.

It’s a shame that more historical artefacts are not in the palace buildings because they look very empty and lifeless. Maybe the artefacts can’t be sufficiently protected from the public if they are in these halls. Most traditional Korean doors can be folded and then hung from the ceiling, as you can see in this photo. Very useful in summer.

Two scenes inside the palace grounds. It’s a shame more buildings are made like this these days. Traditional Korean architecture is quite graceful and gives one a sense of peace.

I made this photo of a palace wall and a Chicago pizza restaurant as I was leaving. The building is decorated quite well, but it’s a big contrast with the stone wall.
   The palace was nice to visit, but I was a bit disappointed. It had a very empty feeling to it. Maybe it feels more alive in the warm months when there are exhibitions and ceremonies and more people.

It was good to be in Seoul for one last trip before the semester, but I’ll do things differently the next time I go. I’ll only visit one place for photography, and I’ll be sure to avoid anywhere like the flea market. I really think it ruined the rest of the day for me and possibly made me too tired to appreciate the palace. Maybe next time I’ll spend the morning travelling to Seoul and then go somewhere interesting for dinner. Then I’ll go to my one chosen destination and spend a couple of hours looking around for interesting things but not making any photos. When the light gets decent in the late afternoon I’ll start making photos. Then I’ll have supper and take a bus back to Gangneung. I didn’t have supper in Seoul on this trip because I was just desperate to get out of the city. Well, lesson learned.

If you think this post would have better divided into smaller parts, please let me know in the comments. This one was a bit long.

Farm Houses

A month ago I took a bicycle trip to an area of Gangneung where there was once a large temple. Gulsan Temple was founded in 847 C.E. but it’s not known when it closed down. Today there are just a few pagodas and other artefacts scattered about the area. Most of the former temple land is now farmland. On this day I photographed a couple of farm houses and didn’t bother with the artefacts because I’ve photographed them in the past. Also, I was mostly in the area for the sake of exercise, not photography.

The first house of interest I came across was abandoned. I hope it’s abandoned because it’s so run down, but sometimes you find old people out in the country living in some bad places.

This house isn’t abandoned and is, at the least, occupied by the crackie that came out to warn me off.

He was able to stop me from getting any closer, but he was powerless against my zoom lens. Take that, ya little bugger.

I like the framing of these photographs but there is altogether too much brown here. I should go back in the warmer months when the hills and fields are full of leaf and seedling. With a long lens to thwart the dog . . . .

A Day at the Park

I’m tired of making photos at the same places in Gangneung, so early this afternoon I took bus 112 to the Unification Park south of the city.
Before I left I stopped into my favourite noodle restaurant. It’s called Three-Way Intersection Restaurant and is located at a six-way intersection. Actually, there are three main roads but three smaller ones as well. It’s a hellish place for driving.

The sign says, “Specialising in handmade noodle soup.” It is, in fact, the only item on the menu. There is, in fact, no menu to look at. You walk in, say hello, and a few minutes later you have a bowl of noodle soup. Sometimes she asks how many people are joining you.

Here is the cook and co-owner. Her husband is bent over the sink doing something.

And here is the best noodle soup in Gangneung along with a dish of gimchi.

Buses to places outside the city centre don’t come frequently, so there is a lot of waiting. The old woman in the orange jacket kept asking the young women to her left for the time every couple of minutes. I had pretty good timing and only had to wait for about twenty minutes for my bus to arrive.

Unification Park has two sections about 800 metres apart. The first part is up a steep hill and is divided into two sections. The first section has some old planes and some memorials. Farther up the hill is an area for tanks and a National Security Museum. I didn’t bother with the tanks and the museum because I wasn’t interested in walking up a steep 300 metre hill. Also, tickets for the National Security Museum have to be purchased at the second part of the park 800 metres away.

Korean War memorial. I don’t know what the significance of having a rifle in one hand and a book in the other is.

I might have to have a ‘chat’ with the National Security people if they knew I made this photograph of a military lookout. There are no signs in the park about photography, but a sign down in the fence by the highway says No Photography. The military should either move this lookout or move the park.

The outdoor area has some old planes and jets on display. Some from the Korean war and some from the sixties and seventies.

You can climb up to have a look in the cockpits. It must take some courage to sit in that little bubble and fly at mad speeds through the air.

This memorial to pilots and mechanics was at Gyeongpo Lake until 2008. I guess the city thought it matched the Unification Park better. A sign says that the Korean Air Force started flying missions in 1951 using U.S. F-51s. It then relates how the Korean Air Force destroyed a bridge that the UN forces had failed to destroy after 500 attempts. I feel like something is being left out of or exaggerated in that story. It reminds me of the time I visited the Korean War Museum in Seoul many moons ago. My friend and I walked through and enjoyed the ancient warfare exhibits but when we walked through the Korean War section we were quite surprised. There was almost no mention of the U.S. and fifteen other UN nations involved in the conflict. The impression was that South Korea had fought and won the war almost by itself.

