I went up the alley road last with my Nikon D810 and a bagful of lenses but today took a path that goes along the tops of the hills that make the valley. And brought a lighter camera. This morning my hiking companion was the Fujifilm X-T3. I brought the camera for two reasons. One, I wanted to effortlessly get better greens than I can with the Nikon. Two, I wanted a light camera to make my life a bit easier.

I made my first photo while still in the valley. I like the Y-shaped branch lying in the path, which seems to confirm the white No Entry sign above it.

Sometimes posting a photo on this blog helps me decide whether or not I should include it in my portfolio. If I post the photo and later think, “I can’t believe I showed that to people,” then it doesn’t go into my portfolio and the printer in Seoul never sees it. I’m not sure if the photo above is a keeper or not. I guess I’ll know in a day or two . . . .

Here is the rock responsible for the valley’s name. The field it sits in has filled up with water and now it does indeed look like an island.

Here is the bridge I photographed some time ago in black and white. I managed to get the tripod set up properly today and keep a low ISO.

I photographed these trees a while ago but was unhappy with the results. The photo turned out well today. Maybe the square format fits the scene better than a rectangular format.

When I left this house this morning, I meant to leave the camera set to 1:1 format, but this scene obviously called for a wider canvas.

Another scene that called for a wide format. 16:9, in case you’re curious. The walking path has many of these tombs alongside. Some are right next to the path, as in this case. Others, like the photo above this one, are at the end of narrow trails.

The view from behind this sodless and sadly eroded tomb.

A front on view of the tomb. Was there grass on this tomb when those plastic flowers were placed there?

These carved stones are what I set out to photograph today. There are many of them cut into rectangular blocks but I don’t know what they might be for. They are just lying on either side of the path. And how were they brought there? There’s no road. Were they brought up on carts a hundred years ago? A bit of a mystery.

In some places the stones are in a jumble, but in other places they are laid out to follow the path.

A wider and lower view of the same scene above.

Another high angle.

This altar has lost its tomb mound.

I was going to walk down through the trees to make a photo of this tomb but thought it would look better through these trees. You should probably click to enlarge this photo so that it’s more obvious what the white spot in the lower left is.

I don’t know what these concrete slabs might be for.

I’m not sure these stelae show up well enough against the pine trees. This might be a photo you have to view at full size. I like the little band of bright green grass at the bottom.

Hillside path. This is another photo that needs to be seen on a proper monitor and not on a mobile screen. Then you get to see the details.

This photo is in my previous post, but I post it here because it was part of the day’s walk.

My apartment complex. Where the city meets the country.

I forgot to set the ISO to ‘elevator’ and the exposure took a couple of seconds. When I realised my mistake I started shaking the camera back and forth to get a proper shaky effect.

I’m pleased with the results of today’s photography, though the number of photos I’m happy with will diminish in the coming days. Once I’ve chosen the few best I’ll upload them to Flickr and then get them printed. Because a photo is not a photo until you can hold it in your hand.

5 thoughts on “Greens and Browns of Rock Island Valley

  1. Nice set of shots, Marcus. The path looks very dry in parts but the trees are green and the Rock Island Valley clearly has standing water, so I guess you get a decent amount of rain inbetween the warmer spells (?)The rocks are great – I love rocks on B&W film.And the Square Format? Love it. I could happily shoot square for 99% of my shots – even the landscapes. Occasionally I crop to a non-square format, but that's usually a result of poor composition or not having a longer lens with me at the time. Square rules!


  2. Thanks for the comments. The last couple of fields are at the bottom of the valley and have some water from the little bit of rain that's fallen this spring. Everything is mostly dry. We'll get a few showers until July when the monsoon season begins. When I had a 645 camera I was often wishing I had a 6×6 camera. Or a 10×8 camera. I always want what I don't have . . . .


  3. Now that’s a good days walk up the valley, I’d say. And if nothing else it’s at least a very different walk in Korea than it would be back home in Norway. Just for anyone to put up a sign in the woods saying “Do not enter” or anything similar would be a big “no-no”… and the first person walking past would of course pull it down and burn it properly on his kettle fire, or something like that.
    Oh, and of course there will be no tombs in the area either, back home… In fact there will be nothing much at all, besides trees, birds, deer an nature. So it’s very different indeed. Do you meet a lot of people on your walks? The foot path seems to be quite a lot in use.
    Oh, and great pictures. I really like the one where the path has taken on to a nicely shaped “S”.


    1. Thanks for the comments. Almost every square centimetre of land in Korea is owned by someone. What doesn’t have a building on it has a farm on it, or is a hill unsuitable for either of those things. There is a No Entry sign on that path because someone has a field on a flat piece of the hill.
      I don’t meet many people on the paths, but that’s because I usually take my walks there at times other people are sleeping in or working.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see. The land up north is owned by someone as well, but as long as it’s outside the fields of crops used for either animal or humans food, everyone is allowed and encouraged to walk anywhere they like. That’s one of the good laws still effective since the vikings ruled the country some time ago now. They were not all stupid back in the days.


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