Portraits Around the World: Fish at a South Korean Market


Every week I tell the story behind a photograph taken by myself or Jerry Bauer featuring a portrait that meant something to us at the time. Sometimes they’re enlightening, simple, or just meant to capture the moment. To see more Portraits Around the World, click here.


I’ve learned that one of my favorite things about traveling is walking through open markets. I’m not a big fan of crowds, but I can put that feeling aside just for the sake of people watching. I think they tell a deeper story of the people who live in a country, especially when you find yourself in smaller towns. Chilseon Market in Daegu, South Korea isn’t a main tourist attraction or even the largest open market in Daegu, but there’s something peculiar about it that caught my eye.

It’s not the kind of place that’s bustling with tourists, and that’s what I like most about it. I often receive weird looks as I make my way from stand to stand, and it’s not the type of place where photographs are always welcome. I did my best to be respectful, and the few times I forgot myself I was sternly scolded. This picture I caught below is of a woman with expert hand-eye coordination as she cleans fresh fish after fish, never missing a beat. Clearly she had been doing this for a long time.

Fish Market

Fish Market

Do you enjoy open markets? What’s your favorite thing about them? And more importantly, do you think you could fillet fish this precisely?

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