Brick Walls

Flowers and Barred Windows, Gangneung.

A nice contrast between the lovely flowers and the ugly barred windows. This house is right in the downtown area so perhaps they are necessary. I like the little purple flowers along the bottom of the frame. There is a similar blue flower that is common in Korea and gives me a real pleasure to see.

LPG Tank and Hose, Gangneung.

Here is something that isn’t a pleasure to see but which makes an interesting(?) photograph. Is this sort of setup Ministry of Safety approved, I wonder?

Two Women Near Water

Nadae River Stepping Stone Bridge
Anmok Beach

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 . . . .

Gas Tanks Outside House Window

Residential Propane Tanks, Gangneung

Rubber hoses feed the propane/butane from the two tanks through a selector valve through a steel pipe into what is most likely the kitchen of a house near downtown Gangneung.

This is the sort of setup that I feel nervous walking past, but, on the other hand, provides such an interesting photo opportunity.

Break Time

In early July I went downtown to make some photos early in the morning while the light was still good and most people were in their homes getting ready for work. Despite the uncrowded streets and the not-too-contrasty light, I wasn’t getting any photos that I liked. I decided to stop into a convenience store for a tin of sugary, milky coffee to cool off and think about where I wanted to go next.
From where I sat in the store I could see just the handlebars of my electric bicycle in the gap between the blinds and the counter. If it’s not art, it’s at least graphic, I thought to myself.

Electric Bicycle Handlebars

I chose to make the photo in black and white to make a simple composition even simpler. And, to tell the truth, the colours were nothing to gasp at anyway.

Encouraged by these results, I tried making several more ‘through-the-blinds’ photos. Most were failures, but with patience and timing I snapped this young woman walking past the store while looking at her phone.
Woman Walking with Phone
I did some dodging on the small shingle roof behind the woman’s head to make her hair stand out from the background. The woman is slightly blurry because of her movement but I think that might be forgivable in a street photograph? Let’s say it is. I think the timing makes up for it. A split second either way and her phone or her back would have been covered by the poster or the blind.

Foma 400

Last month I got some Foma 400 back from the lab. There weren’t many usable photos on the rolls. Partly because of my poor skills and partly because the film quality can be dodgy at times. The edges are lighter than the rest of the frame or there are slight spots here and there. It’s not the lab and it’s not the camera because other films turn out fine. Here are a few of the photos worth posting here.

This scene is on the way to my university, on the short-cut over the hill. I’d like to make this photo again with my X-T3, perhaps in square format.

No, I didn’t buy a new panorama camera and turn it on its side. This is obviously heavily cropped because there was nothing of interest to the left and right of this plant.

Some businesses will buy a shipping container and have windows installed so they can use them as offices. This one was painted yellow (not so obvious here 🙂 ), though most places just leave them depressingly grey.

I liked the strong shadows here so I made a photo. LPG is how many homes get their cooking fuel. The tanks are usually kept out behind the house. Many have rust spots. They are delivered by madmen in pickup trucks.

I wish I had used Tri-X instead of Foma, but I was trying to find ways to cut down on film costs. A mistake . . . .

Birthplace of Heo Gyun and Heo Nanseolheon

I’ve been to this estate many times in the past, but I enjoy going there every couple of months to see what I might have missed or to experience the buildings in different light. I usually see something in a new way every time I visit, which is one of the pleasures of photography.

I usually photograph this gate from farther back to get the long earthen walls and an impressive tree off to the right. But this time I walked closer and stayed to the right. That’s when this scene fell into place. I’ve walked up to this gate a hundred times before but never seen this particular view. Visit and re-visit is the lesson here.

This is one window/door of the sarangchae, the men’s residence. (Women in the past had to be in the anchae out back, where the kitchen is). This photo was an exercise in lining things up and keeping an eye on the viewfinder’s electronic level.

Looking at these two photos of the Heo estate makes me pretty happy. Time for another trip, I think. The best photo of my life could be waiting for me.