Autumn is one of the best seasons to head out to the coast since not only is the weather cooler but the days are also getting shorter, which means more spectacular sunsets for Taean. When I go hiking, I tend to head out early in the morning and come back early in the afternoon. However, I wanted to see the sunset at Kkotji, therefore the girlfriend, a friend and I headed took the 13:10 bus from Taean bus terminal to Baeksajang. From there we started our 11.7KM hike towards to Kkotji. 3 hours and 20 minutes later, we arrived at Kkotji with the sun slowly making its way down towards the horizon. Since we missed the last bus leaving from Kkotji to Taean (which left at 17:20), we walked our way towards Anmyeong bus terminal and took the bus back into town.
Palbongsan, which translated into eight peaks mountain, sits at the border of Taean and Seosan. Like the name, the mountain consists of eight peaks, with the 3rd peak being the highest at 362 meters. There are two areas where one can start the hike up; one in the north and one in the south. Today, my girlfriend, my friend Kevin and I took the local bus from downtown Seosan and started our hike from the south side of the mountain. It took us around 20 minutes before our trail turned into a small dirt path. From there we literally had to climb rocks at some places before we reached our first peak which was the 8th peak. We slowly made our way to the 3rd peak and then after a quick rest, we made our way down. I have to say this mountain was one of the harder ones to climb since there was a lot loose dirt along the trail which made it quite slippery.
Taean county, located on the west coast of Chungnam, consists of mainland Taean and the island of Anmyeong. Between those two are the harbours of Baeksajang and Deureuni Harbour. Baeksajang is also known for it's yearly shrimp festival which runs from the end of September to the end of October. Beside the harbour lies the Baejsajang beach, which is also know for its white sandy coast. A pedestrian bridge located next to the harbour allows people to walk across the channel. The bridge itself is a suspension bridge with spiral ramps on both sides. Not only does it provide a birds eye view of the coastline, it is also one of the many places for one to view Taean's stunning sunset.
Last night, the girlfriend and I decided to tackle a stretch of Haebyeongil which starts at Baeksajang to Kkotji, and by the time we arrive, we would be able to see the sunset. Unfortunately, I didn't plan carefully enough and the sun started to set once we were half way on the trail. By the time I took this photo, we were are Duyegi beach and decided to call it a day. Luckily, we managed to get to Anmyeong Bus Terminal and got on the last bus just before it started leaving for Taean. Autumn is one of the best times to come to Taean since the air is clear and the sunsets are absolutely magnificent.
One of the reason why I love living in Taean is because of its beaches and amazing coastline. Out of the 30 odd beaches along the coast, the one that almost everyone knows is Manripo Beach. It even has direct buses which go to Seoul. Since my girlfriend and I stayed in Taean for Chuseok, we decided to head out to Manripo Beach. We took the local bus which left town at 1735 and arrived around 30 minutes later. The tide was slowly receding so we made our way down to the soft yet spongy sand. The sun was slowly setting and it was view absolutely amazing. Once the sun had set, we went to a local seafood joint and had BBQ shellfish (I forgot to take photos since I was the one doing the barbecuing). After a splendid meal, we took the last bus at 2020 which headed back into town and called it a night. If you do plan to come visit Taean, do come while the pleasant weather lasts!
Seoul is a weird place for street photography. For some reason there is an awkward feeling when I'm wandering around the streets in Seoul. I guess the reason why I find it awkward is because when I started street photography in Hong Kong, it was easy to find interesting things to take photos since everything was tightly packed together. While in Seoul itself is quite a dense city, there seems to areas of "dead space" of concrete towers with little or no "character" in the newly urbanized areas. Nevertheless, the older neighborhoods are still interesting to explore but it does take a bit of time of walking around to find something interesting to photography. While it is a lot more challenging to find an interesting subject, it's still good practice. The photos below were taken around Nambu Bus Terminal and the stretch from Ewha Womans University to Shinchon.
On Saturday, the 23rd of August, I met up with Tongyeong based photographer, Chris Cusick (check out his work here: http://www.thelostlens.co.uk/) in Seoul and we headed out to Bukchon to test out our new lenses. I recently acquired a Nikon 28mm f/2.8 manual focus lens from home and I haven't really had the chance to test it out until now. It took me a while getting accustomed to the 28mm since it was a lot wider than I am normally used to using for street photography. If you're used to auto focus lenses, this lens will take some time to get used to. However, it does slow one down and forces one to carefully think about composition and waiting for the right moment to take a image. Other than that, if you're a Nikon FX user and would like to play around with a wide angle prime, I do suggest getting the 28mm f/2.8. It costs around 100 dollars which isn't a lot for a full frame lens, but do beware that you're highlights might be a bit blown out and colours might look a bit flat on your camera LCD screen. I'd suggest to turn down the exposure compensation to -0.3 ~ -1.0 range depending on the situation. Although it might look a bit under exposed but you can always adjust it in post processing.
Although I live next to a national park in Korea, I always like to travel when I get the chance and every year during summer vacation, the two places to I head to are Hong Kong and Taiwan to visit family and friends. During this time, while I do have my camera with me at all times, I rarely take photos since I'm always with someone but I do take a snap or two when I see something interesting. If you're interested about where I took the photos, the information is in the photo captions
This year, I got selected to exhibit my photos at the Toronto Urban Photography Festival (TUPF) in Toronto, Canada. This year's theme was commUNITY and I submitted my photos of public transportation to represent the theme. Although I couldn't physically attend the festivals and see my photos on display, my friends who were in Toronto took photos for me and I got to say they look pretty nice.
Please do check out the TUPF website!
Sometimes, the best place to take photos are right where you live. In my case, that would be the rooftop of my building.
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