A walk in the Korean woods

Today I will show you shots I took when we explored  the wooded paths our taxi driver guide showed us. We wanted to see the changing colour of the leaves. He said we were a week late for the best show. Nevertheless we managed to find some decent locations. I am anything but a landscape photographer. Indeed sometimes I wonder whether I even qualify as a photographer.

I learned a lot taking these shots. The first lesson was that 98% of them were junk. Seriously. They look good in the mind but without the luxury of a tripod and time to use Live View I found that most of my images had failed to make any order out of chaos. Depth of field was wrong, perspectives did not work, the patterns I saw at the time did not work well in my frames. A few survived however. Just about.

Our route was broadly from the South coast at Jungmun towards Mount Halla, along “the mysterious road” and after lunch in the splendidly named Top Dong, we headed South East to Sunrise Peak and back round the coast to our hotel. Before you get over-excited by the mysterious road I have to say I found it less than mysterious. The “mystery” is that you look as if you are going up or downhill, depending which way you are driving, but when you roll something along the road it trundles the ‘wrong’ way. Of course it is an optical illusion and the ball or whatever is rolling the right way. Still, it brings in the tourist dollar and who am I to begrudge the locals a few extra Won. Hard won Won, shall we call them. I remain underwhelmed. As my father used to say, I could hardly contain my indifference.

But on with the show……….



Not much return for a day’s effort although I did like the two I posted earlier with the crow on the branch and the mountains ablaze:

The two that work best in my mind are the red leaf and the monochrome tree snag, the one that appears to be sending a message to the politicians of the world. They both have simple, isolated subjects that stand out as a clear focal point. Lesson learned.

I also discovered that colour temperature varies dramatically under cover and it was fascinating playing with the temperature slider in LR and warming filters in CS6 to try to get on screen what the eye saw at the time. The decision to go with black and white for the snag was simply that I found it emphasized the texture better than the colour versions I experimented with. If all this sounds a bit over the top, well I am on a learning mission. In 30 odd years of working I was always possessed of a restless curiosity. As I approach the first anniversary of my retirement (next week) I can still see so much I want to learn. On Wednesday next week I have the pleasure of lunch with my old team. I led (if that is the word) them for seven years and they were just brilliant, as colleagues and friends, as company and and fellow combatants. I don’t want to show up and say I’ve done b*gg*r all for the last 12 months. I thought retirement would come easily but it hasn’t. It was a lengthy adjustment process. Now it feels in full swing. The biggest trip of my life lies ahead as Mrs. Ha and I head for Antarctica at the year end. At least I can be reasonably sure that I’m not going to have many forests to photograph. And on that happy note I’ll sign off. I am not sure where we go next. Maybe Top Dong.