DSC8130 1140x641 - What Seoul Means to Me
Adventures in Seoul,  Photography,  Seoul

What Seoul Means to Me

My name is Ethan Brooke and I am a New Zealander (Kiwi!) who has lived in Seoul for just under two years now. Before I came to Seoul I liked to take photos, Seoul made me want to become a photographer. Seoul has always amazed me with just how big, fast, lively, and beautiful it is. Inspiration comes differently for everyone. For me, my biggest inspiration was, and still is Seoul. It is this place that has inspired me to take more and better photos. I want to be able to share Seoul and let everyone know about how beautiful it is. This is what Seoul means to me.

Seoul – The Most Beautiful City in the World


My favourite sunset location in Seoul. Yeouido, along the banks of the Han River.

The diversity and opportunity that this city offers is something I never truly experienced before coming here. To me Seoul represents many opposites; poverty and wealth, nature and urban, and modern and traditional to name but a few. I have never visited another city where the differences are as stark as they are here. Mountains exist surrounded by the city, temples sit right next to skyscrapers, and multi-million dollar apartments look over dilapidated houses. Such vast differences exist that I had never before seen.

The blue skies after a hot summer day. Location.

Seoul initially inspired me to photograph as I wanted to share my experiences with my friends and family back home. Now it has become much more than that. I’ve come to realize that I will never be able to explore Seoul completely and that I will never stop finding unexpected places, things, and people. The fact that there is always something new to find is a big part of what inspires me to go out and shoot every week. There’s always a new story to tell. What Seoul means to me? Diversity, beauty, and excitement.

Lots of Seoul is extremely wealthy, but a lot of it is the complete opposite. However one this is universal across Seoul, you always feel safe.

However, there is one more reason that I go out to shoot as often as I do. Seoul is beautiful and I want to share that. They say that everyone sees the world differently, but I am lucky in that I am able to share how I see the world through my photographs. People don’t think of Seoul as a beautiful place, but I want to show everyone that it is.

What Does Seoul Mean to You?


Beautiful Seoul – A view that I feel not many people get to see. Location.

I wrote this short story for my photos that will be displayed at Photoville in New York next month. The topic of the photographs and story was ‘Seoul’, and I thought this was the perfect time to describe to others what I see. To share some photos and show everyone what Seoul means to me.

PHOTOVILLE, New York City’s premier photo festival, is a modular event built out of shipping containers, combining indoor and outdoor exhibitions, talks, workshops, a beer garden, and night-time screenings in Brooklyn Bridge Park, runs from September 13 – 23, 2018 and is FREE for everyone to attend and enjoy!

Photoville 2018

Check out Photoville 2018 here! Of find their social media @photovillenyc.

If you could share this post it would mean the world to me. This is a special moment for me, and I wish I could share the beauty of Seoul with more people.

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Seoul's Beauty

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