Recently, I have been walking around my adopted hometown of Ulsan, a lot more with my camera. I used to just walk or run along the Taehwa river to get into shape. However, since downloading “Hipstamatic X” on my phone and then picking up a smaller camera bag, I have started taking a lot more photos.
The reason for this was not really clear at first. I just wanted to get out and walk before work in order to get some exercise but more and more, I started noticing the world around me a little more. For photographers, that is something that we tend to forget as we focus on the end location. Especially, for landscape photographers, like myself.
Last month, I read the book “the Wander Society” by Keri Smith and it really struck a chord with me. It wasn’t like anything else that I have read at all this year and it opened my eyes up to something that I was missing in my day-to-day life and that was a sense of adventure.
How does this all have anything to do with photography in Korea, you ask? The answer is simple, we can’t always just pack up and go to Seoul or Jeollanamdo whenever we want. Some of us can’t wake up early and others work until late. However, we all have time to simply take a walk, somewhere.
After rediscovering film photography, this sense of wonder in the wandering that I do became something that I look forward to most days. It is when the grief and stress take a backseat to the crazy world around me. The changing of the seasons and the random animals that inhabit the urban environment around my apartment seem to stand out a little more when I am poking around with my camera.
So what can you do? just take a walk. You don’t have to have any set subject. It doesn’t have to be about your kids, girlfriend, dog or partner. Just open up to where ever your mind takes you. I know that sounds a little too “woo-woo” new wave for most but trust me when I say that it will help you discover hidden parts of your neighbourhood and your creativity.
My advice would be to take some time each day and go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a long time and you don’t have to go very far. Just go and observe the light. Walk and see what catches your eye and photograph it. That is all. You don’t have to share these shots with anyone. They are just for you
The bottomline here is that this post is mostly about discovering not only your creativity but also your city as well. Often times, we gravitate to well-known areas to shoot because we think that it will get us more likes. However, taking the time to explore the area around your adopted home will prove very useful in the long run.