Photoessay: Ugly Beautiful Zagreb

I’m back home now and beginning the immense project of processing my photographs from a long five months of travel through Europe. I visited what felt like city after city, and while many were somewhat like the others, blending into the background of extended travel, Zagreb, Croatia is one city that really stood out to me. I liked the contrasts of Upper and Lower Zagreb; the lower area felt like the metropolis you’d expect from Croatia’s capital, while the upper town stretched over hills and held beautiful green space. In fifteen minutes you could walk from a busy downtown to what felt like a secluded residential street and just as easily make your way back to the buzzing hum below.

When asked to describe the architecture of Zagreb to a friend shortly after leaving, I said this: It’s the weirdest mix of ugly and beautiful I’d ever seen in one place. And I like it. While I didn’t walk away with many photographs (just enough!), I did pick up some lovely memories of a city I’d be delighted to revisit.

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Have you ever been to Zagreb, Croatia and what did you think? Would you like to go? How ’bout that retro passenger van? (I want one!)

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Photoessay: A Neighborhood in Rural Taean

Over a long weekend, I took a little trip to Padori Beach in Taean, South Korea. The area is remote to say the least, so finding a remote place in a remote area? Turns out it yields some interesting photographs. These are from a small neighborhood tucked behind the beach and quite a bit away from the main roads. From the photographs it would seem as though the whole place is deserted, but that’s not the case. I just happen to wake up and take my dog for walks at hours when civilization isn’t ready for it. Also, the few people I saw were elderly Korean ajummas. And one does not simply take a picture of an ajumma, my friend.

Enjoy yet another look into rural, countryside life in the high-tech internet capital of the world, South Korea. The contrast is amazing, isn’t it?

(The featured photograph of a farm ladder from a little bit ago was also taken during this walk.)

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(You can buy prints of this photograph here.)

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Photoessay: Blue Skies of Germany

My vacation in Germany lasted 13 days total, and I expected it to rain at least once. No one can hope for clear, blue skies for two straight weeks, right? Well, I was treated to day after day of exactly the opposite of dreary weather. Occasional clouds framed by a bright, clear, beautiful blue sky rolled above me. Every day was dry and gorgeous, until finally at 9pm, the night before my flight back to Korea, a huge thunderstorm rolled in. And it was one of those rare, strong but beautiful thunderstorms.

So while practicing the deceptively difficult field of architectural photography, I kept finding myself taking the same photograph, just different. And they were all gorgeous, because of those bright blue skies behind the subject at hand. Looking through my pictures, I was blown away by how many gorgeous skies made their way into my documentation. So if you’re having a rough, rainy day, maybe you can use these photographs to take you back to sunnier times. They definitely do that for me.

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Potsdam, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Berlin, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Potsdam, Germany
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Berlin, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Potsdam, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Potsdam, Germany
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The infamous Glockenspiel.
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Munich, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Berlin, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Berlin, Germany
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Munich, Germany
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Berlin, Germany
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Munich, Germany

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Mini Photoessay: Chunguisa Buddhist Shrine

Edit: I finally figured out the name and got some information about this building. It’s a Buddhist shrine and is named Chunguisa.

Occasionally, the foreigners from my town will go on a short day trip sponsored by the office of education. This lovely Buddhist Shrine, named Chunguisa (충의사), was one of those stop offs on the day trip. My group stopped here on the way to Sudeoksa, a Buddhist temple in the area.

[Mini Photoessay: Sudeoksa Temple Village // Photoessay: Sudeoksa Temple Stay // My Legs Are Sore, But That Was Awesome: Sudeoksa Temple Stay]

I love the pale yellow colors they used on this building. It’s built in the same style as Buddhist temples, but while photographing it, I forgot to listen to what anyone was saying and completely missed all of the information about it, including its name. Thank goodness for my impeccable googling and research skills, or we’d never know it was called Chunguisa and I’d have been forced to call it “that yellow Buddhist… place”. (By the way, you can find all the information about Chunguisa here, on the Visit Korea website.)

Next time I’ll have to try to listen and take pictures. Challenge accepted.

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Buddhist temples and buildings in Korea always have their names written in Chinese characters. Not so helpful for anyone that can’t read Chinese!

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I love those soft curves. Gorgeous architecture.

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Somehow, the building and the trees around it just fit together. It’s as if the building could have just grown out of the ground, too, and then been painted. Well done, Korea.

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