In addition to war planes, the presidential plane used in the 50s and 60s is on display. It sits on the edge of a hill so I couldn’t get a good photo of it.

A very knackered pilot mannequin.

The president’s seat. The calligraphy behind the chair was written by former president Park Jeonghee.

President Park’s wife using the plane’s phone to speak with their children. Possibly Park Geunhye, who later became the first female president of Korea but was later impeached and now sits in prison. I think the guy second from the left was a president in the eighties or nineties.

As I mentioned, the second part of the Unification Park is 800 metres down the highway. Having no car, I nervously walked down the road that has no sidewalk. There is a bike lane sign here, but it’s just painted on the car lane. Good luck.

The second part of the park has a couple of naval exhibits. This battleship was given to Korea in 1972 by the U.S. when they retired it. Korea used it until 1999 and then brought it here. A sign says the ship was built in 1944 and used by the U.S. in WWII, the Korean War, and the Gulf War. I understand the Gulf War to be the one that happened in the 90s, so I’m not sure how that adds up. Anyway, the battleship was lifted out of the sea and placed on the shore. The only one in the world, according to the sign.

And this is how you move a battleship around.

A made a couple of photographs that weren’t just for this blog, but, to tell the truth, nothing much interested me there.

These ships are very thin when looked at front on. It’s amazing that they stay upright in the water.

Everything has to have a cute character . . . .

The ship’s name is Jeonbuk, named, I think, after the province.

Depth charges.

I see you. Boom Boom.

One of two anchors.

You can go inside the ship to see some displays and explanations of Korea’s naval history.

This old Goldstar computer was the most interesting thing on display. Goldstar merged with the company Lucky to form Lucky Goldstar. You probably know it as LG.

The kitchen for the regular crew. Rice and soup. You will eat it and you will enjoy it.

From the deck I could look down into the sea, which is a lovely shade of green. It’s even nicer when the light is right.

I could also look down on a wooden ship used by North Korean fishermen who escaped to South Korea. And, behind that, the submarine that brought North Korean commandos to Gangneung in 1996.

Here it is as seen from the highway.

You can walk through the sub, but you have to wear a hard hat. Absolutely necessary because space in the sub is very tight.

The entrance.

Living quarters. Relatively spacious compared to the rest of the sub. From floor to ceiling is about 2 metres.

Bunks are on oxygen tanks. Twenty-six commandos came on this sub but there were only six beds. I suppose others slept on the floor. How they made it to South Korea without killing each other in that cramped space is hard to imagine.

Kitchen area.

This does something.

Part of the engine, I think. It was really difficult to squeeze through some parts of the sub, especially the engine room and the room with the periscope. I’m sure that has a name, but I don’t know what it is.

 After returning from the park I stopped by Central Market to buy some fried chicken. The market is crowded and sells uncovered food but that doesn’t stop scooters from going up and down the aisles all the time.

One member of the family that owns this very good chicken shop is married to a Vietnamese woman and hires lots of foreigners. The staff know me quite well and I got a free bottle of Coke today. If I lose my job at the university maybe I can find work here . . . .

It was good to get out of town and aim my camera at something new, but the Unification Park is not really that interesting. Unless you like propaganda and old military equipment. I felt slightly creeped out at times, actually. Everything I looked at was made to kill people, even if it’s for self-defence. I wouldn’t say it was a pleasant afternoon.
I did realise, however, that the bus that takes you to Unification Park also stops at a Buddhist temple. Depending on the weather, I might try going there tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll feel better than I did today.


Ojukheon is the historical residence of Yi I (pronounced E E), a Korean Confucian scholar and politician. The original buildings of the residence are now minuscule compared to the museum, gift shop, Confucian academy (where you can learn things like the tea ceremony), large square for performances, and other things that tourists come to see. If you go at the weekend, the parking lot of full of tour buses and the place is packed. Ojukheon is also famous because of Yi I’s mother, who was a painter and a poet. Mostly she’s revered because she was a good mother to an important person. Anyway, on to the photos.

This wall doesn’t look like it’s been around for too long, but it’s rather attractive and done in the traditional style. The electric light is obviously a recent addition but doesn’t look too out of place.

Here are a couple of ‘abstracts’ of paper doors and windows in one of the buildings. The paper on the left appears to be flaking off, possibly because tourists are putting their hands there when peering inside.

The inside of the building from another view. The little door on the bottom left leads to the next room. Korea people lived on the floors of their houses (some people still do, especially older ones) and so I imagine that’s why so many doors are small. Maybe this was just a door for the servants to use. The four panes on the upper part of the wall are not windows. They are doors for a kind of storage area.
   Because all the walls are covered with white paper, the contrast between the interior of the house and the patch of sunlight didn’t overcome the digital sensor.

