Gulsan Temple and Surrounding Area

Gulsan Temple was founded around the middle of the ninth century. Alas, it did not survive the Anti-Buddhist Joseon Dynasty which came to power in 1392 and set out to reduce that religion’s influence in the country. The land that once belonged to the temple is covered with farms now, with just a few artefacts remaining. I went out that way about a week ago to make a few photographs.

A sign pointing the way to a temple artefact. The sign has just been transliterated instead of translated. To be useful to a foreign traveller, it should read, “Gulsan Temple Statue of a Sitting Buddha.”
The sign for the sitting Buddha is next to the most famous artefact of the temple and one of Gangneung’s best known traditional treasures. These two stones have holes drilled into them so that banners can be hung up.
A view of the hills through the tourist information sign next to the banner stones.
This group of trees is visible in the view of the hills above.
The sitting Buddha in his ‘house’.
The Buddha’s face is missing, though the reason is not known.
Buddha’s neighbours
Korean fields are usually small, and farmers use these multi-purpose tractors in them. The cart can be detached and various tools such as plows attached. Buses only come to the bus stop in the background a couple of times a day.
Self-portrait at traffic mirror.
The building on the right is a typical farmer’s house made of concrete with a brick facing. The building on the left is new, but I don’t know what it is.
A woman working in the fields.
These wheelie bins are usually for food waste, but there seem to be a lot of them for such a small neighbourhood.
Stone circle for shamanistic rites.
Entrance to the stone circle

Walking and Running

Seeing Her Off to School, 2008

I don’t think that this dog belonged to the schoolgirl getting on the bus. He seemed to be a stray that was hanging around the bus stop that morning. Although it looks like he’s saying goodbye to his friend, he was probably wondering if he could sneak on to the bus.

Camera Shy, 2019

This was a lucky accident. I was wandering the downtown area looking for something to photograph and noticed this alley. My plan was to frame the street lamp and the apartment building with the grey walls of the foreground building, but this bank employee passed me and, seeing I had a camera, hurried to get in the building and out of my way. Click, click, she didn’t move fast enough. I stuck around after she went into the entrance on the left, but without the woman the scene is very dull.
This is a photo that can’t be printed large because it becomes very obvious the camera was focused on the lamp and not the woman. I’m not fast enough for action photography . . . .

From the Archive: The Rest of October 2015

Here are a few photos from the end of October 2015. 
 Restaurant Vents.iPhone 4 Hipstamatic Application. 2015
A restaurant worker came out while I was making this photo, lit up a fag, and gruffly asked “What are you taking a photo of?” I pointed at the vents. While he was sucking on his cigarette and looking at the vents to see what I could possibly be pointing at, I bid him good day and left. 
Central Market. Fishmonger. Contax N1, Portra 400. 2015

Central Market. Fishmonger. Contax N1, Portra 400. 2015

A few months ago I saw a tourist pointing his camera at these ladies and making photos. “Rather rude,” I thought, and then remembered I had made more or less the same photos in 2015. 

Downtown Bus Stop. Contax N1, Portra 400. 2015

You might notice that there is a black bar at the top of each film scan in this post. This is a result of my local lab not much caring about the quality of film scans. Stick the machine on auto, zip zip zip. Lined up correctly? Close enough, what? It happened a number of times and it’s the reason I started sending film away to Seoul for development and scans. The Seoul lab is faster as well.
   I like the composition of the bus station photo, but the front of the bus is overexposed and there are some very black areas. I wonder if sending the film to Seoul could get me better results. I like these three film photos enough to pay a bit of money for good scans.

Buses

Bus stop in front of the Kyobo Life Insurance Building, Gangneung

Photo of Gangneung city bus made from window of McDonalds early in the morning.Hamburger buns had just been delivered and the crates were sitting in front of the restaurant.

I made these photos soon after returning from Canada, where I made myself sick of digital photography. I had nearly one thousand photos to edit when I got back to Korea, not counting the ones I deleted in camera while photographing. Not much fun. Also, I brought my D810 and a 24-85mm lens to Canada, which was quite heavy and bulky. Soon after arriving in Canada I regretted my equipment choice. So, on this cloudy day in Gangneung, I left my apartment with an F80 and 28mm lens. You can see the second photo is not quite level, a combination of using a 28mm lens and me not having my head screwed on quite straight.
   When I got this film processed, I also ordered basic scans which were not that great. It also adds a few thousand Won on to the price of developing. Yesterday I had prints made of my favourite photos from the roll on Epson Eco White Matte paper that look fabulous. So I got my Canon Lide 120 scanner out of the cupboard and clicked ‘Photo Scan’. The scanner does all the work and the scans are more than good enough for posting online or making 4×6 prints to share with pen pals, etc. Happy days.