Tag Archives: D750

A Place to Sit: Paengseong-Eup, South Korea

I took these photos a couple of nights ago while waking down the streets of Paengseong-Eup. This is a small city – more like a town really – where locals sit and chat for hours after the day’s work in the fields. You’ll find simple plastic chairs outside of every convenience store or old couches or arm chairs lined along the sidewalks, just outside of small stores.

In about an hour these resting places will be filled with middle-aged to old (and very tan) men, where they light up their cigarettes, fill their small glasses with Soju (Korean alcohol) and chat with other menfolk about…whatever men talk about.

Venus and Jupiter Over my Neighborhood

Last week Venus and Jupiter aligned so closely that one could view them sitting nearly on top of each other in the night sky! Here they are, hovering over my neighborhood in South Korea, as well as over the rice patties that surround the neighborhood. So cool!

Within Walking Distance

CJT_4250cA portion of the letter Paul wrote to the people in Thessalonia:

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10


Within Walking Distance is a series which will highlight what I come across as I venture out into God’s creation. Through my photography, I will become a  witness to His splendor as well as to what we’ve done with it. These photos will represent the environment that God has placed me in – reality rather than grandeur – but instead of illustrating the mundane, I intend to make plain the Creator.

Within Walking Distance

Although I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, from about 2010 to 2014 I’d lost the motivation to pick up my camera. The landscape that surrounded me seemed dull and very little inspired me. Previously, I hardly went anywhere without my camera, but over time, it stayed home while I lived my day-to-day life until eventually, I no longer took photos of anything that my cell phone could not capture.

And then we moved to South Korea in the fall of 2014.

Suddenly I was surrounded by a whole new environment and culture. Everything was new and thrilling. I found inspiration everywhere, including my own neighborhood, from the strange green fences instead of white picket ones, to the fields of rice patties and the Korean people who worked them day in and day out.

While out for a walk one day, I came to the realization that it wasn’t my environment in the States that became dull: it was my own eyes. Like trying to see through cataracts, my perception of the world around me had become cloudy. I had failed to see that inspiration is everywhere; God sees to that. His world is perfectly made, and each day that I put on my tennis shoes to go out and explore this new world I’m amazed at the wonder of it all. Sometimes I find tiny bugs, alive and busily performing their small, but important jobs. Other times I find people working or playing or relaxing within the environment that God has placed them in. There are mornings when I find the landscape lit in the glow of the rising sun and it takes my breath away. And then there are the times when I come across either the filth or the amazing creations that we create as we use the earth that God has bestowed upon us to rule. In every way, each day has become my realization that God is everywhere, and we should give thanks to Him for being able to partake in it.

We’ve all seen the beauty of God’s splendor through the lens of the photographer greats: the national parks of America through the eyes of Ansel Adams or the Grand Canyon via Adam Schallu for example. Taking the whole world into consideration, the photographic possibilities to highlight God’s wonder are endless, but for the majority of us, these great photos and the places where they were taken seem out of reach: beautiful but fleeting, something we would never be a witness to ourselves.

For this reason, I’ve decided to start a series on this blog entitled “Within Walking Distance,” which will highlight what I come across as I venture out into God’s creation. Through my photography, I will become a  witness to His splendor as well as to what we’ve done with it. These photos will represent the environment that God has placed me in – reality rather than grandeur – but instead of illustrating the mundane, I intend to make plain the Creator.

For my first post, I’d like to begin with this image of this couple in their pear orchard, which I happened across only five minutes from my home. Since my arrival in Korea, I’d been wanting to photograph the pear orchards that dot my hometown, but for the life of me, I could never find just the right angle.

In my neighborhood, the growers plant orchards only large enough for a family to handle. Each pear is carefully protected with a paper wrapper, which the growers place on the fruit one by one. It’s a full-time job, and they take great pride in it. CJT_3782c

In our everyday lives, we concern ourselves with the doing of things for a particular purpose: an end goal. We are constantly on the move, hunting for the next dollar or the next possession. These objectives seem practical from a human perspective, but in the constant pursuit, we tend to overlook the created environment within which we are encircled.

We can find the beauty that surrounds our practical lives, if only we look in the right direction.

Camp Humphreys Photo Club Article

The Camp Humphreys Photo Club was highlighted in the most recent edition of the Pyeontaek Culture Magazine. I’m so excited to say that I am in the article, as well as one of my images (lanterns on the last page, taken at the Lantern Festival this spring in Seoul). Super cool!

Gary Sinise and the LT Dan Band

Gary Sinise and the LT Dan Band came to Camp Humphreys, South Korea this past weekend to entertain the troops and their families. They were SO GOOD! Check out the short clip below of the violinist rockin’ that instrument to Devil Went Down to Georgia! Wowzers is he good!