I didn’t have enough photos of each location to make a full post so I’m throwing them together here. Enjoy.
A number of new apartment complexes are going up in my neighbourhood and this is a view of one of them from the back seat of a bus on the way downtown.
Is watching chillies dry similar to watching paint dry?
The Sotdae Bridge in Gangmun. A man is helping this elegant woman with her hook.
Anmok Beach. I never knew there were truck-top tents available. It even comes with a ladder. Interesting idea.
A man sells silkworm larvae on the boardwalk at Anmok Beach.
A natural tree stands behind a telecommunications tree. This is next to the Jukheon Reservoir in Gangneung.
Also at the reservoir is a private cemetery with a number of tombs that I like to visit. What this stele says I have no idea because it’s written in Classical Chinese characters.
I’ll end the post with another photograph made from inside a bus. This is the taxi stand in front of Gangneung Bus Terminal. I don’t know the date, but it might have been just before the university semester began because all the people in the long queue look like students. The fellow in front is getting into an illegally parked car.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The other very busy bus stop in downtown. One of my best bus stop photos, I think. It will definitely go into my portfolio.
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.
Here are my ten favourite photos from the month of December. Lightroom tells me I made 187 photographs in the last month, from two rolls of medium format film, three rolls of 35mm film, my iPhone, and the Fuji X-Pro 1. That number doesn’t include the large number of digital photographs I deleted while editing. I don’t delete photos from roll scans even if they aren’t good because I want to use Lightroom as a computer contact sheet.
This bridge is near the downtown market area of the city and it’s not unusual to see fish hung from the wire rails to dry. I suppose it’s a good place to do it because there is often a good wind coming down the river and there is nothing blocking the sunlight.
This interesting rock formation is in the town of Jumunjin and is called ‘Son Rock’. A legend says that if you stand under this rock and make a wish it will come true. Many people used to (and probably still do) come here to wish for a child. Specifically a son. Thus the name ‘Son Rock’.
While I was making photos a Korean man showed up with two non-Korean children. This girl is about twelve or thirteen and her younger brother was about eight or nine years old. Their father(?) spoke only Korean to them and the girl spoke decent Korean to him and fluent English to her brother, who spoke fluent English but little or no Korean. I thought about asking where they are from but they are probably asked that question every day of their lives so I let it go.
There used to be a restaurant on the first floor. It’s hard to tell what building it belongs to or if it was just built between buildings. Just how many buildings are in this photo, anyway?
These ‘parking spaces’ are what the city made when cleared the main downtown streets of the grannies who were selling vegetables on the sidewalks. The old ladies show up with their stools and vegetables in the mornings and set up shop in these little spaces. Why these spaces are empty except for a tub of ginger, I don’t know.
A few years ago the city tried to increase the number of customers coming to the Central Market by building a roof over the market roads and drawing lines on the road to indicate how far into the road a stall owner could display his or her goods. You can see part of a yellow line above the hydrant. The lines are ignored, as is fire safety. Hydrants are surrounded by tubs and many fire alarms mounted on walls and pillars have drying fish hung from them.
There is also a clothing section in the market that sells rubber boots, coats, trousers, and so on. A few shops sell traditional clothes like these hanbok for children.
Near the market is this very old Gingko tree that looks beautiful in the autumn. (This photo was probably made sometime in November or possibly late October but I didn’t get the film developed until December). This photo only shows the trunk and the lower branches but it is several stories tall.
This carboard collector, who stopped for a fag at the crosswalk, figured that since his cart has wheels then it’s okay to leave it in the road. Once he finished his smoke he crossed against the light.
Daegu is an industrial city and this bus terminal is located in one of the heaviest industrial areas.
And those are the photos I thought were the best for this month. After the New Year holiday I’ll bring the computer files to the lab for printing.
When I was making a last batch of photos for my exhibition last year, I travelled to the village of Hahoe near Andong. When I first visited the village about fifteen years ago there were cheap trinkets being sold from a lot of the houses for the tourists. And not even Korean cheap trinkets. I especially remember a large wooden pencil with a U.S. flag on it. Not exactly the traditional Korea I had travelled to see. The village’s applications to become a UNESCO Heritage Site were rejected because of this sort of thing.
But the village cleaned itself up and in 2010 it was accepted as a heritage site. I went in the autumn on a weekday so I didn’t run into the weekend horde of tourists. I made some good photographs in the afternoon and morning and I slept in a house like the one in the picture above. Sleeping on a heated floor on a yo (a thin mattress) is a pleasure in life, especially when you can watch the shadows of trees on the paper windows.
The buses to and from the village are not that frequent and when they arrive the driver turns off the engine, gets out, and has a rest. This gave me time to walk away and make a photo with my Zeiss Ikon ZM. It’s the only film photo I made, I think. The others were done with my iPhone. I want to visit the village again next autumn with either the Fuji digital camera or, perhaps more in fitting with the traditional nature of the village, a film camera like the Zeiss or my Contax 645.
There are many ways to get around. Boats, trains, trucks, bicycles, and motorcycles. Some of these are ridden for pleasure and some are used for work. The bicycle is my favourite for getting myself around and the train is the most relaxing way to travel to other cities.