Thursday, September 23, 2021

Return to Incheon - A Photo Gallery


Songdo Central Park, Incheon, South Korea

Songdo Central Park, located in Incheon, South Korea, is one of my favorite day trips in the greater Seoul area. From Camp Casey, it takes about an hour and a half by car, two and half hours by train, a little less if you can catch the express trains on a weekday. The park is a gold mine for photography.

The park is centered around a man-made lake and offers small boat rentals, cocktail barges, bike rentals, scenic walking paths, restaurants, coffee shops and stunning architecture with a mixture of designs inspired by the old and the new.

There's a photo waiting to happen, any direction you point your camera lens.

A brother and sister take their cat for a walk.

Can't confirm, but it appeared to me that this couple was "running" late to a wedding ceremony.

At the East Boat House, visitors to the park can rent small boats, bicycles and more.

After a delicious lunch, we got back in the car and made the short, 15 minute drive to Wolmido Island. Wolmido is famous as the location where the US Marines made their invasion landing which changed the tide of the Korean War. It has since become a popular boardwalk amusement park and tourist destination, complete with carnival rides and games, street food and restaurants.

There is a local light rail which transports visitors from the Incheon train station to the island, the design and colors are striking, however, the light rail itself was not in operation the day we went.

There is also a wonderful park centrally located at Wolmido, the grounds offer beautiful walking paths complete with gardens and ponds. There are even some old ammunition bunkers that were used when Wolmido was still a military strong hold.

Above: a couple spends a day at the park... on their cell phones. Below, grain storage at the port.

We ended our day trip at the Incheon Chinatown area. It's just another of the countless areas in South Korea that are excellent for street photography. We sat down for some excellent sweet and sour pork, jajangmyeon noodles and spring rolls and followed it up with a short walk around the area.

All in all it was another enjoyable day of photography here in the Republic of Korea.

Friday, September 17, 2021

This Handsome Couple in Seoul


Recently, I had the pleasure of doing a street style photo shoot for a handsome young couple in Seoul, South Korea. @isick_fit and his beautiful girlfriend @catcucumbers (Sabina) met up with me in the heart of Seoul on a warm and sunny Sunday morning. We started out on the quaint and historic streets of the Bukchon Traditional Hanok Village where there was no shortage of interesting locations and distinctly traditional Korean rooftops and architecture. All of which made for lovely backdrops. 

I shot most of the images at this locations with the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens, mounted on my Sony A7RII. This combination proved most effective given that I wanted to include a fair amount of background in the images. From there, we walked a short distance to the beautiful Changgyeonggung Palace. This historic landmark features striking traditional Korean palace architecture dating back to the Joseon Dynasty (1400's). @catcucumbers suggested this location and it proved to be a real gem.

This location offered opportunities to try out a few of my other lenses, including the stunning Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8, one of the best portrait lenses available for the Sony FE (full frame E Mount) system. 

Our final location inside the palace grounds was perfect for a wide angle set-up. I went with the highly underrated Sony 28mm f/2 lens and threw on the Sony 21mm wide angle adapter

As the day grew warmer and the sun rose higher into the sky, the heat and bright sunlight became a challenge. We opted to move into the shade as much as possible, over-exposing the sky and background became a real concern but I think we handled it well. Both models gave tremendous effort and didn;t complain, not even when one of Sabina's high heels broke. She took it "in stride", ditching her heels for a pair of slippers we picked up at a convenience store.

Above and below... Zeiss 55mm f/1.8

Above and below... Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8

Above and below... Sony 28mm f/2 with 21mm wide angle adapter

I had a great time shooting with this marvelous young couple and I hope I get the opportunity to shoot with them again. It's always a pleasure shooting portrait images in a street style environment, it suits me perfectly. Fast shooting, quick adjustments, unpredictability, the excitement adds to the anticipation of seeing the end results. 

Enjoy the rest of the photo gallery and thanks for visiting my blog.


Behind the scenes photos courtesy of @the_photo.smith