Naksan Fortress Wall at Night




  Spent last night walking through Naksan park with one of my classmates. I’ve only been to Naksan during the day, a few times this year and last summer as well. I’d heard it’s incredible at night, but I was still surprised. The view was astounding. Due to it’s height, the view of Seoul was nowhere near as expansive as the view you get from Namsan (and obviously Namsan tower) but still impressive. We started the hike from Dongdaemmun, at the main gate, and walked for about 20 minutes to the top of Naksan, a short walk from Hyewha, an area known for it’s  youth culture and art.

  Along the way up, we passed many small homes and older Korean people sitting alongside the street talking. The trail from Dongdaemun was not very well prepared for night hikes, but paralleled a road to the top, so there was enough light from street lamps and homes. Along the way my friend had to say “조시하세요!” “be careful!” many times because I kept triping on stumps along the path. My eyes were wandering too much, and I found photo opportunities everywhere. The difficulty was getting a photo to my satisfaction. I’m still an amateur photographer and I’m still not sure how to shoot well at night. I took many pictures, but few came out well, expect a few towards the top.

   As we neared the top of Naksan, the couples, and selfies, appeared. They were all coming from the Hyewha side. A few young couples were sitting on the fortress wall taking selfies and one couple had a tripod set up to take shot in an illuminated portion of the wall. I was at a lookout above them and able to take a picture of the two together, silhouetted against the wall with the cityscape in the background. A friend and commenter on my facebook page wrote, in response to the photo: “…love the contrast between old and new. Reminds me of a scifi drawing”. I’m really glad he mentioned that, because that’s really what makes the shot interesting for me as well. Seoul is a highly dynamic city, both incredibly old and extremely modern, and I feel this shot captures that well.



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