A Trip to Sokcho

Half a trip, actually. The other photos from the outing are on as-yet unscanned slide film.

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I made this photo while waiting for the bus to Sokcho. The bear next to the lady in the pink shirt is one of the 2018 Olympic mascots. When I noticed this potential scene only the woman next to the bear was in the composition. I waited and an older woman sat back on to me just where I wanted her to. Then I waited another few minutes for a bus to pass by on the other side of the road.

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This is a bus stop in Sokcho. The Olympic mascots look happy about the garbage bags.

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The rest of this post documents my walk from Sokcho’s high street to the harbour about 3.7 kilometres away. Rice straw is wrapped up in plastic here to await shipment to . . . cattle farms? Sandal factories? Peasant maidens for conversion to gold on spinning wheels?

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A sign by the riverside warning people that planting gardens next to the water can result in a ten million Won fine (about half the price of a decent car) or up to two years in jail. Ouch.

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This tractor is in hard shape. The headlight is missing and it’s rusted up. It looks like someone backed into that fence.

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Rice fields at harvest time.

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This rice has been harvested by a machine, leaving the straw in nice straight rows in the field. I once spent a day cutting rice by hand and it was very hard work. Anyone who says traditional farming methods are better than machine methods can go straight to hell. Where they will spend an eternity harvesting rice by hand . . . .

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This photo and the next are my favourites on the roll. I like the contrast between the dark green living grass and the paler green of the harvested rice stalks.

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Same photo but diagonal.

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My wife doesn’t like this photo but I do. At the moment. It probably won’t get printed because it seems a bit too imbalanced between the left and the right. Anyway, ‘submitted for your approval’.

The other photos from Sokcho on the slide film will show up here in a week or so. If any of them pass my editing process. There’s one of a cat that will show up here for sure so you can look forward to that.

 

Digital Fun

The scans and prints from the first few rolls of my 28mm/Fujicolor C200 project have arrived but I am still editing. Using a wide angle lens is challenging because there is so much to organise in the frame but I got a few good results. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, today I turned on the Hipstamatic App on my iPhone and made a couple of photos. Very enjoyable, especially since I haven’t used it much since my iTraditional project a few years ago. I might use Hipstamatic as a side project when I don’t have my F6 with me. The iPhone’s camera is wide angle and the colours are interesting. Another way to shake me out of my slump.

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2018 Olympics women’s ice hockey rink in Gangneung.
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Wolhwa Folk Market, downtown Gangneung.

Mobile phone cameras might not be ‘serious’ cameras and Hipstamic only good for hipster scum, but they are a lot of fun.

A bit of film

The photos in this post don’t have much in common except that they were all made in May and they are film photographs. I guess it would be nice to present a nice photo essay about something like the redevelopment of the tourist areas (or whatever) but sometimes you just take a few decent photos while out for a walk or standing in the bathroom.

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The aforementioned bathroom

I was brushing my teeth or drying my face when I noticed this patch of morning sunlight on the tiles of the bathroom floor. I ran to the cupboard to get my Nikon F6 and make this photo before the sun moved and ruined the photographic moment. This was made on Kodak Portra 400 film and very likely I spot-metred off the brightest part of the tile and added +1 or +1.3 stops of exposure.

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2018 Olympics Women’s Hockey Stadium

The Winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang County and Gangneung City next year. It’s officially the Pyeongchang Olympics but ice rink sports such as hockey and curling will be in Gangneung and things like skiing will be held in Pyeongchang, where the ski slopes are. This stadium was built at the university where I teach and when the Olympics are done the facilities will be used by the students and by the public. I was leaving school one day when I noticed the beautiful reflections in the windows. The campus is filled with pine trees and new flower beds have been installed around the stadium. I searched the bottom windows for my own reflection but I guess I was too far away.
Just before I made this photo I ran into a small group of students and I got them to huddle together for a photo. Last week I got prints made and gave them to the students. They were really pleased, and I think that people are quite grateul when you go through the trouble of making a print and giving it to them. Clicking ‘send’ on a phone application takes no effort and people do it all day long. I hope they have the prints to look at long after their phones are obsolete and they’ve lost half a lifetime’s worth of memories.

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Something old, something new

I was out for a walk when I came across this well-maintained Korean traditional house with modern apartments in the background. I like this sort of contrast between the old Korea and the new and I made a few photographs. The curve of the traditional roof and the zig-zag placement of the apartments gives this photo a slight dynamic feeling. The tree in the lower left is a nice touch, but I’m not sure about the utility pole on the right side of the frame. I guess it’s not too bad because there are power lines on the left side of the frame and they balance out. Made on Kodak Portra 400 with the Nikon F6. Probably a 50mm lens since that’s the one I usually have on the camera when walking around.

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Stepping-stone bridge on the Namdae River.

The apartment complex on the right is the same complex that’s in the previous photo. I think it might be the same day, but I’m not sure because I don’t keep careful notes. Any notes. I waited around for a while for people to come by and cross the bridge. I was lucky enough to get people going both ways and meet at a compositionally pleasing spot in the frame. This photo was made with the F6 on, yes, you guessed it, Kodak Portra 400.

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Stepping-stone bridge

This detail of the bridge was made at the far end where there’s little or no water and the grass has grown up. F6. Portra 400.

I’ve lived in Gangneung for a long time and sometimes I feel tired of going to the same markets, the same historical houses, and the same harbours for photography. I have no car so I’m limited in the number of interesting places I can visit. But, amazingly, sometimes just hanging a camera off your shoulder and wandering the seen-a-thousand-times city streets can result in some new perspectives and good photographs.