Ektachrome at Gangmun

I keep film on hand for when the urge to use it comes over me. Last month I put a roll of Kodak Ektachrome 100 in my Nikon F6 and went to Gangmun.

Bicycle and Harbour

As I may have mentioned before, Gyeongpo Lake is drained by a very short river (a couple of hundred metres?) that empties into the sea. A couple of breakwaters turn the mouth of the river (‘Gangmun’ means ‘river gate’) into a small harbour. There is a dock for fishing boats and you can usually find anglers at one end of the dock trying to catch the little fish that live in harbour. This bicycle probably belongs to someone trying his luck with a pole.

Sotdae Bridge Arch

I’ve photographed this bridge a hundred times at least, but I think this was the first time I discovered this angle. It amazes me what a difference a tiny detail can make to a photograph. I probably wouldn’t be sharing this photo without the sliver of rail in the bottom left corner of the photo. It’s the support for the whole left side of the photo and I don’t think the picture would work without it. Opinions may differ. You may think nothing could save this photograph. 🙂

Pavilion for Maritime Shaman Rites

Korea’s coast is full of fishing villages and all those fishers need the help of the spirits to come home safely every day with a good catch. I don’t know how often rituals were held in the past, but once a year (every two years?) a big ritual is held here with lots of gongs and shouty singing by a shaman, who is almost always a woman in Korea. I went one year and it was a noisy affair. Maybe the cacophony scares the evil spirits away.

Convenience Store Chair

This chair is in front of the convenience store where I came to get a tin of drink when the air started to warm up. I’ve photographed this chair on a number of trips to Gangmun. The owner of the shop probably thinks I’m mental.

Pension and Coffee Shop

Many fishing villages are becoming coffee towns, and Gangmun is no exception. The lower two floors of this interesting building are a coffee shop and the upper two floors are a pension. I like the little bit of yellow in the corner balancing the larger area of the blue sky. You might be able to see little black specks throughout the frame. At first I thought the lab had screwed up or I had a dirty lens, but a close-up view on computer revealed that all those spots are dragonflies.

The pension was frame 34 on the roll of Ektachrome and the next two photos weren’t that good. The day was heating up so I put the camera in my bag and went home. But I went back the next week with some negative film. Photos coming soon . . . .

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!