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Dive for Your Passion

The Passion Pit is the section where we interview someone who has a passion for something in order to share his or her stories with readers and I believe we have found the very right person ever for this section.

Being able to be focused on something for a long period of time proves that you truly enjoy doing it. I have found out for myself that It is quite hard to have a steady hobby. However, I got to have the chance to meet and talk with someone who actually manages to do it. She is Hong Sun-Ok who is currently studying Industrial Design at Hongik University. I have asked several questions regarding her hobbies which are Skin Diving and underwater photography. Those are not very common hobbies or sports we can easily access, especially when it comes to underwater photography, therefore I thought it would be interesting to introduce her stories to readers.

Have you ever got inspired to concentrate on something deeply by the class you have been attending? Hong said It was Swimming class which encouraged her to have such a hobby at first. She was not even familiar with water back then. However, as she got familiar with water through the class, she got to enjoy the silence that she could feel in the water and it actually led her to find a way to enjoy such a feeling for so long. Now, she has been doing this for years enjoying the feeling she likes and picturing the beautiful moments in the water. Although she said she is still in the process of learning, I found it amazing to create the high-quality works as a non-professional.

Then, I was wondering what makes her keep doing it despite the dangerous moments she might encounter in the water. Surely, there must be unexpected situations when you go out to the sea. Hong said it is dangerous to dive into the water itself since you are taking the risks not breathing. She said she has passed out one time as well. Nevertheless, she cannot give up the silence she could feel and it keeps making her dive. One time, she has seen a plastic bag in the water, but it turned out as It was a big jellyfish. Everything you see in the sea is pretty much dangerous like this. So, you have to study hard and try to learn more so that you can be safe when you dive.

On top of that, she said she has learnt some lessons doing underwater photography. Since it gets really darker if you go deep inside to the sea, controlling the direction and intensity of light is very important. So are weather and water quality. There are various conditions you might see like this and it keeps making her think and study. Hong also highlighted that taking pictures underwater is far more attractive than taking outside of water. If you take pictures on the ground, you might be required to take a specific pose. However, if you take underwater, even though you are trying to take a pose, it does not work as you intend and she said that is what makes the photos more natural and attractive. She added that such glamour makes her try out more and told me about the underwater museum called Museo Atlántico in Lanzarote. You have to dive into the sea to get to the museum and there you can see many kinds of statues made of the neutral cement which eats carbon dioxide. It focuses on ocean life conservation since it helps coral keep surviving. She said visiting the museum is on her bucket list.

Are you getting interested? Since I am, I have asked what kind of advice she would like to give to those who want to start diving. She said if you want to start, you should give it a try as much as you can with a lot of passion. If you are just so fascinated by the fancy photography and you wish you could be the photographer or the model instantly, you have to calm down. She said it took about 4 years for her to fully get familiar with water and spent a lot of amount of time to learn and practice. You might get disappointed at first because of the boring training but you cannot just get into the water from the very first time, so you would better off taking all the training as a kind of experience and try to draw a big picture not to focus on a single part.

Talking with her, I could see how much she is proud of and values her experience, which made me think she is the perfect person for the section, the passion pit.

Getting immersed in something seems like the best feeling you could have. I am sure it is good for managing your mental health as well. I hope the story can be a beginning for you to start finding something you like. It does not have to be so special or unique. Why not just start by reading books or watching films you like right now? Who knows it would make you want to try out for something new such as writing poems or filming or whatever. Then I will be looking forward to meeting you as the main figure of the Passion Pit for the next November issue!

Cho Aruem  aruemcho@gmail.com

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