We’re having renovations done in the house and the computer was buried under sheets of plastic for a few days. Thus, no updates here. Just a little bit left to do with the living room wall and then wait for the paint and plaster smell to disappear.
In the meantime, here’s the cat looking unhappy. As he’s been for the past week. The photo was actually taken quite a while before the work started, when his only annoyance was me sticking a camera in his face.
The rain stopped early in the morning of September 12th, so I climbed across my bike and went for a ride as far as Seongsan. It was the usual route through Geumsan and then to the 7-11 at the end of town for a tin of mocha coffee and a little rest. I set the camera for black and white, but it turned out that colour was better for some of the photos I made that morning.
Black and white was the better choice for the first photo because the scene was more or less monochrome anyway. I thought there was a building going up behind these fences and gate, but the sign says it’s an assembly area. Whatever that means. Over the top of the fence I could see some large metal structures that looked like they might be parts of a bridge or another large infrastructure project.
I made the second photo because I liked the deep green of the plant and the slightly orange-ish brown of the picnic table. I usually make a couple of photos of the picnic tables and flower pots when I stop for my tin of coffee. The owner probably thinks I’m mad. But maybe doesn’t care as long as he makes 900 Won every time I drop by.
One of my early morning bicycle routes takes me through the rice paddies and fields of Geumsan Village. At 6:30 the light is soft and the absence of cars makes the ride peaceful. Autumn is an especially nice time to be out in the countryside because of the beautiful golden rice fields. “Geumsan” means “Golden Mountain”, but I think the village could well have been named “Golden Fields”.
Harvest time is coming soon and the fields will be brown and lifeless afterwards. Korea has very little snow so the landscape is bleak during all the winter months. I might switch to black and white photography for my morning rides when the cold weather begins because the dull colours of the hills and fields will add nothing to my photographs.
I was downtown early one morning and I set up the camera on a tripod to make a photo of this statue. Koreans are generally very polite about photography and will wait for you to make a photo before passing in front of the camera. Or they will go around so they don’t disturb you. I had my focus and exposure checked and was about to press the shutter release button when this man walked into the frame and sat down on the bench. Maybe he’s tired and really needs a sit-down, I thought to myself, and decided to wait until he moved on. He looked at me, pointed at the statue, and shook a finger to indicate that I shouldn’t make a photo of the statue. I immediately thought of the Comfort Woman Statue in Seoul and was worried that this guy thought this was a similar statue and I was insulting Korean history or something. In other words, I thought he was a loony and I should get away as quickly as possible. But then he pointed to the statue and himself and indicated that I should make a photo of them together. I nodded and he put his arm around the statue. I made the photo and said, “Okay, it’s done.” He got up and started to walk away. I asked him if he would like to see the photo. He came over and had a look at the screen but seemed very uninterested in the results. He didn’t ask for a copy or anything. Nor did he smile, which worried me a bit. He walked off and I packed up my kit and left the area. I guess I got an interesting experience, but I felt nervous and I’d rather not run into people like that if I can help it.