Gwangju Blog

September Streets

September Streets


Quite often, the monthly street photography segment of this photo blog shows an image with a subject caught in motion within their surroundings. This usually reveals some split fraction of a moment in which a familiar truth is revealed. This truth is one which we know to be in our bones, yet rarely in our moment to moment lives.

The city is busy.

“I’m hungry.”

“Ahh, I know this song.”

“See you in five minutes. “

“So, where to go next?”

These are the usual snippets of conversation which surround the usual street images posted here. However, it is now late September, and summer seems to be making an abrupt exit from our lives. Even for Gwangju, the heat’s end came earlier than expected. Therefore chances must be taken to soak in what little remains. In the image above, we see a contemplative moment in the still hot mid-afternoon sun.

While most street images are taken amidst the moderate hustle of local urban streets, this one has followed one such street to its end. This is in Muan, the end of a road that ceased to be pavement several kilometers earlier. However, just like the other images, the woman above seems an inexorable extension of her surroundings. The short dock and jagged rocks at the water’s edge send a clear message. There is nowhere else to go. Therefore, the ending of this particular road gives provides perhaps an unexpected function for those who travel on it. That is, a chance to be where you are, rather than where you are going.

It might be the old, faded colors of the expired cinema film which this image was captured on. Or, maybe it is the minimal scenery. OR, it just might be the feeling we get from watching the woman frozen in midstep. She seems within thoughts that we can empathize with, but never fully know. Either way, this photo carries a near timeless air. The image seems to have been taken sixty years ago instead of last week. In such moments, what real difference is there?


[This image was taken using a Nikon FE2 shooting an expired roll of Kodak Vision3 250d. It is a cinema film which, from my experience usually thrives in the modest, reflected light of early morning or late afternoon. This photo was taken with a barren sky overhead as well as naked rocks around. Therefore, with green tones lacking, this looks to be a slide pulled from my fathers old projector; taken with care in the mid-to-late sixties. For that reason, I can’t help but love it.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)