[Photo] Surreal Korean landscapes from a drone’s eye view

Posted on : 2023-12-01 18:05 KST Modified on : 2023-12-01 18:05 KST
Cover of
Cover of "Korea from the Air," 2024 calendar by Hanpass, photographed by Cho Seong-joon.

The fintech company Hanpass has released its 2024 desktop photo calendar, “Korea from the Air.” The calendar contains 13 images of South Korea captured by one of the country’s top drone photographers, Cho Seong-joon, over the past decade.

The snowy scene of Jumunjin Beach has a surrealist, collage-like feel, as if torn sheets of traditional Korean paper have been incorporated into the photographs, while the salt flats of Sinan’s Taepyeong Salt Farm look like contact sheets of freshly developed negatives. The Bukhan River takes on the appearance of an ink-and-wash painting from some futuristic era under Cho’s lens.

Bukhan River in Hwacheon, Gangwon Province. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)
Bukhan River in Hwacheon, Gangwon Province. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)

Hanpass CEO Kim Kyung-hoon said that he “wanted to show the beautiful landscapes of South Korea” to clients including Korean nationals abroad and foreign nationals living in Korea.

“I’ve used drones for the past decade or so to capture places around Korea. The flat landscapes we’re used to seeing at ground level are transformed into ink-and-wash paintings when seen vertically from the air,” shared photographer Cho Seong-joon about the project.

Munchijae in Jeongseon, Gangwon Province. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)
Munchijae in Jeongseon, Gangwon Province. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)

The cover of the 2024 calendar is the Taepyeong Salt Farm Cho took in 2015, before the era of widespread drone usage we see today. Cho said that he had to attach a DSLR camera to a large drone to capture the image.

“The salt farmers raking the white crystals of salt against the black backdrop of the salt farm contrasted the neat and tidy frames of the plots themselves, and pressing the shutter felt as though I was painting a typological abstract painting,” Cho said of the shot.

Janghang Harbor in Seocheon, South Chungcheong Province. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)
Janghang Harbor in Seocheon, South Chungcheong Province. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)

“Drone photography makes you look at everything, and you end up seeing patterns and relationships. Sometimes when you get a closeup on one section, you discover something you never would have expected to see when on the ground,” he added.

Jumunjin Beach in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)
Jumunjin Beach in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)
Hangang Park in Yeouido, Seoul. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)
Hangang Park in Yeouido, Seoul. (photo by Cho Seong-joon)

By Kwak Yoon-sup, senior staff writer; photos by Cho Seong-joon, courtesy of Hanpass

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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