Korean Street Photography

April 26, 2014  •  1 Comment

In photojournalism school, at Ft. Meade, they forced us to go out and take pictures of random people on the street. It always made me nervous. It feels a little creepy to try and get candid shots of people you've never met before. I always felt like someone would get upset about having their soul stolen, or something.

In Korea, everyone carries a huge camera around with them, so it is not uncommon to have photos being snapped everywhere you go. Also, people have a tendency to ignore you if they don't care to validate your existence. I have started using the Canon EOS M on the street and it is so small compared to everyone else's camera, it makes me seem less intrusive. If someone seems unwilling to have their photo taken, I just hold up my little camera and smile. They will usually give me a small pose or smile, which I take as permission to shoot their picture.

To me, the beauty of Street Photography is in its imperfections. The studio shots are great, when you can catch someone at their best, hair and makeup all perfect and capture that one moment where they aren't feeling self-conscious in front of the camera. But in street photography, there is no need for photo shop or clean up. You have caught the sun glinting off a beat up piece of metal just right, or the lines in a woman's face that she usually tries to hide. Beauty in the ordinary that is missed by many can be reflected in your lens.

I have made a few friends, here in Korea, with my camera. It is a conversation starter. It goes beyond the normal, "Where are you from and how much did your Harley cost?" questions that don't lead to a very interesting story. I can share my webpage and show pictures I've taken before. I usually offer a copy of the photo for them, if they email me at the address on my card. And of course, there is this blog.

This woman lives around the corner from me and waves every time I go by. We sat together and talked for a while. She says she will turn 100 next year and her son lives in Seoul. He visits her regularly. I see her working out in the garden sometimes, and I find her thoroughly amazing!

Please take time to share this blog on your Facebook or with your friends.

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The weather is getting better and we will be traveling to some of the greatest spots in Korea.

Chris


Comments

1.Janell(non-registered)
Nephew,
I enjoy viewing the world through your eyes. Your talent is a gift that blesses me to visit the world when I cannot. So proud of you. BTW, did I mention that you write beautifully, too? I miss you but am happy knowing you are finally happy. (((HUGS))) Auntie Janell.
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