The second day of the NatGeo Your Shot photo walk was more relaxed than the first. Rather than shooting at one specific location we met up in Insa-dong and were given the option, “Do you want to stay together or split up?” “Would you like to stay in Insa-dong or maybe head over to the Bukchon Hanok Village?” I was pumped that we were going to have the chance to wander and do a little street photography. To me street photography feels like a grown up treasure hunt. You never know what you might find, a particularly interesting person, a beautiful building, maybe something truly bizarre. It’s so exciting! lol. We opted to split up and most of the photographers headed to Bukchon while four of us decided to go to Insa-dong. I’d seen some interesting alleyways I wanted to check out so off we went. The subject for the day was “Traditional Charms of Seoul.” While Bukchon is beautiful and certainly fits that bill, it’s also very manicured, and feels more like a living museum than an actual neighborhood. I prefer areas that feel a little more authentic and that is exactly what we found in the backstreets of Insa-dong. These backstreets are filled with old homes that still retain many of their original features. Old doors and tiles are a particular favorite of mine.
Insa-dong is an artsy area that is famous for it’s quality handmade Korean goods. We came across a couple of artisans in small workshops while we were roaming. Below a man concentrates as he whittles a piece of wood that will no doubt end up in one of the stores on the main shopping street.
This artist’s name is Misha. He farms sweet potatoes when he isn’t working on his art. This particular creation shows the destruction of old Seoul. Quite an interesting character!
Insa-dong is definitely worth checking out. It’s slogan should be “Insa-dong, Culture Around Every Corner.” Truly it’s an interesting place to explore and a great place to shop for those Korean souvenirs!. 🙂
Directions: Go to Anguk Station Line 3, Exit 6.