Gardening, Korea
Comments 12

The Plum Blossom Paparazzi

I’ve been doing private lessons with three nice people — they use the names Sally, Rachael and Victor — on weekends for a few weeks now. Their English is excellent and though we start with an article from the Economist (their choice!) we inevitably veer off into a chat before too long. Last weekend I mentioned my recent frolics among the spring blooms and Sally said that a high school in downtown Gimhae was famed for its meihua — the Chinese plum/Japanese apricot trees I described in the last post — display, and that a festival of sorts was held there each Spring. And thus my Saturday afternoon plans were set.

Sally, Rachael and I (Victor is an engineer and his Saturdays are frequently spent in his office) drove over there after picking up some gimbap — the Korean version of the seaweed-rice snack sold in western cities as California rolls — for lunch. The school grounds were swarming with blossom groupies and photo geeks, many clutching unfeasibly enormous and undoubtedly expensive equipment. The main attraction was a couple of rows of quite elderly Prunus shrubs, many leaning onto crutch-like props, and all spectacularly adorned with bee-laden blooms. There was also a nice magnolia and several photos of flowers taken by local camera clubs were on display.

It was a bright, warm day, not my favourite conditions for photography, but I was excited anyway at the chance to mingle with the big boys and girls, armed with my unobtrusive little NEX, and surreptitiously shoot the shooters themselves while they did their thing. And that’s about all I need to say, except that I had a blast and the outing and company were a nice break from the solitary rambles that usually comprise my weekends..

More Spring stuff coming soon. You have been warned.


Rachael & Sally & the star attractions


Gimbap & utensils


Sally helps out with a family portrait


View of the Gimhae Fortress


Hard to resist


A venerable specimen


An outdoor gallery


Starting young


Magnolia & an irresistible backdrop


What a setting


Gunfight at the Gimhae Corral


Don’t be bashful


More modest equipment


Come out with yer hands up!



~ And that’s all the Goat wrote


  1. Alice says

    The blossoms are incredible–especially against that gnarly wood of branches and trunk. Sure a lot of different photography equipment–and positions of photographers. Sigh–here no blossoms just wind and cold and snowflakes that cannot read the calendar and arrive in winter.

    • Yes, my girlfriend’s had a load of snow drop by in New York State lately. I’m just starting a nice long walk up into the hills and it’s sunny and mild, birds are fine-tuning their nests and need I add it’s a floral apocalypse around the apartments where I’ve just been stalking fresh subjects!

      • Alice says

        Oh, oh–you just gave me an idea for a poem–thanks! If it gets finished, I will send it along. NY has had tons of snow–we have escaped the big storms–just smaller wind-snarled ones.

  2. Look, I carry a DSLR, but I’m sure I don’t get around looking like this crowd! Man, these blokes have battery packs on their cameras and what’s with so many tripods during daytime?! Surely they could snag some quality pics handheld with a DSLR? Then again, what do I know?!

    I’d be interested to see what everyone’s photos looked like that day amongst the photographers you’ve pictured. I reckon your snaps would be near the top of the pile. Great observational photos!

    • Thanks, Greg. This was a determined bunch of flower fans. They take no risks in their pursuit of the perfect image! I actually find flower shots to be pretty danged tricky. Especially in that light. I’d love to see some of their shots as well.

  3. Love all the camera nerds and their showy equipment… and love that you saw it as a Western… very funny… and the blossoms. of course.

    • Thank you, Sue. I now regret not finishing with, “And then we got back into the car and drove off into the sunset.”

  4. Fine series of photos. It isn’t quite that springy here yet. I can taste the gimbap. Gunfight at the Gimhae Corral (-:

    • Thanks, Am. You should see the sky here this afternoon! Splendid! I’m out with the camera chasing cherry flowers. Great way to end a working day.

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