Chasing the Frozen Sunrise: A Photographer’s Journey at Jujeon Port

In the wee hours of a biting winter morning, when most souls slumber in the comfort of warmth, there exists a breed of adventurers stirred by a calling of creativity. This is the tale of one such dawn, where the frigid embrace of the sea beckoned, and a photographer answered.

Could I have lingered under the covers, succumbing to the lure of a few more hours’ rest? Certainly. Could I have waited for a milder morn to embark on my quest? Perhaps. But destiny whispered otherwise. It insisted that today, at Jujeon Port, beneath the canvas of a unique sunrise, a story awaited its chronicler.

Emerging from the coziness of my bed, doubts swirled like steam from my morning brew. Some photographers chase the warmth of a studio and the beauty of a scantily-clad model, but I? I choose the rugged allure of landscapes, the untamed majesty of winter waves crashing against the Jujeon shores.

Enchantment resides in the deep red pagoda-shaped lighthouse, and the stoic rocks that punctuate the coastline, rendering Jujeon a stage for nature’s raw drama. Yet, beyond its aesthetic allure, lies a practicality—it’s an accessible haven for those racing against time to capture the unfolding spectacle of dawn.

As the horizon blushed with hues of sunrise, it wasn’t the sky’s palette that stole the show, but the tempestuous sea, its waves a symphony of unrestrained fury against the rocky bastions.

Unexpectedly, ice danced upon the landscape, a rarity even in Ulsan’s winter grasp. The saline sheen on rocks and rails bespoke a wintry tale seldom told. Undeterred, I pressed forward, tripod in hand, navigating the treacherous ground with the grace of a tightrope walker.

With each click of the shutter, I surrendered to the intoxicating beauty. Even as icy waters threatened, I stood steadfast, my camera cocooned within my parka, a guardian against the elements. Though drenched and chilled to the bone, my spirit remained unyielding—a testament to the resilience forged in moments of elemental communion.

As I shed my soaked layers, memories of another wilderness encounter flooded my mind—a bond shared with my father amidst the unforgiving terrain of northern Manitoba. His words, uttered in moments of triumph and adversity alike, echoed in my solitude.

Yet, in the silence that followed, a longing stirred—a wish to share this conquest with a soul no longer earthbound. The absence of a tangible connection to the heavens lent a poignant hue to the moment, tempered only by the assurance of paternal vigilance from realms beyond.

Jujeon Port, nestled near Nammock in Ulsan, offers sanctuary to summer revelers and glampers alike. Amidst its rugged charm, it beckons the intrepid, the oddities who dare to embrace the winter’s icy embrace in pursuit of frozen beauty.

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Jason Teale 

Photographer, educator, podcaster

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Photographing Korea and the world beyond!