Back in October 2015, I was exploring the streets of Gangnam, right near the famous Gangnam station in the Gangnam district. I learned about long-exposure photography shortly before this particular day. I experimented with doing timelapse videos around this time as well. This evening, I was out to create timelapse videos of some scenes in the area.
At the time, my camera was limited in this respect. I had no options for in-camera timelapse videos. Thus I stood by my camera clicking the shutter every few seconds. I created thousands of mini-long-exposure images. The resulting images show a slight motion blur of the subjects as they walk through the frame.
Due to some data issues with my hard drive, I don’t have the complete time-lapse video I created or all the images. I could recover some of the files, and part of the final video. (The rest of the files and video were sadly corrupted and unrecoverable.) I’m happy to share some of the results from that evening with you today.
Photograph #1. Gangnam Station
The first image is not actually part of the timelapse, nor a long-exposure image. Rather, it’s an image I photographed the same evening right in front of Gangnam station before continuing the work on my timelapse. Back in 2015, they had that iconic Gangnam Style sign just outside one of the exits. You can easily notice this is a loud, busy area. There are lots of people coming to and from Gangnam. There’s shopping, eating, clubbing, and much, much more.
Photographs #2~6. Gangnam Back Streets, Restaurants
The next five images were a part of the timelapse portion that was sadly corrupted. Several of the single images I was able to recover. I’m happy to share them with you. These are some of the photos of the back streets going up from the main street, just 5 minutes from the subway station. There are many couples and groups of friends that have met. It’s a great area to meet friends for dinner or a drink, which you can tell from the following images.
Photograph #7~8. Back Street Intersection Gangnam Station
Up the hill from the subway station on the back roads, you can just imagine how much there is to see and do in just a few minutes from the station. Here I found this intersection. I photographed at this spot, particularly because of the couple in white who were standing still perhaps searching on their phone for the location of a good restaurant. I love seeing the view of all the locations, lights, and signs heading up streets in multiple directions and observing all the passersby.
Photograph #9~10. Bus Stop in Downtown Gangnam
One of the stops that made my Timelapse complete was the images that I photographed near the bus stop 5 minutes from the station. Here you can sense the liveliness and bustle of the area in the evenings with hundreds of people coming through every minute. Most people know that I am there. I am not hiding. I’m standing with a big tripod on the side of the cement platform photographing. Most people see me and move on. These two young men that came through stopped and posed for the images with a common ‘V’ sign. Although this is quite rare, I recently had a similar experience also in Gangnam! There must be something special about this area!
Photograph #11. Taxis, Traffic, and Buses
I relocated to several different positions and angles in a small radius experimenting with all the possibilities. I photographed mostly people. But for parts of the lapse, I included the traffic. I’ll share just one still image of the scene here. But you can see the results of the lapse further down in this post.
Photograph #12. My Favorite Photograph of the Evening
This image is a special one for me. It is really iconic. Anyone who is familiar with the Gangnam area would recognize this location instantly. Gangnam station is just a five-minute walk away. I photographed the scene with a slightly slower shutter speed so I could capture this nice motion blur while people walk by. Especially the woman in the black skirt walking through the frame in high heels really makes the image great. Around this time I also tried to work by selling some images and licensing them for use. I was thrilled that this image was bought several times and even licensed for use in a well-known magazine! It brought me great joy to know that not only I, but others also found value in this image. I’m still very impressed and proud of this image, despite its imperfections.
Gangnam Timelapse Clip
The following is the portion of the video that I was able to recover. I hope you enjoy the quick pace of Gangnam, Seoul! I would also love it if you check out my YouTube channel and give it some love and support!