Tag Archives: photograph

First Sale

 

FF170 Emmy L Gant

copyright Emmy L Gant

First Sale

“I don’t know. How much would you want for it?”

“50?”

“How about 20?”

“I guess.”

“Of course, it’s got that garbage can in the shot. Kinda ugly.”

“It’s a Persian flaw.”

“You took it in Paris.”

“Fine, Parisian flaw.”

“I suppose if I buy this, you’ll consider yourself a professional, right?”

“Well, I would be, right?”

“And, you’ll say professionals should be independent.”

“All the ones I know are.”

“You’ll go off to live in some faraway city, attending trendy parties, having existential discussions in cafés. Becoming a different person.”

“Could happen.”

“Fine, I’ll buy the photograph.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

 


The “Now” of a Foggy Ride to Work

First of all, apologies for not producing as many long stories these days. I have a few in the works, but I just don’t have much time these days. I’ll post them as they are finished. This post is a true account, something I was thinking of as I rode to work today on my motorbike.

Taken in Wanju, South Korea

not taken today, but similar

I rode my motorbike out along a small highway going out of the city this morning. I passed the Ajung reservoir and Kirin peak beyond, the tops dissolving into the nebulous grey of the fog. All this was reflected perfectly on the still surface of the reservoir. Besides the hum of my engine and the other cars, the world was silent.

I thought, “This would make a great picture. Maybe I should stop and take one.”

Then I thought, “But pictures are all about later–about the Then. And they can never compare to the Now.”

So I didn’t stop. I continued on, over the mountain pass and down into the next valley where my school was, soaking in the wondrous beauty all around me and enjoying the sublime Now.


Act Natural – Visual Fiction

I haven’t done a Visual Fiction story in a while, but it’s a flash fiction story based on a picture of my own. I took this one in Bundang, Korea.

Act NaturalAct Natural

“Look, I don’t usually ask you for a favor, but you got to help me out. Can you take the blame for this one?”

“Take the blame? It’s bigger than me. No one is going to believe I did that.”

“They’re going to bust me, I know it. I can’t go back in that corral again.”

“Well, then pick it up.”

“I have hooves, I can’t pick up anything. Can you?”

“It looks pretty heavy for me.”

“Oh crap, here they come. Just act natural.”


The Sky in Korea in Fall

I should be posting a story here, but it’s not ready. So, inspired by fellow blogger and new friend Nia’s post, I decided to share some photos I’ve taken this fall in my comings and goings. All these were taken with my phone and the nice thing about having a camera on you at all times is you can grab those perfect scenes, and then weed out all the ones that didn’t turn out as well as they look in real life. As you may know, I really like the sky and clouds. So that’s the theme of this post.

In the city in Korea, it's hard to get away from the outline of highrise apartments.

In the city in Korea, it’s hard to get away from the outline of high-rise apartments.

Sunrise, from my kitchen window.

Sunrise, from my kitchen window.

20131128_160328

20131128_161347

A man on a scooter stopped me to ask why I was taking this picture. I thought it was obvious.

A man on a scooter stopped me to ask why I was taking this picture. I thought it was obvious.

20131203_074727

My beautiful little Ajung stream, near our house.

My beautiful little Ajung stream, near our house.

 

 

 


Apocalypse Climb

This is a true story, as evidenced by the photographs. But you know me: I can’t help dramatizing things a little.

Apocalypse Climb

I saw a preview of the apocalypse this past weekend as masses of humanity pressed together, fighting to ascend (and then descend) a steep, rain-soaked path of tumbled rocks. The horror, the horror…

Apocalypse Climb

Koreans love them some mountain climbing and they love them some autumn colors. And considering that everyone loves them some weekend, going mountain climbing on a Saturday in Korea in the fall is like a perfect storm, especially in the rain.

The sky was overcast when I left the house in the morning. I couldn’t find my umbrella, but I had a magic talisman that prevented rain. At least, it rarely rained when I was carrying it and I believe strongly in the principle that correlation implies causation.

I got to the mountain (which is also a provincial park) and as the bus passed long lines of cars parked along the side of the road, my heart sank like a bowling ball in a banana souffle. It was, as the Chinese say, a mountain of people, a sea of people. If zombie hordes wore expensive hiking gear and preyed on autumn leaves, I would have been in a George Romero film.

