A bicycle ride into the hills

Last month I felt tired of visiting the same places over and over so I had a look at Naver Maps (Like Google Maps, but only covers Korea) and found a reservoir up in the hills that I had never seen before. So I jumped on my bicycle and ran rode to the hills.

I took only my iPhone and used the Hipstamatic application to make a few photographs. I like to put away my regular cameras sometimes to try something different. The change from my usual kit helps me see things in a different way, and the new perspective transfers to my regular photography habits.

The first thing of interest I found was a shed used by the volunteer forest fire watch. These mostly senior citizens ‘hang out’ in the countryside and watch for the first signs of forest fires. Or ‘mountain fires’, as they are known in Korea. Probably because most of the trees are on mountains and flat land is almost always farmland or concrete. The shed was half(?) a shipping container with windows  and a stove installed. I was attracted to the nickel silver kettle in the window so I made a few photos of it.

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On one side of the reservoir (which was unremarkable, except for a number of floating sloar panels) were a few houses and a small, neglected park with a couple of pavilions. One of the pavilions was in a traditional style using mostly whole logs and clay tiles, and the other was western style with 2×4 pieces of wood and asphalt shingles. I made a few photos from inside the traditional pavilion where I took a rest.

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The place was deserted except for a woman who came out of a house once to do some work and steal looks at me. The place probably gets very few Korean tourists, never mind Anglo-Saxon visitors.

On the way back home I stopped to photograph a compost pile that was not very photogenic on its own, but looked interesting presented against the similarly-shaped mountain the in the background.

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The winter tree branches nicely match the dead roots or vines in the compost pile and fill up a boring blue sky.

The iPhone only has a wide angle lens, so I might go back there this spring with my full kit and a tripod to see what other photographs I can make. Even if I just waste some film, the area is very nice for cycling in and a trip there is a nice way to spend a morning or afternoon.

2 thoughts on “A bicycle ride into the hills

  1. Thanks Marcus – that’s really interesting actually – even though they’re mountains, they seem quite managed. Ours in Scotland are wild desolate places haunted by feral Haggis and lonely pipers and the sound of Vibram in the morning . . .

    That first one especially is wonderfully mysterious and the whole set capture an ‘air’ of a sort of otherworldliness.
    More please.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. With Korea’s high population density, there is almost no land that doesn’t have people living on it or using it. There are some nice walking trails in the mountains, but, ironically, you can’t access them unless you have a car to get there.

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