I took this photograph on the North Korean side of the DMZ. It's technically North Korea and this is probably the closest I'll actually get to the hermit state.
During our tour of the DMZ we were advised to use severe caution when dealing with North Korean guards. We were told not to make eye contact or point at them. We couldn't use any gestures or signals to communicate with them either.
Using the full length of my zoom lens, I got to see something other people in our tour group couldn't see: the man in the window. He was watching us with his binoculars.
Technically, this photo is decent. I think the framing is good, colours aren't bad and it's relatively sharp. The only reason I'm posting it is because a) it's considered North Korea, b) it's got a 'spy' element to it, c) I'm interested in other trekkers' opinions of this photo.
Comments definitely welcome! :)
PS. I've put this photo down as Kangwondo, because Trek Earth hasn't listed the Joint Security Area or DMZ on it's locations. But that's cool ... just sayin!
Critiques | Translate
KiltedArab (0) 2006-01-29 19:40
This is great, very "Mission Impossible"!
There's probably a website in North Korea where some tea lady has posted a photo of a Westerner with a big camera trying to snap her as she delivers her digestives...
But seriously, it's a great catch of somewhere/something most here will never see and therefore is truly in the spirit of this site, in my opinion.
The hedge catches my eye as well and makes me smile. A small touch of beauty in a hostile environment. "Hey, lets build the most militarized border in the world...but a shrub would look nice..."
I love it, great one!
danielswalsh (13599) 2006-01-29 20:49
The note and information you included with the shot really make for an interesting story. The photo does come across a little bit grainy, but understandbly so considering the zoom you were using.
The guy in the window watching you while you were watching him, I'd almost be afraid of being shot at! Hahaha....
ktanska (28979) 2006-01-30 2:28
Your note, and the static feeling here make this very interesting. I've seen a TV document of this place and the impressions I get are the same here. Serious puppet theatre!
ballyna (1689) 2006-01-30 5:35
u should be very brave man,in N.Korea they might take u in as a spy.great compo,there seems a lack of sharpness slightly but who cares.all I might say is my idea about the 1/5 window were not necessary in the compo and u might have cropped it from the column.
placombe (7901) 2006-01-30 12:22
Definitely, a look into one of the world's most harsh regime of all the communist countries. I guess that they did not realize they were photographed, thanks to your powerful Sigma zoom lens.
calvinc (88) 2006-02-01 1:09
don't worry about the technical quality of the photo. there is a lot of photojournalistic integrity and appeal to it! i'm sure it was a hard shot, but i certainly appreciate this rare look into such a closed country. i wonder if some desaturation or b&w would help add to the mystique. =)
PS: i don't understand danielswalsh's comments about why a bigger zoom would affect the grain of an image. digital zoom certainly makes grains bigger, but i don't see why physical (lens) zooming affects the resolution. (At least aside from second order distortions -- but even these shouldn't affect the grain size).
jdavis84 (64) 2006-02-09 11:58
Brilliant shot. I love the person with binoculars watching.
banyanman (7789) 2006-02-10 5:27
Hi David. I love the guy in the window with the binoculars watching you - that's what really gives this a North Korea 'feel'. Everything that foreigners see in North Korea is spotlessly clean, and your photograph provides another example of that. I disagree with Nejat about cropping this from the left hand column, as that would remove half of the carefully manicured shrub, and that in turn would have detracted from the balance of your composition. Cheers . . . David
PixelTerror (0) 2006-02-14 4:03
I landed on that one following the link on your recent post and I prefer it, as the framing on the recent one is too tight for me. No place for fun on the north side, attitudes are martial and almost everything is square and straight, only the small tree is a perturbating element, maybe the first sign of a perestroika ?
Have a nice day,
triptych2003 (1534) 2006-06-26 22:38
great title.. well composed shot, nevermind about the noise. that's what happens when you don't have the appropriate tech..
MLINES (12516) 2006-06-29 22:27
Hi David, Good POV across the border and interesting note with it. This is a better photo than the ones in the hotel lobby advertising this visit. Well done. Murray.