Saturday, 23 June 2018

Two Squares

These photos don't have much in common, but they are both in square format, they both have apartments in them, and they were both scenes noticed while on the way somewhere.

This was made at my apartment complex while talking on the phone with someone. I hope the sound of the shutter didn't disturb the person I was talking with. I keep my bicycle in my apartment because it's electric and because I don't want to risk vandalism. I cropped this to a square format to get rid of unnecessary wall.

An iPhone photo of the the fields in the northern part of the city. The rice had just been planted and the potatoes to the left are doing well. The little cloud over the apartments makes a nice accent. This photo looks nice enough on a screen but I'm not sure how good it would look as an 8x8 print. Probably okay, but I wish I had a proper camera at the time.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Industry and Commerce

I'm not sure about the title of this post because I'm not exactly sure what is included in industry and commerce. If someone is annoyed enough, I am sure they will comment.

Here's the commerce. This distribution centre for a soft drink company left a hand cart out on a holiday. Very exciting.

And here's the industry. Construction is industry, right? Anyway, this is a forklift, so possibly it's a commercial vehicle. Doesn't matter. I liked the contrast between the machine and the bamboo growing along the side of the road.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Paint Shop

I pass this paint shop fairly often on one of the main roads through the city. The signs on the door are for Koryeo Paint. It's attractive to me because it's rather old-fashioned. It probably hasn't changed in decades. When the owner retires or passes on, it will probably get remodelled and turned into a coffee shop. Gangneung is full of coffee shops and has the dubious honour of having more coffee shops per capita than any other city in Korea. Why? I don't know why. Anyway, I was talking about this paint shop, not coffee shops. I think I'll be a bit disappointed when this eyesore disappears. It's not much to look at it, but at least it has character and doesn't look much like the other paint shops in Gangneung.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Steamed Bread

This shop in Gangneung's Central Market sells steamed dumplings and steamed bread. The dumplings are made from wheat flour and could be stuffed with red bean paste, vegetables, and/or meat. Really nice on a cold winter day. On the left in the foreground is steamed bread which, I am pretty sure, is made from rice flour. And maybe corn meal. Also added are kernels of sweet corn and green peas. I'm less fond of this, mostly because I don't like corn and peas in bread.

Monday, 28 May 2018


Most shops in Korea open at ten in the morning. When I can get up early enough, I sometimes take a walk through the market area to enjoy the lack of people and look for scenes like this one. Sometimes it's a potted plant that's been left on the sidewalk. Sometimes it's a rack of clothes that won't fit into the closed shop (they are rather narrow and crowded). Sometimes it's gimchi pots or just empty shelves. Besides the interest of the plant and pot with the bricks on top, I like the primary colours against the dull steel grey of the shutter.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Rainy Day in Seoul

Last week I brought my Zeiss Ikon rangefinder to Seoul for repairs. It has to be sent to Zeiss in Japan, so I won't see it for about a month. If I get it back in time, I might bring it to Canada with me this summer. I'm off film now, but the camera is such a joy to use that it will be nice to keep black and white film in it for walkabouts.
Anyway, it rained cats and dogs and pigs and goats shortly after I dropped the camera off at the authorised Zeiss Dealer in Chungmu--ro. I several times took shelter in the doorways of shops, but eventually just walked off with my ineffective umbrella in search of a taxi. Here are a few photos I made while waiting and walking through the rain.

Chungmu-ro is one of the areas in Seoul where you can find many camera stores and print shops. It's a very densely populated neighbourhood and trying to get a seat in a restaurant around lunch time is mission impossible. Ugly buildings, but they are picturesque in the rain.

This is more of the same, and I was standing in the same place where I made the first photograph. You can see several other people sheltering from the rain, knowing that their umbrellas are useless. The sign on the road says, "One Way".

Nothing stops a good game of Go, known as baduk here. This photo was made just before the really heavy rain started. I don't know if they ran away or not.

I didn't get to do everything I wanted in Seoul because of the heavy rain, but at least I did everything I needed to. I knew it was going to rain, but there was no mention of heavy downpours in the forecast. Still, it was nice to get out of town for the day.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Two Wheels

I recently had to go to the bicycle repair shop to get a tyre replaced.I was, in fact, tired (haha) of having tyres replaced or fixed so I bought airless tyres for the bike. I've had them for a couple of weeks now, and they are convenient but don't grip the road as well as regular tyres so I need to be more careful on rough surfaces.
The man in the photo has been at the bicycle repair business for about fifty years. After he got his primary education, he started buying and selling small items to make money. He started with eggs, worked up to chickens, then goats, then other, more expensive things. Finally, when he was old enough, he got his dream job working at a bicycle repair place as a trainee. Later he opened his own shop and some years later realised his dream of owning a building. He's quite successful, and parked next to the building is a very expensive car. He travels abroad every year and seems worried about nothing. I suppose starting work after primary school was possible in the past. These days you need a university degree to do anything.

The guy on this scooter might possibly have double the education of the repair man, but less than half the brains. Well, I can't say that, because riding scooters according to bicycle or pedestrian rules is very common here in Korea. The mail carriers do it, restaurant delivery people (pictured) do it, and old men who are too timid to ride on the streets do it. I suppose walking and cycling on the dangerous roads and sidewalks of Gangneung has helped me to sharpen my reflexes, so I should be grateful . . . .