Saturday, April 9, 2016

Quite Possibly, My Last Photo Set From Korea - Youido Cherry Blossoms Etc.

Spring Flowers at Youido - captured by Leica D-Lux (Typ 109).

The movers come Tuesday morning. It was a rather difficult task decided which cameras and lenses would accompany me on the flight home, and which would travel by sea to rendezvous with me in Texas in 60 days time. One of the cameras that will not be traveling with me is my new Leica D-Lux (Typ 109). The main reason is that I don't have room in my bag for any more cameras, but, to a lesser extent, I lost the lens cap and simply don't want to run the risk of damaging the lens during travel. 

With that in mind, I wanted to take the Leica out for one more spin before boxing her up and the Cherry Blossom Festival at Youido, Seoul, South Korea provided the perfect setting. Well, almost perfect. Grey skies were the only blemish on a wonderful day of walking, enjoying the scenery and, of course, snapping a few photos.

One couldn't help but notice the abundance of "selfie sticks". It's become the norm here, so much so that when I offered to take a photo for two friends that were struggling to get photos of themselves, they politely declined. It's as if the idea of someone else taking the photo for you was somehow as foreign as I am.

Nonetheless, I couldn't worry about how other people take their awfully composed photos, I had my own photographs to concern myself with.

Sometimes a mistake can lead to positive, unintended circumstances. Such was the case with my trip to the Cherry Blossom Festival at Youido. I read about the festival online and the page included a map and description on how to find the location. However, the Youido area is a sort of island and it's quite large. The park basically, surrounds the island on all sides, so I kind of took a guess at the exact location of the festival. The area we made our way to included an ecological forest and several ponds with bike and walking trails throughout. It was a really nice place to spend a few hours but there was clearly no festival to be found. Still, there were plenty of cherry blossom trees in bloom and lots of opportunities for nice photos. 

Statue in front of the Glad Hotel, Youido

Cherry Blossom in bloom. Youido Park, Seoul, South Korea

Two sets of couples, with matching outfits and selfie sticks. Ugh.

The azaleas were also in bloom!

My companion and I decided to walk North towards the National Assembly Building, not knowing exactly what there might be to see there, as luck would have it, there was a lot to see, including the actual Cherry Blossom Festival!

Beautiful trees and flowers line the avenue from the park to the National Assembly.

The National Assembly Building grounds are open to the public. Families gather and picnic on the lawn and enjoy the beauty of the grounds. At this time, we were still completely unaware that the festival was on the road just behind the Assembly Building. But, our wandering nature eventually led us in that direction. Soon we came upon a crowd watching a juggling street performer who was doing his show on the main road of the festival. From there we simply followed the massive crowds and enjoyed the rest of the day taking in the sights and flowers.

The Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) has really impressed me since I purchased it a couple weeks ago. The Leica Vario-Summilix f/1.7lens, although not a true classic "M" prime lens, still bears that difficult-to-describe, unique Leica look. 

Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) - By the way, that's not a typo. The word "type" in German is spelled "typ".

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