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.

 

Village of Swallows

There are no swallows in this post. The name of the village I visited last month is Jebi-ri, which is “Swallow Village”. But that sounds a bit odd and vulgar so I named this post “Village of Swallows”. I did see some swallows while I was walking around but they are too fast and small for me to photograph. I’ll leave that to the boys with the very long lenses and patience.

Shingwang Temple Offering at Spring

I had black and white film in my camera when I came across this offering at a spring in ShinGwang Temple. I wanted a colour photo of the fruit so I made one with my iPhone. It looks okay at a small size but won’t be any good for enlarging.

Temple Bell and Speakers

I thought the juxtoposition of the traditional temple bell and the modern speakers was interesting. The temple is very small so I don’t know why they would need these large speakers.

No Unauthorised Cars Allowed

This sign and lanterns are at the entrance to the temple. The sign says “No Unauthorised Vehicles Allowed.” This is probably necessary because the parking area was very small.

Worker Gloves on Stone

There was a small garden at the temple and someone had left their gloves on this flat stone, probably to dry. The temple was unoccupied on the day I was there. It was a Sunday, so maybe they had all gone to church? Oh ho ho . . . . sorry.

Tracks and Corn Field

There is very little grass between the tyre tracks so it might be a regular parking spot. Still, there is something slightly mysterious about these deep tracks that end abruptly at a field of tall crops.

Truck Tracks

This truck was in empty field that was very muddy with tracks.

Blue Former Military Truck

Here is that truck in colour. I see these here and there, usually in logging operations. They are always painted blue. The look like military trucks that were maybe sold to civilians. I wonder if they are painted blue so that they won’t be mistaken for in-service military vehicles.

Sesame Field, Colour

A shed at the far edge of a field of sesame.

Field of Sesame, black and white

Almost the same photo. I changed film and made the photo again. I like the composition of the black and white photo because the shed is bigger, but I think I would like it in colour.

Mailbox and path beside a field

I’m trying to remember the area, but I don’t think this mailbox was close to a house. Maybe the farmer was keeping a few things in it. The fence is made of net but I’m not sure what purpose it serves. Keeps small birds out? Just before I made this photo a cat slipped through the fence and into the field.

Tree and Fence

The same kind of fence enclosing a field and tree. I have a colour version of this but I don’t like it as much.

Clock in Bus Stop

It started to rain heavily so I took shelter in a bus stop and called a taxi. Buses are few and far between in Jebi-ri, especially on a Sunday. No other bus stops have clocks like this so someone in the village must have hung it up there. The time was wrong.

I’d like to visit the village again some day. It’s not far from my house and I can get there on bicycle when the weather isn’t wet. Although the area is quiet and pleasant, there are a lot of dogs tied up on short leashes and they bark and bark and bark when you pass by. Not great when you want to stop and make photos of something. Maybe next time I’ll bring some bones to toss them.

 

Downtown Gangneung

I spent much of my ten day holiday editing, printing, and again editing photos. I had a lot from nine rolls of film I got back from the lab as well as a backlog of digital photos. I think I’ve made myself sick of photography and I don’t want to see a shutter button for a while.

Some of the photos I made were of Gangneung’s downtown area. I make a lot of photos there because it’s easy to get to and I can do other things while I’m there. I need to get on my bicycle and visit other places.

Mall and Man

This new colourful mall is a nice visual relief from the usual grey concrete structures that go up in the downtown area. The building isn’t completely rectangular and the shops have shown some restraint with window signs.

Bus Arrival

As I was nearing one of the main downtown bus stops, I turned and saw this bus coming towards me. I waited until the bus was sped past me to make this photograph. The man on the right in the shadow was staring at me the whole time.

Steamed Dumpling Shop

The first two photos of this post were done using a digital camera but, as you can probably tell from the grain, this photo was made on black and white film. Foma 400 black and white film. It’s cheap as dirt and gives photos an old look because, I’ve read, they are using old technology to keep the prices down. This shop sells steamed dumplings in the downtown market area. They have meat stuffed dumplings as well as gimchi stuffed dumplings. They also sell large stuffed buns and another kind of steamed bread made of, I think, maize.

Pickup Truck

I really like these old-style Korean pickup trucks. I’m not sure what this model’s name is. The owner is working on the renovated market area downtown. I wonder how much one of these would cost to buy? And could it be repaired? And would I want to buy a vehicle that was probably abused? I often see these trucks being overloaded. Well, I can dream.

Shoe Table

An old shoe shop in the unrenovated market area. Anyone who knows photography can probably tell I did a poor job of dodging the umbrella at the top of the photo.

Bus 227

The other very busy bus stop in downtown. One of my best bus stop photos, I think. It will definitely go into my portfolio.

Clothes and Chestnuts

This is one of the shops in the new market area. The owner (sitting unseen at the back of the shop) sells what looks to me to be very old-fashioned women’s clothing. Granny Wear. Sitting in front of the rack is a tub of chestnuts and a wooden box for measuring. Maybe she sells them?

I hope you enjoyed these little scenes of Gangneung’s downtown area. Although I am a little bit sick of making photos there, I am sure I will go back later to find scenes that have interesting content and pleasing compositions.