On a morning in early January 2016, I took a little trip to Dongmyo Flea Market in Seoul, South Korea to do some street photography, and in the evening I continued to do some in the Dongdaemun area. After reviewing and taking a fresh look in Lightroom, I’m now sharing a few of the images with you, as well as some thoughts and insights for you.
Dongmyo Flea Market was a crowded area with lots of people and shops lining the street. Among that, there was also street food such as in the photograph above. I’m satisfied with the image, although if I were to do it again, I would have tried to step more to my left to capture a better view of the vendor.
Here’s another photograph that I’m quite happy with. I took the photograph as I was talking through the crowded streets of the marketplace. The little girl was watching me, this is one of the few frames I shot.
Experienced street photographers may protest taking images of street food and vendors saying that they are done too often and they aren’t necessarily the most interesting thing to view. Others may say that it is ‘low hanging fruit’. But I’m of a different opinion. Street food from where you live may be of little interest, as it’s considered normal. But when you’re out exploring and documenting, why would you not include street food in your photographs? They are definitely a part of the scene! Additionally, if the scenes aren’t unique to people who live in your neighborhood, they might be of interest to those from different areas.
Moving and living in another country, I found that street food was definitely intriguing. It was very different from what I was used to in Toronto. Later it hit me that if I found the difference so interesting, wouldn’t there be others who similarly find interest in what might seem normal to me, but is different or unique compared to their city/country?
It doesn’t hurt to document! You can also challenge yourself to document something that seems normal in a new and creative way to make it appealing. Capturing photographs in a way the average person wouldn’t have viewed the scene is a sure way to draw interest to an ‘average’ subject.
My photography seemed to have morphed into a high-contrast, black-and-white style of photography. I love the bright, bright whites and highlights contrasted with dark, dark shadows and blacks. It may not be everyone’s style, some who photograph in black-and-white may prefer more subtle shades of gray over the strong distinctiveness of high contrast.
My tastes seem to change over the years, but for the last couple of years until now, this has been the style I’ve gravitated to, and it now represents my photography style.
I don’t do a whole lot of color photographs. But sometimes, you just need to keep the image in color. I love this scene of the shops with the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in the background. The sun had just gone down so the sky had this beautiful navy bluish sky. That with the yellow in the foreground caught my attention.
So just a note on the image. There are light flares caused by the lights, which are very noticeable in the sky. Some artists like that look, others do not. When doing night photography, you may need to pay extra attention to light flares to make sure they are not present where they are not welcome.
Some of my images stir more of a thought process for me, while others do not. I’m just sharing exactly what’s on my mind in all realness either lengthy with great details with tons of tips, and others just short and sweet.
I really do love this goofy look on his face! 😊 Seemed like a sweet and fun moment between the couple.
Again focusing on the expressions of the people. I’m not sure if I edited this photograph when I went through the images at the time. I love the expressions of the two ladies, but I certainly wish I had gotten closer to capture it better.
More street food on the streets of Seoul. I like that there was this nice separation between the customers, leaving the worker in view for the photograph.
A man with his dog.
Here’s another in black-and-white.
And a final image from the same day of the street scene.
Before concluding this article, I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you about a program that I am offering to photography learners, beginners, and aspiring photographers, free of charge. The goal is to help you improve your photography and develop your own unique style. I will become a mentor to help guide you and give advice. We will also review your images and determine what can be done to improve them. I call this The Photography Mentoring Program. You can sign up for the program here.