Mountain Magazine with the picture.
The copy was found/sent by Mr. Kang Hyun-Woo of Shinbiro Photo Club in
I have never been professional photographer (I mean never made money from my photographic activity).
A few times I had chance to make some.
The picture was taken at Daeseungpok (Daeseung Icefall) in 1985. I was a member of a team who managed its first complete climb
on the ice fall then (of course in the winter time).
We (I mean the team) have a professional photographer who is working for a magazine, but the guy
could not joined the climb. Thus, I took camera.
It was Asahi Pentax SLR. Mr. DP Yoon borrowed it with 200mm lens from his friend for the recording.
I had to climb wall on the opposite side of the ice fall - it was a sort of hard climbing almost as hard as the icefall itself - if you
allow me to exaggerate little bit.
It was terribly cold. -15 or -18 deg. Celsius.
One of my friend - HH Cho followed me to help. He carried tripod which is basic necessity when you use long focus length lens.
I used slide film for publication - none believe picture can make it
worthy though. You may know slide film demands real accurate exposure than
normal negative ones.
When we reach the vintage point where you can cover whole blue column of the icefall in great angle, Cho confessed he lost tripod on the way up.
I told OK, I will take picture like Jackal the assassin thus it doesn't
matter - anyway none will expect me to make photo like professional.
The second Oops came right after I looked through view finder. The
needle of exposure meter dead. Battery was frozen!
That means I cannot get any help of exposure meter in the camera. As well as shutter
(only partly working).
I put the battery under my armpit - eeeeeeh.
And even put it into my mouse - what a dedicated photographer I am!
After 30 minutes of super-human effort, I gave up.
I took pictures all day. But not with much hope.
I was not sure my guess on the correct exposure can be correct. And
shutter stopped in the middle of the way a few times.
To my relief, we did not bring extra roll of film.
My team made the successful first ascent on the ice fall.
Not many crazy climbers dared to try this dangerous ice fall.
It shatters down completely a few times in a single winter then freeze again.
Thus if that is big enough to climb, you don't know when it fall down, its
quite ready fall down with you any minute - once you cling to the ice
fall, your weight added will help to trigger it off-balance.
Otherwise, its not climbable.
We celebrated the success of climb and returned Seoul next day.
A few days later we picked up the slide developed, borrowed slide
projector and gathered up to see the damned pictures.
Silently I prayed none blame me too much. I rehearsed my excuses -
frozen exposure meter, frozen shutter screen, frozen battery (possibly
run-out), lost tripod - aren't they enough?
When we start projector, I couldn't believe my eyes, I guess its same to
my friends there.Pictures are fantastic!
Dynamic, razor sharp, penetrating color with great composition!
One of my friends even told me to consider to become a professional
That night I felt rather exhausted than exhilarated.
I was prepared for life-long blames from my friends.
Next week a guy working for a daily newspaper (Seoul Sinmun) contacted and asked us to
lend slide to publish it as "Color
Photo of the week" of his newspaper - at the time newspapers doesn't make color print every day.
The picture was on the newspaper half page around 10"x20" with my name on the bottom.
I bought dozens of the newspapers to give every one who knows me. I
really felt like a hero.
The professional - who failed to make the climb - really envied me.
He have never made such a big shot through out his career.
We sent the copy of picture with writing about the first ascent of the icefall to Japanese magazine
(Snow & Rock) for the record and they published it on their Chronicles
section. You see, I am now internationally published photographer!
I felt great seeing that, but they took it as free donation.
A while later, someone made Encyclopedia of Mountain climbing, and I let the picture printed
for the cover - free of charge.
Soraksan National Park Authority contacted me and asked for the picture to print it on the entrance ticket.
Wow, now thousands of people will see my picture!
Wait a moment, free again? No way!
This time I put the price on that K.Won 300,000. (about 10,000 Baht or US$250).
They never came back.
That is the end of the opportunity I got to be a professional photographer.
Mountain magazine also used that picture for their cover.
Of Course - FREEEEEEE.
Note : The pictures on the left (two pictures of my camera on the top) were not taken by camera. I
just laid my camera on the flatbed scanner (HP ScanJet 5100C) and scanned. Quite OK, isn't it?
Solution : If you care about the cost buying film, developing and printing, you just buy
a scanner. It will be a bit clumsy to take
family picture but you can print out photos for your passport.
* I recently joined a amateure photo club - Shinbiro
Photo Club in Korea (through internet) and Mr. Kang, who is one of the
member of the club, after reading this page, found and sent the picture
above. - Thanks a lot, my friend!