Remembering Korea

If you graphed my photography activity over the last decade you’d notice a fairly concentrated lull between 2012 and 2015. This was a time where I simply was not photographing as much, nor as often, due to the burdens of life getting the way (graduated college, job, moved around, the usual….) One outlier in that period however, is 2014 where I had the fortune of some travels and took a camera. One of these was a lengthy trip to South Korea for my occupation.

While I did not get to spend as much time soaking in Korea’s massively diverse landscapes and cultures (working 70 hour weeks leaves little time for the shutterbug), I did take a Fuji x100s with me most everywhere I went and tried to capture what I could, when I could. The result was a mixed bag, but I wanted to highlight my favorite two photos from that trip that just happen to be taken on the same day. As always you can click these images to expand.

South Koreans drink soju. And by drink I mean consume it at such a rapid rate it makes the Russians blush. However, other types of adult beverages are gaining popularity. In this case, beer. We wandered up into a small dedicated beer bar many floors up in the heart of Pyeongtaek to enjoy a few Belgian and other imported beers that are by the bottle, self serve style. At the end you take your pile of “empties” to the counter and pay for your consumption. But about the image…

One of the things i loved here was how wildly diverse the environment is decorated with a multitude of different countries representative beers. But what sells the photo for me, is this moment of intense conversation our subject in the foreground seems to be captured by while his companion looks… less than interested. Those two grab the viewer for me and pull me in to the point I feel like I’m back at that bar today. Next, something in contrast to our beer bar.

A lone passenger sits at a train station and waits alone. I was sitting on the next bench down, and noticed with the harsh sun pouring down overhead the man not fifteen feet from me was nearly completely shadow. There’s something isolating to me about the mans posture, while other people in the background are almost all in pairs or groups. He looks, well, lonely. The black and white conversion on this image helps isolate him even further and lets me really push the shadows to where he is nothing but a silhouette. Moments later after shooting this image another person came along and sat down beside him, both relieving him of his isolation and ruining my photos…. thankfully I got this one in before.

That’s all for now. I hope to do more of these little tiny commentary on some of my favorite shots. It lets me kinda reflect on what I have been proud of in the past in hopes of continuing to make photographs I love.