Apartments

I wonder how many of my posts have been called ‘Apartments’. They are such a large part of any scene in Korea that it’s difficult not to have a large collection of photos with apartments in them.
Korea’s birth rate keeps dropping and last year there were more deaths than births. But new apartment complexes keep popping up everywhere. Perhaps houses are falling down in other places.
You can see a mostly empty field in the foreground. In a couple of years there will probably be another greyish-white apartment complex and pine trees will be purchased from another part of the country to replace the persimmon trees that are there now.

Beautiful Morning

Tree and Utility Pole, Hoesan

I woke up uncharacteristically early one morning and noticed that there were some lovely clouds in the sky. I grabbed a camera and went out to make some photos of the neighbourhood. You may have seen this tree and pole on the site before. And you’ll see them again.

I think I need more practise with wide-angle lenses. The tree and pole look fine (the pole is actually tilted), but the background buildings on the right look like they are starting to roll up like in Inception.

Hahoe Village

Hahoe Village Bus Stop, 2014.

When I was working on my hipsta-traditional project, I made a trip down south to visit Hahoe Village. The village was founded in the 16th century by the Ryu clan and the village is still only inhabited by members of that family. We used to joke about small towns in Newfoundland by saying, “They’re all cousins there.” In this case, it’s true.

The village is quite famous in Korea. Queen Elizabeth II visited in 1999 and planted a tree. (She probably didn’t come by the bus in the photo). Then the village became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 after they got rid of all the souvenir shops and tidied it up.

The hamlet is very nice if you can avoid tourists by visiting on a weekday or in the chillier seasons. I used my iPhone for the project, but I also brought along a film camera and made a few snapshots like this one. I would like to go back again with tripod and multiple lenses. Maybe in the winter when the sun gets up at about the same time I do. 🙂

It’s pretty easy to see that this photo was made when the sun was high. The whites are very bright and the tree shadows very dark. Of particular note is the big blob in the bottom left. But it doesn’t matter. I just wanted to remember the paint job on the bus and the old people waiting for it to depart.

Reed Barrier

Gyeongpo Wetlands Park

Some parts of the park have high reed barriers put up to protect nesting birds from noisy and invasive tourists. These little windows allow you to look inside the protected areas. I didn’t see any birds, but I did rather like this stand of trees.

Gangmun

Gangmun is within Gangneung city limits and not far from two major tourist areas, but it’s not so easy to get there if you don’t have a car. There are few local buses, it’s a bit far to walk from frequent bus routes, and getting a taxi there is expensive. But it’s a good place to go now and then for some photography. It’s less crowded than many other tourist spots (at least in the morning) and there are a few interesting things to photograph.
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This couple passed me as I was making photos of a bridge and then later nicely completed this composition.
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Gyeongpo Lake and Gangmun Beach are only separated by a narrow stretch of land. You would have a nice view of both places if you were in one of these buildings. The building on the right looks like it’s under construction. There seems to be a caravan park next to the river, but I haven’t been over to see.
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This is the Seamark Hotel, also known as the Hyundai Hotel. One of Hyundai’s divisions owns it. Hyundai Construction, maybe? It was built not too long ago and replaced the earlier Hyundai Hotel which was built in the sixties.
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I posted a similar colour version of this photo last(?) year. It’s a hotel. The room rates are probably reasonable in the off season but skyrocket in the summer and on New Year’s, when everyone and their dog shows up to watch the sun rise out of the sea.
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I can’t remember what building this is. I think it’s a coffee shop or something. I like the bundle of wires rising up into the sky like lightning. They don’t go into the sky, obviously. I was standing close to the wall and looking up. I’d like to get this one printed.
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And there you are – more photos of Gangmun. And I’ll probably post more in the future when I save up enough money to get a taxi. Every time I go to Gangmun I make the usual photos of things like the rails and the thin hotel. Sometimes it’s the same photos I’ve made a dozen times and sometimes I get to see the usual subjects in a new way. So it’s rarely a wasted trip.

Fotography for Fun

I like making photos with my iPhone. It’s fun to just press the shutter button and not think much about exposure or post processing. The phone does a very good job of making scenes look good without me messing things up. I’ve thought about just using the iPhone for photography but the image quality isn’t quite good enough for most things yet. Adding a filter covers up a lot of problems.
Here are six photos I made the other day when I wanted to take a break from my camera woes. Despite getting rid of most of my equipment, I am back to wondering if I have the best cameras for my needs, blah blah blah. The problem lies with me, not the cameras, of course . . . .

Baskets in Winter Field
Persimmon Tree
Power Lines and Persimmon Tree
Apartment Employee’s Bicycle
Moving Day
Obligatory Cat Photo

For any iManiacs out there, the black and white filter is called Silvertone and the colour filter is called Dramatic. They come standard in Apple Photos.

I think I do best when using a square format. Is it time for a Hasselblad . . . . .? Oh, dear . . . . .

New Traditional Buildings

Gangneung built a new city hall on top of a hill and tore down the old one which was situated in the downtown area. Some years later they got rid of the big Central Post Office which was right next door to the old city hall and built new traditional-style buildings on the vacant lots. These buildings are used for festivals and events pretty much all through the year. There is even a very small library in one of the buildings. I think it’s great that the city turned a piece of prime business real estate into something that everyone in the city can enjoy. And, even better, they built traditional Korean buildings instead of the usual concrete, steel, and glass rectangles that pop up all around the city.

Traditional Gatehouse, Gangneung.
The latest addition to the grounds was this gatehouse.
Traditional Building, Gangneung
This building gets opened up during festivals to display exhibitions and hold traditional events. When nothing is going on, it’s nice to sit on the veranda (called a maru in Korean) and relax.

Heo Estate

I’ve written quite a few times about this place, so I’ll just share the photos.

Day After Rain
Stone Bench
Trees Outside the Walls
Cellar
Neglected Light

Fujifilm X-T3 with 18mm and 35mm prime lenses. Acros Film Simulation.