I picked up this little gem in a camera shop near Chungmuro station in Seoul two weeks ago and I have been testing it out since. All I got to say is that if you are comfortable with manual focusing, you'll defiantly enjoy the 50mm f/1.2. I love the build quality of the it, which is all metal and the bokeh is really dreamy at f/1.2. However, once you stop it down to f/2, this lens outperforms the 1.4 in sharpness from f/2 to f/5.6, and did I mention that the bokeh is amazing? Enough chit chat. Here are some of the photos I took over the past two weeks.
The first time I learned about urban renewal was when I was taking an urban studies course when back in university. It involves the relocation of the local population and businesses. It also involves demolishing the original buildings and replacing them high density structures. Many neighbourhoods in Seoul have already gone through this process and you can tell by the concrete residential towers which are a common sight in the city's skyline. There are a few original neighbourhoods that are currently going through urban renewal and today I had the chance to visit one of them. This particular neighbourhood is mostly empty with a few remaining residents who refuse to move. The area is slated to be demolished and replaced with the same residential towers which surround the area. It was weird walking through a place where the previous residential buildings are just now hallow shells waiting to be torn down. It looked like something out of an apocalyptic scene and it set a stark contrast with the new apartment towers which were sitting across the street. The neighbourhood itself is quite big and due to the lack of time, I could only explore a portion of it and had to leave. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit the place before the whole place gets torn down.
Today was teacher's day in Korea and I was fortunate enough to have the day off therefore my friend Dylan and I decided to go hiking. The trail we took started from Manripo to Shinduri. The weather started out cold and wet when our bus left the terminal at 0630 but one we arrived at Manripo, the weather started clearing up. It was nice seeing the surroundings all lush green and the butterflies flying about finding flowers to feed on. Although it wasn't too warm, we both did get sunburns. I guess it's time to start putting on sunscreen before hiking. The whole trek took approximately 5 hours and that included time wandering about taking photos.
While I was on the bus on to the starting point of my trek along the coastline, an abandoned site caught my eye. Once I got off the bus, I headed towards the site and I realized it was an abandoned school. From what I could find, the school was constructed in the early 70s and later turned into a folk art museum before closing down. Although the field is overgrown with vegetation, there was a garden in the back so I'm assuming the locals come here from time to time. Unfortunately the windows and the doors were locked so I couldn't go check inside. The interior shots were taken through the windows.
The first question you might ask is that "why the hell is this trail so damn long?" Well, in fact, it is actually two trails which I decided to do in one go. The reason behind this is because Hwangpo-hang, which is the meeting point of the two trails, is a small fishing village with less than ten buildings and the buses come every two hours, making going back to Anmyeon Bus terminal a pain. My adventure started at 0630 when I took the express bus to Anmyeong Bus terminal. From there I took the 0750 bus to Yeongmok and started making my way up the coastline. There were a few woodlands, beaches and wetlands that I passed through along the way. In total, it took a good 5 hours and 16 minutes for me to finish the 29KM trek. Although the views were spectacular, the consequence of walking 5 hours straight was that my feet were swollen. The last kilometer to the bus stop felt like a life time with my feet in agony. If you would like to tackle this fabulous stretch from Yeongmok to Kkotji or vice versa, do bring a lot of water and something to eat. There aren't that many corner stores on this section of Haebyeongil. Enough chit chat. Please enjoy the photos!
There are a lot of escalators in Hong Kong. Heck, it's one of the main modes of transportation in Central on Hong Kong Island to ferry people up and down the hill. This project, "Escherlators" was inspired by M.C. Escher Relativity, where the stairwells lead into difference dimensions, into an never ending loop. The escalators in Hong Kong are some what the same; take the wrong one and you end up on a floor that you didn't intend on going to and trying to find your way around can be confusing.
Hong Kong was the place where I started taking up on Street Photography back in 2012. It started out as a way to relax from the stress of working there. As time progressed, it turned into an interest. Going back to Hong Kong during this long weekend in Korea gave me a chance to practice and sharpen my street photography skills which I have not been able to do here in the countryside (although one might argue that you still can but my rule is that I don't sh*t where I eat). I did find out that I have a preference for taking photos inside of buildings rather on the street since it's interesting how people's behaviour change when they are in an interior environment Vs. when they are out on the street. People tend to be more interesting once they are indoors whereas it seems as if they are constantly rushing from point A to point B when they are on the street. Then again, that is my observation. Enough reading. Here are the photos.
The cold weather is finally behind us and all my surroundings at home and work are finally lush green with beautiful flowers sprouting everywhere. Although it is technically still Spring, I am excited of what's to come in the summer. The just are a few snapshots I took over the past few days. I can't wait to go stargazing on the beach at night once the dust from China eventually stops making the sky hazy.
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