Bits and Bobs

I didn’t have enough photos of each location to make a full post so I’m throwing them together here. Enjoy.

20170924-002_bus_hillstate_apartment_construction

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.

20170926-002-031

Is watching chillies dry similar to watching paint dry?

20170926-003-002

The Sotdae Bridge in Gangmun. A man is helping this elegant woman with her hook.

20170926-003-023

Anmok Beach. I never knew there were truck-top tents available. It even comes with a ladder. Interesting idea.

20170926-003-025

A man sells silkworm larvae on the boardwalk at Anmok Beach.

20170926-005-024

A natural tree stands behind a telecommunications tree. This is next to the Jukheon Reservoir in Gangneung.

20170926-005-007

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.

20170926-003-035

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.

Until next time . . . .

 

Apartment Construction

I live in an until recently undeveloped part of Gangneung. My apartment was the first to be completed last December and now there are about five more complexes under construction or planned for this area. In a couple of years I guess there will be no more fields to walk past.
Right in front of a new construction site is a traditional Korean house that is quite run down. I don’t think it sits on a planned apartment site but surely it can’t be too long before the house is sold and torn down to make way for shops and restaurants.

20171004-005

With the tower cranes sticking out between the buildings, it almost looks as though the apartment complex is creating itself.

20171004-004

The house would look lovely if it were fixed up and the grounds cleared up a bit.

Stay tuned to see what the neighbourhood looks like in a few years.

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.

 

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.

20170510-005-001
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.

20170510-004-008
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.

20170510-004-016
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.

20170510-004-011
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.

20170510-004-013
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.

 

The Valley Behind My Apartment

Last month, I took a stroll up the small valley behind my apartment building. There are no farmers around because it’s winter and it’s a dead end so no city maniacs are using it as a shortcut to get to the highway. I made a few photographs on my walk and, as I write this, I wonder if the little valley has a name. Maybe I can ask a farmer when the weather warms up and they come out to prepare their fields.

20170112-001

As I started walking into the valley, I turned around and made a photo of my apartment complex.

20170112-002

I guess that this sign once said, “Do not enter”. Now, even without words, it still works as a means of communication. Or maybe it once said, “Welcome to my Field.” I don’t know.

20170112-003

I don’t know what kind of trees these are and I don’t know what this section of pipe is doing there.

20170112-005

Same trees, different view.

20170112-004

This was the end of the road. The blank area at the top of the sign looks like it might have had something written on it long ago.

I’m looking forward to walking up this valley in the spring and summer, when everything isn’t brown.