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A Volcanic Landscape

The surreal, volcanic landscape of Jeju Island, South Korea.


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Published in the July 8th, 2011 edition of the Jeju Weekly.


*Winner of the "Fine Arts" prize at the 2011 Jeju UN International Photo Contest.


Currently on display at the Jeju UN Heritage Culture Center. (10/12)




It was a perfect summer day four years ago. The sun was already high above me as I parked my car in the shade of a small grove of trees near the northern end of Gwakji Beach on the western side of the island. I excitedly hopped out of the car and grabbed my camera bag from the backseat. As I made my way through the trees, rays of sunshine and a light breeze swept over me.This was going to be a great day.


Just a short distance away, the trees began to thin out and I found myself standing on a bluff with a incredible view spread out in front of me: sparkling bluish-green water, a deep blue sky, and a brilliant, white sand beach. It looked like something you'd see on a postcard.


I had only snapped a couple of photos when I heard loud, animated laughter below me. It was a family picnic. I watched them for awhile. The father setting up the barbecue grill, the mother taking out the food from the cooler and setting up the umbrella, and the kids dancing across the sand and into the sea. It brought back lots of childhood memories of times spent at the beach with my own family and friends back home. There's something magical about beaches and the way they bring the natural landscape and people together.


I decided to put my camera down and spend the rest of the day doing what everybody loves doing at the beach: swimming, eating, and playing in the sand. But, an idea had begun to form in my mind and what had started out as a simple trip to the sea turned into a four year odyssey photographing the beaches of Jeju Island.




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Taken on August 8, 2010