The same room from another angle. I don’t know who did this calligraphy, but I doubt it’s very old. The writing on the left is Classical Chinese, which was to Korea what Latin was to the West. The calligraphy on the right is hangeul, the Korean alphabet. Yi I very possibly didn’t write in the Korean alphabet (invented the century before) because it was considered vulgar by many scholars and politicians for a long time. King Sejong commissioned the alphabet so that everyone in Korea could read and write and the elite didn’t like this. The alphabet was even banned by one king because people started writing bad things about him. But I digress . . . .

Next to the museum is a large number of clay pots. I’ve never seen them being used, so I think they might be part of the decorations. I liked the shadows on these pots and so made this photo. The pots are brown but didn’t really look very good in colour because of the strong sun. Black and white suits the scene much better.

The sun was very strong when I visited Ojukheon, so there are no wide views of the buildings, etc. Not that I go for that kind of photo anyway. I might go back when the weather is cloudy and there are fewer tourists. But I’m not sure the place is ever empty of tourists.

Zoom Zoom

Anmok Harbour Breakwater

Restaurants will deliver almost anywhere, including a harbour breakwater. People fishing from the breakwater often order Chinese food if they haven’t brought food of their own. Sometimes they eat on the breakwater and sometimes they have the food lowered down to the water’s edge.
   The gate says, “Do Not Enter”, but is always ignored. Maybe it’s there to protect the city from lawsuits. Whenever there is a big storm, some ‘brave’ soul will go out on the breakwater to watch the waves and get swept out to sea.

Foma 400

Last month I got some Foma 400 back from the lab. There weren’t many usable photos on the rolls. Partly because of my poor skills and partly because the film quality can be dodgy at times. The edges are lighter than the rest of the frame or there are slight spots here and there. It’s not the lab and it’s not the camera because other films turn out fine. Here are a few of the photos worth posting here.

This scene is on the way to my university, on the short-cut over the hill. I’d like to make this photo again with my X-T3, perhaps in square format.

No, I didn’t buy a new panorama camera and turn it on its side. This is obviously heavily cropped because there was nothing of interest to the left and right of this plant.

Some businesses will buy a shipping container and have windows installed so they can use them as offices. This one was painted yellow (not so obvious here 🙂 ), though most places just leave them depressingly grey.

I liked the strong shadows here so I made a photo. LPG is how many homes get their cooking fuel. The tanks are usually kept out behind the house. Many have rust spots. They are delivered by madmen in pickup trucks.

I wish I had used Tri-X instead of Foma, but I was trying to find ways to cut down on film costs. A mistake . . . .

Kodak E100 Photos

After doing some exposure tests at home, I took my Nikon F6 to a couple of historical sites here in Gangneung. I was happy with my exposure tests but only a few photos from the roll are worth sharing. Here they are.

These buildings are at the Seongyojang Residence. The name means Boat Bridge Place and there was a ferry there when Gyeongpo Lake was larger. Back in the Joseon Dynasty, this was the largest residence allowed by law. Only the royals could have houses larger than 99 kan. One kan is the space between two pillars in a Korean building. If I remember correctly, this residence had 99. The family was once very large and prosperous, but now they take advantage of government tax breaks by living in one little walled-off corner and opening up the rest to tourists. At a high price. I used to go there quite often, but stopped when the price of admission nearly doubled a few years ago.

This tree and boulder are at Obong Confucian School, which I’ve shown photos of before. The tree is a bit too close to the edge of the frame, but there is a tourist sign to the right that I didn’t want to include. I like how the film renders the mute colours. I’m sure this photo can be improved, but it will take some more trips and head scratching before I get it right. And another overcast day. It’s bloody sunny all the time this winter.

This is a better view of the tree and boulder, and perhaps the composition I’m looking for.

This is the view from the front gate of the school. I only meant it as a kind of photo-note of the area, but I quite like it. One for the portfolio.

More film photos to come in the days ahead!

Kodak Ultramax 400

January was a slow month for photography, but I thought I would share a few photos from a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 film I used in the Nikon F6. There might be a few people curious to see what this film looks like. I added a bit of contrast where needed, but otherwise the photos are what the lab sent to me.

This film portrays head and heel-less women very well. I should have waited until a child passed by, but it’s not a neighbourhood where there are many children.

I like the pavement painting in front of the pots. This film has great colour.

Another example of the film’s bright colours. Reds seem to come out with a slightly orange-y.

A jumble of buildings. This film is very sharp, though there is quite a bit of grain, especially in areas like skies. It might not look too bad up to 10×8, though. And how big do you want to enlarge holiday film anyway?

The missus in a pink phone box.

Dinner at the Samgeori restaurant not far from the city centre. Yum yum.

This is how I know I made the photos using the F6 . . . .

The last part of the roll was dedicated to kitty and his nose prints on the window.

Well, nothing spectacular, but you can see that this is a fine film for casual photography when out and about. I used it in mostly overcast weather and it might look even nicer in sunlight. The film is cheap, which is a nice bonus. Highly recommended for Film Fun days.