Year in Review Part 3 – 2021

Seoraksan Storm

Welcome to the third installment of my annual Year in Review series for 2021. This will be the thinnest selection of photographs from the year. With the long monsoon, the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and Korea’s temporary cessation of international adoptions, work was rare and I spent a good portion of the summer working on personal projects, writing my book, and cycling to pass the time. If you haven’t already, please do spend some time with parts one and two of this series to get an overview of the year so far.


June – Personal Work

Kicking off this set with anything less than a somber monsoon image wouldn’t do justice to the Korean summer, so here we are. Korea’s monsoon, although technically very short by its meteorological definition, feels very long at times in that we get constant storms and gloomy skies. It can make for very interesting photography, however.


Seoul Monsoon
A stroll along the Han River during the monsoon.


While I did have several corporate events during this period, all have no-share policies. Thus, I’ll leave you with a collection of scenes from Korea. The monsoon can not only bring rain and dramatic clouds but beautiful breaks in those, including some of the best sunsets of the year. I’m thankful again to have had the time to get up to Namhansanseong and witness one of the finest sunsets of the year.


Gyeongbokgung rooves during the monsoon.


Gyeongbokgung’s main gate, Gwanghwamun, with the Government Complex Seoul.


My first attempt at this mountain temple. The weather didn’t quite work out as planned.


Monsoon Clouds
Monsoon Clouds.


Monsoon Rains
Monsoon Rains in Seoul.


Sunset from Namhansanseong.


Lotte Tower Sunset
Sunset from Namhansanseong.


August – Personal Work, Event Photography

The month of August was focused on photographing a few things I’d always wanted to photograph and finally had the time for, some more cycling, and some minimal street photography here in Seoul. First up, a gorgeous sunset from the Han River followed by some minimal scenes from Seoul’s DDP that I made for a YouTube video on working with the Fujifilm X100V.


Namsan Tower Sunset
Namsan Tower Sunset from the Han River.



Minimal Street Photography
Minimalist street photography in DDP, Seoul.


Minimal Street Photography
Minimalist street photography in DDP, Seoul.


Following all of this, I had the opportunity to do something I’ve been wanting to do for years. The time finally lined up and I was able to visit the mountains of the east coast during a typhoon. Capturing these mountains as the clouds pass around them is something that has been a dream of mine. So, when the weather report came in, I took the chance and booked a bus out to Seokcho to visit Seoraksan National Park. I couldn’t have been given a more beautiful scene to work with. Here are some of those images.


Seoraksan National Park
Typhoon clouds passing by the peaks of Seoraksan.


Seoraksan National Park
A small stone tower in the stream.


Seoraksan National Park
The sun finally breaking through the clouds for a few minutes of golden light.


Seoraksan National Park
Clouds surrounding the pines of Seoraksan.


Seoraksan National Park
Birds flying above the peaks.


The final order of business for the month was to help my good friend Jason Teale document an exhibition put on by GuruShots here in Seoul.


Event Photography
Jason doing his live stream for Guru Shots.


Event Photography
A guest enjoying the exhibition.


September – Pre-Wedding and Personal Photography

With the final moments of the monsoon coming through Seoul, I finally had the opportunity to hike up Dobongsan again and capture much closer to what I was hoping for with my previous attempt. It was absolutely pouring rain on that day but I got a few brief moments in between to capture the waves of clouds that came through.

Mountain Templ
Clouds covering the top of the mountain.


Next, I made the trip down to Damyang again to work with Andy and Catherine for some final couple portraits in the leadup to their wedding. The empty avenues of an early morning in Danyang are truly beautiful and we got very lucky with a thinning in the clouds towards the end of our session that gave some beautiful directional light under the metasequoia trees.

Danyang Metasequoia Avenue
A little soft morning light really gave us something special at the end of the session.

Finally, I spent the last few days of September enjoying the city of Seoul. We had a couple of gorgeous sunsets in the leadup to Chuseok this year which made for great times to be out and about. I hope you’ve enjoyed the photographs from this quarter. For the final quarter, work ramps up again and we’ll be spending a lot of time with families and the joy they bring. Look out for that in the last week of December. Happy Holidays, everyone!


Sunset along the Han River.


Once you get that perm, the world is yours.


Chuseok is not the same for everyone.


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