December’s Photos

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.

Fish drying on pedestrian bridge Namdae River
Fish drying on a pedestian bridge. Fuji X-Pro 1

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.

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‘Son Rock’, Town of Jumunjin. Contax 645, Kodak Portra 400.

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’.

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Girl walking past Son Rock. Contax 645, Kodak Portra 400.

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.

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Short Alley, Gangneung. Contax 645, Kodak Portra 400.

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?

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A tub of ginger in Central Market. Contax 645, Kodak Portra 400.

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.

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Tubs of food around a fire hydrant, Gangneung Central Market. Contax 645, Kodak Portra 400.

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.

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Children’s traditional dress, Gangneung Central Market. Contx 645, Kodak Portra 400.

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.

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Gingko Tree, downtown Gangneung. Contax 645, Kodak Portra 400.

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.

Paper collector parked in road
Cardboard collector, Gangneung. iPhone 6s Plus.

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.

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Daegu North Bus Terminal. Zeiss Ikon ZM, Kodak Portra 400.

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.

Near and Far

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Korea and the city of Gangneung is making new street signs in Korean, Roman letters, Chinese, and Japanese.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Korea and the city of Gangneung is making new street signs in Korean, Roman letters, Chinese, and Japanese.
No Parking
No Parking
Painted arrow and arrow from shadows
Painted arrow and arrow from shadows
View from a pedestrian overpass. This is what most new parts of Korean cities look like.
View from a pedestrian overpass. This is what most new parts of Korean cities look like.
An older part of Gangneung and the view from my deck. It's not such a pretty sight but, unlike most people, at least I have a view that isn't blocked by huge apartment buildings.
An older part of Gangneung and the view from my deck. It’s not such a pretty sight but, unlike most people, at least I have a view that isn’t blocked by huge apartment buildings.

Bus Stop, Hahoe Village

Except for the air-con and advert, local buses look much the same as they do in old films.
Except for the air-con and advert, local buses look much the same as they do in old films.

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.

Transportation

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.

Bicycle and Expressway Bridge
Bicycle and Expressway Bridge, iPhone Hipstamatic
Buses, Subway Station, Technomart, Apartments
Buses, Subway Station, Technomart, Apartments, iPhone Hipstamatic
Number 88 coal car
Number 88 coal car, iPhone Hipstamatic
Boat with Crane
Boat with Crane, Zeiss Ikon ZM, Agfa CT Precisa 100
Boarding a train
Boarding a train, Zeiss Ikon ZM, Agfa CT Precisa 100
Dump Truck, Door, and Window
Dump Truck, Door, and Window, Contax 645, Provia 100F
Scooter with Trailer
Scooter with Trailer, Fuji X-Pro 1