The rain started as a fine mist about halfway up the mountain. By the time I got to the park’s famed Cloud Bridge, the path had bottlenecked and so we all stood in the rain, shuffling forward at a snail’s pace until I finally reached the bridge. I looked down at the path 250 feet below me and saw the winding, ant-like column of hikers abandoning the mountain.

I saw a sign saying the maximum number of people on the bridge was 200. Not that anyone was counting.

I saw a sign saying the maximum number of people on the bridge was 200. Not that anyone was counting.

I gave up the idea of going to the peak. A cloud had sat on the mountain as if it were snuggling into an easy chair and after the bridge was a treacherous metal stairway, over 200 feet high and as steep as a ladder. I wasn’t the only one who decided to cut the trip short and head for the cable car station nearby for a quick trip to the bottom. The trails were choked with sodden hikers, some with expensive cameras, jewelry and nice purses, all picking their way down the slick rocks. I felt like we were refugees from some disaster.

Apocalypse Climb

The group on the left are the ones who climbed under a railing and swarmed down the rocks to cut in line on the main path.

“All it takes is one person to slip…” I kept thinking.

There was a two-hour wait for the cable car, nowhere to sit and nowhere particularly warm. At least the view was pretty.

Apocalypse Climb

I got home four hours later and soon the apocalypse was only a distant memory. It’s amazing what a hot shower can cure.

Apocalypse Climb


Happy Surprises: Gosu Cave

Don’t you love accidental discoveries and happy surprises?

A few weeks ago, I took a trip across Korea by myself. I’m kind of an introvert anyway, but another reason I like traveling alone is the total freedom to do random things when I want. On the first day, I had just gotten off my second intercity bus of the day in the small rural town of Danyang in the deep mountains of central Korea. It was about 4:00pm and when I checked the bus schedule to see what time the bus would be leaving in the morning for the national park I was going to, I noticed the word “cave” in one of the destinations.

I had not known of any caves in the area, but I hadn’t known of anything in the area, and there are few things that get me as excited as caves. I looked it up on my phone and found it was only a kilometer away. So I started walking. And I got there just before it closed.

It was called Gosu Cave and was pretty amazing for something I had never heard of before, after almost nine years in Korea. It was a limestone cave with some stunning features.

20130918_163809Another amazing thing about it was although it was very high, it was also incredibly narrow. This meant that as I walked through it, I was very close to everything. You could even reach out and touch some of the formations, although I felt guilty doing that, after years of warnings never to do that (the oil in your skin can damage the stone and prevent the formations from growing.)

Kosu caveThere was almost no one there since it was almost closing time. Interestingly enough, the two groups that went in at the same time as me were Americans. They were some of the only non-Koreans I saw the entire trip.

Kosu caveThere were two courses, a slightly shorter one that was more for families and a longer one that included everything open to the public. It took about 45 minutes to go through it.

Kosu cave

The longer route featured a formation called Lion Rock, which looked like a lion’s roaring mouth. Unlike some rock formations (like the bear that I could kind of see), it was pretty clear. You can see it here:

Kosu cave lion rockHowever, this cave was not for the claustrophobic. Some places I had to squeeze through, it was so narrow, and even if I didn’t have my big pack on my back, it would have been difficult. In a few places, I had to get down and crawl for a few feet because the ceiling was so low.

Kosu cave

Gosu cave

Gosu cave

 

Gosu cave

I guess it’s true that we don’t necessarily regret missed opportunities all the time, since we don’t know what we missed, but I am glad things worked out to go here. There was another cave up the valley from this one that I tried to go to the next day, but it was a national holiday (Chuseok) so the cave didn’t open until 12:30 and I couldn’t wait that long. I’ll just assume it wasn’t as good as this one.

Just to prove that I didn't get these pictures off the Internet.

Just to prove that I didn’t get these pictures off the Internet.

 


It’s the Sky’s Fault

It was the sky’s fault, of course.

image

Seriously, who could keep their eyes on the road with such a stunning parorama spread out above them?

The police were suspicious at first, but after my third one-car accident with no trace of alcohol or drowsiness, they started to believe me.

After the last accident, the officer told me he would give me a ticket if he even saw me driving on a nice day.

Oh well. I wonder if there’s such a thing as a glass-roofed bus.

image


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