This was part of a large sign with names of donors who helped build Dorasan Station, the last stop before entering North Korea by train. The rail line was used at one point for a joint economic venture between North and South. In 2008, The North Koreans shut the program down and closed the border after only one year of use. The South Koreans seem really saddened by the divide. One sign at the station reads: “Not the last station from the South, But the first station toward the North.”
It’s a shame to me that most of the goods and products we buy have such a short lifespan.
My personal work has a tendency to be quiet, moody, even a little on the dark side. Yet, I shoot mostly bright, happy, beautiful things for my clients. I suppose it’s a ying-yang kind of thing: To know happiness, you need to know sadness.
Though I shot this a while ago, I do remember that even in reality the angles of this building defied logic. As you walked under it, you felt like it was going to topple over. It was just too big for where it was built.
When I ran into this sign, I headed out in the direction it was pointing. For me, that’s what photo walks are all about. Taking cues from around you and seeing where it take you. I love doing this in foreign countries, especially when the language (or characters) mean nothing to me. You really don’t know where you’ll end up.
Another symbolic shot of the North-South divide in Korea. There’s always hope things will get better.
I took this shot because to me it symbolized the division of North and South Korea. The South is bustling with industry and urbanism. The North is a mysterious place obscured by rumors and propaganda. During my trip to South Korea last year, I couldn’t help but feel this divide all around me. It was a sad and lonely feeling mixed with the ever present fear of war and destruction.
A few months ago, I took a short trip to South Korea for my wife’s business Lauren Brooks Photography. If you don’t know this already, Lauren is an amazing photographer and I’ve had the pleasure of being her second shooter for the past 7 years at all her wedding gigs. I think what’s most incredible about Lauren is watching her capture amazing emotional moments with grace and ease through the chaos that oftentimes consumes a wedding. I know very few commercial photographers that could handle the high pressure of shooting a wedding. No matter where we find ourselves shooting or what the weather brings (sun, rain, even snow), Lauren is always calm and collected; a true professional.
My main reason for going to South Korea was to photograph the engagement session of Lauren’s clients Amanda and Jeff, whose wedding we’re shooting this summer. It was an incredible experience and truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sadly, Lauren was not able to make the trip with me due to some health complications (she’s all better now). Originally, we had planned to spend about four days in Seoul. But with me by myself, I cut it back to one day so I could get back to the States and take care of Lauren.
With only 24 hours to shoot something for myself, I hit the streets and just wandered around. I was in two main areas of Seoul: Nonhyeon-dong and Itaewon-dong. Both areas were pretty touristy, but I was determined to find something Korean to shoot. It was actually pretty hard. Most of Seoul is pretty modern and if it weren’t for the signage and Asian majority, you’d think you were in New York. But seek and you shall find. I found the coolest looking restaurant off the beaten path in Itaewon. This series of photos are probably my favorite from the trip. I’ll post more shots from my Seoul photo walk next week.