Traffic Mirror

On a trip to Jeongdongjin a couple of months ago my Nikkor 50mm 1.8D lens stopped working properly. Which left me with 28mm and 85mm lenses. This was about the only decent photo I made during the trip, though I did make some video I liked on my phone. No tripod though, so there was quite a bit of bobbing up and down.

The yellow sign tells you to go to a primary school down the road in case of a tsunami.

Annyeong!

“Hello, Myeongju”

The nice thing about manual focus lenses is that once you set them you don’t have to worry about the autofocus hunting around while you’re trying to get the final framing. This photo came out reasonably well despite the awkward grip on the camera and the awkward wave.

Myeongju is an old neighbourhood in the downtown area of Gangneung. Until a year or so ago just about every wall and many houses were bare concrete or breeze block. A recently formed Myeongju Neighbourhood Association started putting paint on a few things in the alleyways, including this lettering which says, “Hello Myeongju-dong”. (The O in ‘dong’ is pronounced like the O in ‘Dover’ and means ‘neighbourhood’).

I don’t know why this mirror and the cracked one next to it are on the alley wall.

Downtown Gangneung

The second roll of film I put in my new Samsung Minolta X-700 was Ilford HP5+.

Garbage Forbidden sign painted on wall, downtown Gangneung.
This painted sign telling people not to put their trash next to the wall of this house is much nicer than the usual spray-painted scrawls.
Motorcycle in Alley, Gangneung.
This is a common sort of motorcycle in Korea. It has a 125cc engine, and in Korea you can drive any scooter or motorcycle up to that size if you have a regular car licence.
Motorcycle in alley next to empty lot, Gangneung.
The same motorcycle from another angle. I discovered this empty lot just a couple of weeks ago when I went through the back gate of a small downtown park.
Self-Portrait in Motorcycle Mirror.
The obligatory mirror self-portrait.
Empty Lot, Downtown Gangneung.
Downtown Gangneung’s backside
Air conditioner fan on building wall, downtown Gangneung.
The fan unit of a commercial building’s air conditioner. One of them, anyway. Each shop and office has its own air conditioner.
Outdoor clothes display and passing woman, downtown Gangneung.
A compose and wait photograph. I wanted someone with dark clothes to pass by the light wall so they would stand out in the photograph. I was there for a few minutes and the owner came out and pretended to go through her clothes, all the while keeping one eye on me. The woman in the photo was also looking at me with the camera to my face. Which worked out nicely for me.
20201106-001-033 amice licking my finger
I include this cat photo because, well, cats! And also to show the quality of the lens. If you click the photo and view it on Flickr, you’ll be able to see all the detail in the cat fur and my hand. I made this photo of my constantly moving friend one-handed with a manual focus camera. I’m very proud of myself! The shutter must have been flying at warp speed 9….. The HP5+ film did a very good job with the highlights and shadows as well. I’m getting a few rolls for Christmas!

Getting Out

It doesn’t seem like the rainy season this year will ever end. It’s been raining for several weeks and I’m starting to feel trapped inside the apartment. If we didn’t have an air conditioner to deal with the high temperatures and humidity I’d be a lot more miserable than I am.
Truth be told, there are many things I can do at home. I can watch videos, read, write, organise my bookshelf, play with the cat, and so on. But my favourite thing to do is make photographs, and that, for me, is best done outside. Otherwise, I end up making photos of myself in the toilet roll dispenser . . . .

Self-Portrait with Headphones

I did manage to get out one afternoon for a walk with a camera about two weeks ago in between rainy periods. I like two of the photos enough to share here.

Daejong Transport Company

Behind the buildings in the reflection you can see the hill has been cut away to make room for this commercial property and another one next to it. It’s been happening on this road quite a lot recently, and some hiking trails have been ruined. I once met an elementary school principal who said that she would like to cut down every hill and mountain in Korea and use the rock and soil to enlarge the peninsula. I wonder if she became a real estate developer after retiring . . . .

Escaped Goat

The constant rain is probably great for these goats who have lots of nice green plants to eat. I hope this guy got his fill before someone noticed him and chained him up again.

I complain about the weather, but it’s only preventing me from getting out and pressing the shutter button. Many parts of Korea, China, and Japan are experiencing bad floods, loss of life, and property damage. I really have to consider myself lucky that I’m not dealing with anything more serious than boredom.

The Fragmentation of Self(ie) in Everyday Life

Mirrors

This is the most unoriginal photograph in Gangneung. Every weekend hundreds of tourists show up in Wolhwa Park to eat fried chicken, stuffed dumplings (for which there are massive queues), squid ink ice cream (lines are shorter for this place), and so on. Some restaurant/cafe/takeaway place in the market area put these mirrors on their exterior wall to set them apart from all the other shops. I made this photo very early in the morning before the crowds showed up and I thought it was a clever self-portrait until I realised a bit later that these mirrors probably have their own hashtag on Instagram and about half the young women of Korea and their boyfriends have stood where I stood to make the same photo. My only consolation is that maybe my framing is a bit better than theirs . . . . And it’s black and white, so . . . Art!