Photos taken by contributor PJ Brez, a 28-year-old man who lives in the South Korean countryside. He has experienced depression, loneliness, homesickness, and feelings of isolation. He teaches English conversation at a university in Korea, but photography is his passion.
About these photos: “When the cherry blossoms arrive in springtime Korea, folks flock out to gawk at them. And rightly so, these budding trees are quite beautiful. I recall this past spring thinking about why so much attention is given to the cherry blossom over other flowers. After all, most people don’t seem to rush out their doors, cameras in tote, to gaze at daisies, daffodils, azaleas, or gardenias.
I concluded that the reason why most seem to be especially drawn to cherry blossoms is due to their brevity. They come, are beautiful and fragrant, and then they wilt and wither and are gone within a week. Their time to shine is so fleeting, so we all want to go out and enjoy them while we can. These particular photos were captured with a Canon AE-1 coupled with a Canon 15mm fisheye lens on Kodak Portra 160 film.
I find that I live life without giving too much thought about tomorrow. This is good and bad. On the plus side, I don’t stress much. On the down side, I sometimes find that I’m not living up to my potential. I could go more, do more, be more. The cherry blossom reminds me that life is finite. Instead of piddling away my days, not appreciating all those beautiful daisies and daffodiles, I should be cherishing all things, all moments, all encounters.”