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Grown in the morning
Korea, South
Seoul : the Ugly city. Morning view from the executive floor of a business hotel in Gangnam.


Some of the comments complaining uglyness (more exactly dull blandness) wasn't too apparent at the start, force me to upload this one... even though I wanted this one to end the "Ugly city" serie, as a question like "How would you qualify this type of urban architecture?". 

Probably there's a misunderstanding with the title. I dont think the critics are relevant to what I am showing.  I am so sorry for their inhabitants that Detroit, Pittsburgh or New Jersey are uglier than Seoul but the reality is that I am very far from setting up an uglyness competition, this is clearly not the ambition of the project.

It's important that you fully read the photographer's statement on each project, not just the title. You may read that "I was ...struck with the uglyness of the city" (probably on that only point, I will easily stand that the highway entrance coming from Incheon is some of the worst cityscape I've encountered in a 42 years more than 50 countries traveled, it's just 4 ways roads overlooking a polluted industrial zone, with steel bridges coming 2.5m above the roadways.. something you might think of when imaginating North Korea in the 70's or the steel plated years of Kharkovsk, Siberia, USSR )... although I say "it's not devoid of any charm"... then I speak about the "city greyness" : you might be furtherly disappointed, I'm speaking about dullness, dont expect any highlights like the famous Phnom Penh open air dump.

But the most important point taht some of you missed is that I am also speaking about my "slyness" on showing Seoul as an ugly city, enhancing the grittier aspects of it with a cold metallic processing and that I could probably make another serie called "Beautiful Seoul"... remember we're not in TrekEarth, there's room here for what I'd call "poetic licence".
Take it as my personal statement that Seoul is ugly, like Chicago is windy for instance, if you want to enjoy the serie. In no ways I will try to prove you I'm right, (I will simply sympathize if you tell me that your city is worse), once again proving it is in NO WAY the object of the serie but rather a personal view on a rather unattractive city (to me) but in a way... quite interesting.   
APN Canon Canon EOS 5D
Registred camera CANON Canon EOS 5D with CANON EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (Reflex camera)
EXIF information f:5 - 1/800 - 400 ISO  (no flash)
Orignal filename uglyseoul-10.jpg


I like architecture know..but this town gives to me a sense of oppression and claustrophobia...
again a perfect image for your series
Hmmm, I stayed away a bit, but you know, I'm interested here. Seems a touchy subject. For someone who is so secure in his vision, why would you present your intended ending shot here in the middle(?); only because others are "complaining"? I doubt it. Actually, I think you believe this is an ugly city, and you tried to show that observation. The problem really lies with peoples' different perceptions of what is actually ugly. I, at no point, tried to proclaim that I had an uglier city...only that I perceived something completely different when reading the title (and the statement).
Furthermore, the above note to this shot will do no good presented with this series in a professional manner ;?} Most would ask, "what the hell is he talking about?" Opinions are opinions, who really gives a shit? Move with what you see, some will be onboard and others will be oblivious...

I like the shot, and it's bland just like I wanted.
First I think saying "The critiques are relevant to what im showing" is more than a bit dismissive, wouldnt you say Luko?

I did read your statement. I still think that with a title like that you didnt deliver. yes, Seoul may be an ugly city but atleast the 2nd picture didnt show this to me. it showed me a city. yes. Well actually it showed me a guy on a bike, tightly cropped and very little of the city actually visible to make much of a decision about the city itself. It also showed me a part of a city that may be ugly in parts but alteast that part isnt and it wasnt in your picture. Gagnam btw isnt ugly, and the main artery, teheran Street is actually quite a nice, wide, straight avenue, lined with trees a with a nice collection of modern towers on both sides, it could rival any avenue in an American city. Its sort of like starting up a project on Washington called Dangerous City and then showing us the Capitol building. yes, Washington is very dangerous and the Capital is one of its landmarks but I wouldnt say such a photo would fit. So you may dismiss this criticism as irrelevent to your project, or not. I am stating my opinion on my interpretation of your project. Also, since I live here and know this city I may perhaps be a more demanding customer as Im sure you would be if someone from outside did a project on Paris.

Now, this shot works. You have showed us one of he problems in Seoul: the lack of architectural unity. The blocks amid the smaller residential buildings, it is an eye sore. So here you are on target with showing us uglyness or, as you say you want to show, drabness and greyness.
OK Ok.. You got me on this one Luko. This is hideous. No charm whatsoever... It's dull in architecture and in color, except for the processing you gave it of course; cool and metallic. Sometimes, when I think we misinterpret what ugliness is in terms of a city. Maybe it's the architecture, or anthropologically. In this case I would definitely choose the previous, because the S. Koreans I've met have been amazing people. Thanks for the tip in Lightroom by the way! Brian
Hmm of course if you go in thi way and on this floor, the view look less charming
but the picture is awesome.  and a great add to your project.
If you like in photoshop i can delete those ugly building.
Just a private question Luko your choice about 800 asa was to work with more ( grain )*
I do like the strong halo **


* connais pas la trad de grain en anglais
**oups je crois que je devais te donner un paresoleil
Now THAT is ugly, man! No your "slyness" is safe and clear. What IS beautiful though, is the photograph itself, the way it builds in layers with that wonderful shadow creeping across the bottom of it...
Sympa ton holga ;) ... the ugly city est donc aussi un roc.
Très mochement joliement bô. Belle photo et transcription (pardon de le dire). "poetic licence" ... Thanks for this picture Luko