One of the walks I like to take near my apartment brings me to the riverside. There’s almost no water in the river during the dry winter months, but there is never a shortage of vehicles parked next to it.
The car in the foreground is quite an old model, but the driver must take good care of it because there are no rust spots that I can see. The digger on the flatbed truck isn’t tied down in any way. Maybe it’s not required by law. In the weeks before the start of the Olympics I remember seeing a group of foreign engineers walking past a similar truck and being shocked that the digger in the back wasn’t secured. On the other side of the river there is a shrine dedicated to, if I remember correctly, a local goddess, though I can’t remember who or what she is the goddess of. I should walk over there some day and see if there is anything worth photographing.
I think the slang term for this sort of vehicle is ‘honey truck’. When I lived in a house, one of these would come around twice a year to clean out the septic tank. I remember the guy who did the work was quite jolly. Well, he probably makes a fortune doing the work no one else wants to.
On the way home I made this photo because I liked the clouds above the apartments. These buildings were completed about one year ago, replacing fields. They look like something you would build out of a basic Lego set.
I have a little bit of a pileup in the ‘Website Photos’ folder on my desktop, so I was thinking of ways to upload more than one photo at a time without seeming too random. Ta-da! Things that begin with W! Oh ho ho . . .
I made the first photo because I thought the woman’s pink jacket would make a nice contrast with and spot of interest in a bare landscape. Korean winters are visually bleak because everything is dead and brown but there’s no snow to cover it up. And most people wear black or dark jackets. So the bright pink jacket of this lady was a welcome sight.
The second photo was a compose and wait situation. I filled most of the frame with this dark brown building (a public washroom. Another W!) and waited for something interesting to fill the bit of space on the left. I didn’t have a tripod with me so my arms got quite tired. I missed a cyclist passing by when I brought the camera down for a second to rest my arms and cursed about it, but I think this young woman in a long black jacket is better suited for the scene because she matches the building. The building looks like something out of a drab dystopian future that creates and releases drably-dressed humans into the landscape. Her shoes are a bit fancy, though, so that image doesn’t really hold up . . . .
Some weeks ago there was bad flooding in Gangneung. Cars were underwater, roads were closed, and the river deposited a large quantity of branches, reeds, and garbage on the river banks. The city mobilised large numbers of people to clean up the riverside paths and even the military showed up to help. (Korea has military conscription, so essentially has a free labour force to help with disasters, harvesting, and so on). All the dead plant material and garbage went into these large bags to be lifted by crane on to transport trucks to be taken away. It wasn’t long before I was able to ride my bicycle up and down the riverside cycling paths again. Good job, Gangneung City Hall!
You can tell when a roll of film has been in a camera for a while because of the different subjects in the photographs. A film lab owner once complained to me that some people made so few photos that there were fours seasons on one roll. And that was before digital cameras and smart phones. There is only one season on the roll of Portra 400 I used last month, but there was definitely a variety of scenes. WARNING! A few of them are disturbing.
This is probably just disturbing to electricians and safety inspectors.
This is disturbing to pedestrians and cyclists. I included the ‘R’ in the top left sign reading ‘WONDER’ when I made the photo, but it was cut by the lab. Grrr . . . . The yellow writing on the pavement says ‘tow zone’.
Disturbing to architects? But fun for photographers.
Here are the disturbing photos I mentioned in the introduction. This is a water deer, probably killed by one of the speeding cars that drive madly over the blind hill on this road. There are many deer in the outskirts of Gangneung, but this ‘sabre-toothed’ deer is fairly uncommon. Poor bugger. Probably killed by some arsehole checking his phone messages while driving.
I made this photo while I was waiting for these two men to leave so I could set up my tripod and camera.
The men eventually moved on and I started making photos of this island.
I like the reflections of the apartments in the water.
The final photo of this post was made at one end of the Wolhwa bridge. I waited around and made a number of frames but only this one was presentable. People were either walking too quickly, wearing ugly clothes, or weren’t walking close enough to the house wall. I should probably make these photos while I can, because City Hall might have plans to raze this area and make more space for coffee shops . . . .
There were some heavy rains last month and the stepping stone bridge across the Namdae River was underwater. This is normal flooding level for the river and there was no state of emergency. The sign on the gate says, “Danger. No entry when the river is flooded.” Duh.
For those who wonder about these things, the film was Kodak Ultramax 400 and the camera was a Nikon F6 (I’m 95% sure).