Gwangju Blog

Westward

Westward

 

This image was taken along a coastal road on the peninsula west of Yeonggwang. This part of the country offers up to weekend visitors its fair share of coastal roads. Often wooded but with lookouts along the way, scenes like this one are common. The trees themselves form a frame inside of the square image for which to view the wind farm. Taken at dusk, the foliage and tidal flat are bathed in a gentle magenta and violet hues.

While on a busy weekend evening, traffic on this road was sparse. The weekend pension/hotel in the foreground seemed unused. The birds had finished their evening ruckus, and the wind conveniently died down. It was a dose of quiet captured at an opportune, yet fleeting moment. For, shortly afterward, the predictable cacophony of coastal sounds again infringed upon this scene. As if on cue, the sky seemed content to darken. However, for 1/1/25th of a second, the earth relinquished this magic, still moment to celluloid.

Soon after this location, the ocean road merged back into the outskirts of Hampyeong and signs for the highway interchange come into view. Within minutes, the visible world changed into the familiar neon night of a Gwangju-bound highway. The remainder of the evening would be spent with friends, with drink and food, and with quick synopses of our days. From memory, the scene above did not make the conversational cut. Only after developing did memory of this quiet moment break the momentum of forgetting which our alley, the analogue camera stubbornly resists.

[This week’s image was taken with a Hasselblad 503cxi shooting Kodak Portra 400. There was just enough light left in the scene to shoot this at 1/125 of a second at f2.8, the maximum aperture allowed by Hasselblad’s stock 80mm lens. Any less light, and I would have had to take my chances with a 1/60 second exposure. Given the size and force with which the mirror slaps down on the Hasselblad, this can be a risky maneuver. Many images have not survived the shake of such a formidable shake.]

 

(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)

 

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