Rain, is not always a favorable companion when it comes to street photography. I had my own experience of shooting street photography in Korea under the rain. Shooting with an umbrella in one hand while holding a camera on the other hand really require a super multi-tasking capability and an ability to juggle a camera and the umbrella . This is a scenario where I really appreciate the small form factor of the Ricoh GR where it really shine with its one-hand-operation capability.
Most of the photographs you see here were created with Ricoh GR. There are a few which were shot with Leica M Typ 240. Unless specified, all photos were shot with Ricoh GR. Due to late evening, most of the photos were shot with high ISO. Please enjoy my photo essay – Street Photography Korea – Rainy Day.
Myeong-dong is Seoul’s primary shopping district. It is a shopping paradise for Korean cosmetic brand, skin care product, fashion wear and of course food. The place is always flooded with young people and tourists. According to wikipedia, It has a floating population of about 2 million a day. This place is a tourist magnet, a street photographer’s hunting ground for sure.
If you notice by now, most people on the street use the transparent umbrella. These transparent umbrella were invented by the Japanese. It is cheap (US$2.50) and is easily available in any convenience stall or street vendors. One of its key feature is that it will not block your vision. Therefore it is safe for use on the street. It is so cheap that people will just throw away the umbrella when the rain stop. If you were to left it in the umbrella bin before entering the restaurants or shop, do not expect to get back the same umbrella as people just randomly grab it and go.
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁)
Photos taken within and outside the Changdeokgung (창덕궁) Palace, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. For the history buff, you may go to wikipedia for more of its glory past.
Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교)
The Ewha Womans (yes it is spell without the apostrophe) University is a private women’s university founded in 1886. Go to wikipedia for more of it history. The university is surrounded by one of the most popular shopping district in Seoul. Many fashion stores sell affordable fashion wear and is frequented by young people and students. Not to mention the affordable restaurant and cafe if you are on a food hunt. Similar to Myeong-dong, this is also a heaven for street photographers and also one of my favorite location for street photography in Korea. It rains relatively heavy on that day but that does not deterred my mission.
A lot of us street photographers will cite the weather as a reason for canceling a street photography outing without realizing that there is a new world of opportunity waiting for us in the rain. In my opinion, the rain will make the usual mundane street comes alive with different scene unfolding. People rushing for shelter, kids dancing in the rain, car splashing water, a sea of colorful umbrellas etc. It is an entirely different mood and landscape. You just need to have a very keen eye with camera always ready.
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