Towering Inferno

I live in a part of Gangneung that is still mostly farmland, but the city is expanding deeper and deeper into rural areas. Apartment buildings are going up at an incredible rate, even though the population is shrinking. Second homes for Seoulites and investments for speculators, perhaps. I make photos of the construction now and then, just because I pass the sites every day and I always have a camera in my hand. It’s decent composition practice as well. Getting the tower cranes aligned well is a challenge.


The tower cranes were nicely aligned one day when I was coming home from a walk.


The exterior of this complex is done and the cranes removed. You can see yellow elevators attached to the outside of the buildings. In the foreground are a dilapidated traditional home and some hothouses. These will probably be replaced by the usual convenience store, math/English/Korean cram school, and restaurant that sit in front of every apartment complex.


Building tops. The weird colours are from Kodak Ektar film, which I can’t seem to do anything with. Or the lab scanner can’t. I’ll just tell people it’s art and I laboured for hours to get those colours.


The same buildings a few days ago. Something caught on fire at the construction site and the neighbourhood was full of nasty black smoke for an hour or so. My wife saw this on her way to work and texted me. I ran out with my Canon compact and a film camera to make a few photos. The film photos are not developed yet. They probably look about the same.

Despite this awful fire being just across the road from my apartment complex, people here are still parking in the fire lanes.

Let me know if you have a fascination for apartment construction photos and I’ll get you some more. 🙂

Happy Lunar New Year.







The Olympics are in town. Or two towns, rather. Officially, the Olympics are in the tiny town of Pyeongchang up in the mountains. A nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there. Actually, you probably can’t live there because rich speculators bought up every bit of land they could find when the Olympics were announced and the prices have gone mad. Snow events like skiing are being held in Pyeongchang (which already had some ski resorts), but ice events such as hockey and curling are being held in Gangneung, where I live. The Olympic Village and other important infrastructure are here in the city as well.
As far as I can tell, the city has done a good job of preparing for the games and everything is very organised. The city has spent some money on Olympic themed decorations for the streets, including these Olympic circles above Culture Street in the central Gangneung area.


Nikon F6, Fujifilm C200 film. I don’t remember the lens.

This probably looks very impressive at night when the circles are lit up, but I’m not interested enough to go downtown with camera and tripod in freezing weather.

Some local businesses are also doing their bit to welcome the world to Gangneung for the games. A café on Culture Street put this lettering in their door:


Nikon F6, Fujicolor C200 film. A lens.

The name of the cafĂ© is “Welcoming” but it looks odd to say ‘Welcome to Welcoming’. A ‘fereigner’ might be someone from another country who doesn’t speak English well. Gangneung, which shouldn’t be two words, is capitalised for some reason. ‘Jok-Bal’ is ham hock. ‘Horid’? Maybe it’s not that good here? ‘Pok Cops’ might be pork chops. Or a chance to jab law-enforcement officials. Oh ho ho.

Good luck to the athletes, the organisers, and local businesses getting some extra custom during the games. As for me, I’m going to avoid any Olympic areas for the next few weeks. It’s all a bit too hectic for me. I’ll just stay home and cook up some pok cops for myself.