You’ll excuse me for the quote in the title. I once had a friend from South Korea. I met him in Iceland, while he was writing his second travel book. At first he didn’t bother to inform me, but he was a rather successful writer in his home country. In addition to writing, he was a plethora of other things — photographer, drummer, DJ, among the others. Recenty he started painting and managing a cafe in Seoul. I have no idea about what he will do next, but I hope for him he will never feel the urge to settle down and become a respectable grown-up.
It’s hard to keep track of the explosive South Korean culture these days. Like my friend, the South Koreans seem to be everywhere, and they’re doing pretty well in many fields, from technology to fashion, from movies to pop music. Too bad for them that Western people still confuse them with the Japanese, but it’s just out of ignorance, really. To quote my friend, at some point South Korea was obsessing over becoming a cheap copy of Japan, but right now their culture and economy seems to be so much more dynamic than the Japanese one. It’s evident that even with their shortcomings, the South Koreans are gradually winning their own reputation.
I was thinking about my friend these last few days. Out of a pure coincidence, Hipstamatic delivered the Hongdae Hipstapak, after a summer and fall spent exploring completely different latitudes and longitudes. The Hongdae pack includes two items, the Yoona lens and the Blanko 일 (AKA Blanko 1) film. Yoona is a contrasted lens, with cool shadows and warm highlights. Blanko 일 is a warm and borderless film effect with a nice textural feel to it.
In remembrance of my old friendship and to welcome the advent of December, I tried the new South Korean-inspired pack with pictures I took in Iceland a long time ago. I must admit that I wanted to keep it as summery as reasonably conceivable for Icelandic standards. December is the darkest month of the year, one of the most challenging times for taking pictures anywhere, and this is especially true for the far North. But we don’t need to be accurate and wintry, do we?