Candid Korea: South Korea in Black and White

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

This is the second (see part one here) and final part of our series of photos from photographer Mariusz Sikorski. We enjoy publishing photos of Korea but, until now, we’ve normally only given airtime to the old, the very old, and the even older than that. In celebration of our continuing photo series, we invited Mariusz, a Polish-Canadian photographer to share some of his pics from a recent trip to South Korea.

Originally finding his groove after drawing inspiration from Japanese street photography, Mariusz took himself and his camera on a much-anticipated trip round Korea and, true to his signature style, captured the people, sights and ambiance around him in stunning detail and character. Rather than letting the usual yawntastic long-exposure shots of moonlit temples and steaming pots of kimchi dominate, we like Mariusz’s style of photography as we believe it shows a more candid and natural side of Korea that is often loved, experienced, and enjoyed; but not often captured.

We asked Mariusz what makes him and his camera tick:

I wanted to take a shot at doing something similar to how I approached my photography goals while in Japan. I wanted to be able to capture aspects that draw people to the culture but also facets of everyday Korean life. In truth, prior to going I often saw both countries as quite similar even if different in cultural and ideological terms. I knew that, if I were to go to one, I would at some point in the near future go to the other. Of course, as one can guess I was quite mistaken about the shared similarities and differences which turned out to be both incredibly enjoyable and frustrating at times.

I spent most of the trip documenting some of the adventures I came across in my travels, more so than actually running around with my camera with a dedicated perspective or narrative. It is something I wanted to sincerely spend some time on but I ended up being much busier than anticipated. The majority of the trip was dedicated to spending time with my girlfriend after all.

We got a chance to explore a bit of Seoul, Chuncheon and the many attractions and sights of Jeju Island. I ended up meeting many interesting and kind people along the way and it has become a journey I plan on taking many more times, especially with the intention of spending some serious time with a camera in my hand.

South Korea is a beautiful country and I look forward to returning later this year and exploring it with my camera by my side.

You can view more of Mariusz’s other photos over at his blog, dear-blue.com, by following him on Twitter @AOFOTO or, by liking his Facebook page.

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

Mariusz Sikorski South Korea Photos

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  • chucky3176

    So why black and white?

    • Paul M

      Different shades of colour are shown in greater contrast in black and white than in full colour. So perhaps when he was looking at the scene and preparing to take the picture he wanted to do it in black and white for aesthetic reasons.

  • Brett Sanbon

    I love black a white street photography. Suitable for portraits, architecture, and cityscapes, one has to be much more careful with light and shadow for the photo to have an effect. Shapes take on a distinct role not as present with color shots.

    I’m not a huge fan of this series of photos, but I think some stand out. The first two shots in the set really emphasize shapes and contrast, and thats what makes them strong images.

    The photo at 청계천 really shows how the right lighting can make a powerful image, though, I don’t like the angle of the shot, the subjects in the foreground or the gap between the first and second lights. I have a similar shot, in which I used a long lens and brought the light beams closer together and the subjects were set back more…

    Regardless of my criticisms, good job and good luck Mariusz!

  • k

    I love black n’ white photography….it makes the people and scenary seem deeper somehow….though I would still like to see more pics from better angles, it seems like a majority ofnthese pics were taken from.behind people

  • bultak

    lol… the lone foreigner. no korean wants to be seen with it.

  • Daniel

    Honestly these are the most ordinary photos attempting to be special with the black and white…might as well just look on facebook and you’ll see the same shots, repeatedly

  • http://www.kernelscorner.com/ Kernel’s Corner

    I am drawn by the very first image as if calling me to jump into the picture…

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