Korea in May


So why no blog post for a while you ask? Well I don’t know. I had something to think about then I realised…whatever…so I stopped. I could have been serious but that would have been something difficult. So I’m on the dry, blog wise. So to cheer you up here are some photographs from May in Korea, which is always a lovely month here.

 

All photographs were taken by me, Conor O’Reilly. I use a Nikon D5100 with Nikkor DX 35mm f/1.8 lens, and I edit in Lightroom only. Pictures were taken in Suwon, Jumunjin, Pyeongchang, Seoul, and Hwaseong. Remember to check my Flickr for more regular uploads, and I’m also on Instagram.

Of course, you’ll recall my post from Buddha’s Birthday, and Monochrome Seoul which have more pictures from this past month.

 

Hwaseong Again


I’ve been living in and around Suwon for over four years, and without doubt one of the most interesting places to visit is Hwaseong Fortress at the centre of the city. I’ve written about it before I believe, and I think if you spend two minutes with a Google search you’ll find ample information on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, not only from your typical Korean government websites praising all that is wonderful about Hwaseong, but also a shovel full or two of blogs in English by other visitors (if I could suggest somewhere to start, I’d suggest taking a walk with the Qi Ranger).

But me being who I am have grown a little used to the fortress and can only explore so much of its windy wall. It’s always enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but what I find more worthwhile is a wander in between the many streets which snake in and out on either side of the 300 year old (or thereabouts) fortification. This space is old Suwon. It is where the city sprung from, and from the busy markets of Paldalmun to the laziness of the pretty much everywhere else, there is a maze worth getting lost in.

I think I’ve had a look at about 5% of what this area has to see, but regardless each step on a familiar pathway still intrigues. There’s something about the unspoilt ugliness of these narrow, often poorly maintained streets. And while they create this impression, the closer you look the more you see that they are in fact well looked after, just not by the city, but by the people who live there. It’s a bit of a paradox I suppose, but again, that’s probably why I find it interesting.

On Sunday (November 24th) I was wandering around with Herself, her folks, and of course +1. It was a dreary afternoon, a day that only Hwaseong’s surrounding area could only look well in. We took our time strolling around trying to find a restaurant which didn’t specialise in either fried chicken of boiled pig’s feet, both of which I adore, and needless to say I took a few pictures.

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Of late I’ve been experimenting with editing. Previously, I have just taken pictures and posted them here as I consider getting as many pictures taken as possible and then sharing them to be my main objective. I’ve also attempted to use editing software and failed royally, mainly due to my own impaetience.

A good friend in Korea put me on to an easy way of editing quickly and effectively, and I’ve been doing it regularly of late. It’s a simple as this. I use the Snapseed app on my ipad to edit quickly photos which I can now transfer to my photo album simply through dropbox, or indeed directly off my memory card thanks to a simple card reading device which I picked up for a very reasonable price. I’ve always thought that Snapseed was a good app, although not having the ease to upload and edit photos quickly seemed to turn me off using it (I am realising that I must be very impartient with technology and my use of it). Over the past few weeks though, I’ve been enjoying editing my photos, especially touching up the colours, shading, light, and some moderately effective sharpening. The success I’ve had with my photos is encouraging me to challange myself again and learn how to use photo editing software.

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All in all though, photography has been keeping me quite busy of late, and if you pop over to my flickr page you’ll see some of my many uploads, some edited and some not, including some late uploads from holidays in 2012 to both Thailand and Malaysia.

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All photographs © Conor O’Reilly 2013. All rights reserved.

Hwaseong


Here is a collection of photos from Hwaseong, Suwon’s tourist attraction.

Hwaseong is an 18th Century City Wall that is mostly intact, with the exception of a small stretch where the busy market area of Paldamun has swallowed up any need for fortification. Hwaseong is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and deservedly so. When I first hear of Hwaseong I thought it would be something comparable to the Great Wall of China; it is not. Yet, it is impressive and definitely worth the adventure. It only takes a few hours to walk around and it includes an amazing view from the top of a small hill over the whole of Suwon, in which you can almost see our home.

If you go during the day you get the chance to explore the various guard posts and gate houses, and if you go towards the evening you get to witness a side of Suwon you’d would often associate as foreign to much of Korea; people out relaxing in the quiet narrow grass verges next to the sleepy streets. We managed to catch a spectacular sunset on our little circumnavigation.

We took this little walk, our second time doing it, in early September when it had gotten a little cooler. Everything was still nice and green:)

I’m a little sad that it took me over two months to actually make this post, but fortunately I got down to it in the end! I’ll allow the pictures tell the rest of the story 8)

One of many guard house doors

 

A view of Suwon

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Making do…


Woe of woes!

I was in town on Sunday and on the way into Itaewon from Jongno, my camera dissappeared! It wasn’t stolen, I don’t even remember when I had it last, but I know for definite when I didn’t have it!

To say that this is a shite buzz is an understatement.

Not only do I have no camera, I now have to buy a new one. And yes, I do HAVE TO buy a new one.

Fortunately there weren’t that many pictures saved on it but most of what I had planned for the next year in terms of taking pictures has now gone out the window until I can somehow land myself 1,000,000 won to buy a new camera. And yes, I do HAVE TO pay at least that much; it’s what I paid for the previous one four years ago.

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