A Travellerspoint blog

January 2010

Insadong

frozen fingers and sylvester stallone impressions

Due to our 2 days off of school (which we now have to make up with a 12-hour shift on Saturday...but that's another story for another time), we had a lot of free time on our hands. Monday was spent trekking through the snow (which spread up to about ...my knees) for a couple of hours. Tuesday, a buddy of mine and I went into Seoul for another photo shoot.

Now, I still don't claim to know what I'm doing with this camera. It's getting easier and I'm definitely more interested in what settings go with which lighting, the subject, the angles, the focus...there's SO MUCH to learn. But practice makes perfect, and Korea offers a lot of subjects. One such place, even in the frigid winter (at night it's -1 °F, about -18 °C...not much warmer during the day), sliding along snowy slippery streets and inadvertently dancing like James Brown and sounding like Sylvester Stallone, is Insadong. Insadong is full of souvenirs, but for the most part it's not the tacky polyester and plastic things that you can find in most parts. There are lots of art galleries, pottery shops, paper shops, hanbok stores, traditional teahouses, and antique stores. Sure, it's being infiltrated by the cheap Chinese knockoffs, but for the most part there is a really good atmosphere.

The perfect place to take pictures, right?

Besides my fingers feeling like they were being bruised anytime they brushed against ANYTHING, the fact that I couldn't feel the lower half of my body, or that when I started walking I usually accidentally got on the good foot like the hardest working man in show business...well...it was pretty great.

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We ate at a very touristy Korean restaurant. There was some good lighting in there.
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Kimchi pancake!
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Traditional Korean dolls.
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Snack seller.
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Hanging stuff.
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Candy sellers. (Men...would you be caught dead wearing those hats? Just curious.)

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The already-narrow street was made more so by the snow piles.
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A funny photo op. (James' idea...I stole it!)
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Spices/mushrooms/nuts...all dried.
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Lotus with a snow hat!
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Motorized Egg man.
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This man had just swiped some scrap metal. And was very...slowly...getting...away.

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Yay!

Posted by lrbergen 05:34 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Snow-covered Seoul

SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!

Today was the start of a new year of work. Most schools, such as ours, were to start special winter vacation English class fun with the kids...at work at 8:40, classes start 9:10.

When I stepped out this morning, sure it was snowing a lot. To the trained Hoosier eye, though, it's just another snowy day. It was hard to walk through the sidewalks...most people trudging single-file through paths made by other trudgers. The roads were no better. When I got on the subway, it was packed, but this was nothing new either. As you may recall, I played the role of sardine crushed in a tin can when I used to take the subway 40 minutes into Seoul. At school, right before classes were about to start, classes were cancelled. The end. Go home.

I recently bought a new "real" camera, the Canon EOS Xsi 450D. I was able to go around and test the thing out yesterday; I was overjoyed at the prospect of a full day out in the snow, snapping photos.

It continued to snow...and snow...and snow. Looking in the news, we had record snowfall; 25 centimeters (about 10 inches). To a Hoosier, this is a cakewalk. In Korea, the whole country shut down. The subway stayed busy all day, people were shoveling for hours, and all of us amateur photographers took the day off and ventured out. Three hours and pants soaked halfway up to my knees, shoes completely destroyed, I came home exhausted but satisfied.

Without further ado:

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Snow day in Seoul! (And no school tomorrow either!)

Some other test shots from yesterday:
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Posted by lrbergen 08:05 Archived in South Korea Comments (1)

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