This past weekend I headed to Anseong Farmland. The trip from Seoul wasn’t long, it took about an hour and ten minutes by bus from Express Bus Terminal. Getting to Anseong Farmland was easy, only took 15 minutes by taxi, but the location of the barn would have been difficult were it not for other photographers.
There aren’t many people are driving around at 4 am on a country rode besides photographers, so we asked the taxi driver to follow the cars we came across. It was not long before the row of photographers came into view.
It was dark and and difficult to frame properly. Once sunrise neared – it was much easier to compose. The morning looked plain so I used the Singh-ray Blue-n-Gold filter. If I wanted the clouds and the sun, I had to shoot wide.
In hindsight, shooting tight might have been a better decision; however, you would not be able to capture the sun rising and the barn together in one frame.
Initially there was no fog, and the sun didn’t come into frame until an hour past sunrise. Luckily, a model decided to pose by walking down the road. It made for a nice photo. My iphone 7+ captured the best photos this time.2 Leave a reply
Boseong tea plantation in Suncheon had been on my to-do list since I first saw a sunrise shot over the fields. It is close to a 5 hour trip if you consider the KTX, inter-city buses, and taxis . However, I believe that anyone could benefit from taking some time off from Seoul and visiting the green fields of Boseong.
The plan was to obtain a sunrise photo from the peak; you can to get a view of the sun rising over the lake. Instead the weather did not cooperate and we were met with rain. The old me would have lamented the bad weather, now I try to use the conditions to create a different atmosphere. Eventually, the fog started rolling in and added a surreal mood and allowed me to capture something unique.
Despite the rain, there were a number of people out enjoying the plantation. My friend and I enjoyed snaps of couples with umbrellas. Suncheon is known to have the cutest girls in South Korea. I also felt incredibly lucky to find a woman away from the groups and deeper into the fields. The resulting image felt deeply immersing.
As we climbed higher, the fog became thicker. There was one shot I was very keen on obtaining and while I did so, my friend captured an image of me in my lonesome.
There is a green tea room overlooking a separate field called Chorokip 초록잎펼치는세상. At the time, I was shooting wit the Nikon 14-24mm. The lens is actually very large, and I was unable to keep raindrops from falling on the lens. It was disappointing to come home and open Lightroom only to find those shots were ruined. Luckily, using the iPhone 7+’s panorama feature, I was able to obtain a cleaner and wider shot than one shot with the Nikon 14-24mm.
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I’ve actually never had the opportunity to head out and enjoy 단풍 or the fall autumn colors, so last weekend a couple of friends and I headed down to Naejangsan and Baekyangsa to enjoy some Korean foliage.
It was a long trip to Jeongeup, a three hour ride. We left Friday night and spend it at Prince Hotel – a pretty sweet deal at 28,00o won for the night.
The priority was Baekyangsa temple, which was 40,000 won by taxi. There’s no bus to that area. We were lucky to arrive early because the best light for the temple is actually a few hours after sunrise.
There was a large number of tourists. We knew that it would be a challenge, being a competitive spot during peak fall, so much patience was involved. It was like a zoo, there were even photographers in the trees. You should shoot from a dangerous thin wet mold-ridden rock path with a backdrop.
Unfortunately, day was very dull – it wasn’t until some clouds broke splitting the sky behind the temple while some light seeped and highlighted the temple. I got what I wanted.
The climb to the peak wasn’t difficult. You can overlook the valley and the temple below surrounded by the foliage. I tried to use a CPL to cut through the haze, but it didn’t make much difference. That’s when I decided to use the gold-n-blue filter.
In the end, I ended up walking away with something better than what I was after. The ‘dehaze’ tool also helped me salvage the original shot to some point.
It would be a good time to point out that at this point of the day, the traffic and number of tourists at Baekyangsa was simply too much. It would be wise to not bother going anytime after noon.
Then, was then off to Naejangsan National Park (by taxi).
There is a small pond with a gazebo in the middle, it is the most famous shot in that park; however, I was very annoyed, despite the surplus of foliage, people saw me and feel that they should take pictures where I was. Naejangsan had the most autumn I have seen in my life and it was pleasant with the exception of all the tourists. There was very little sunlight and the sky was overcast – but again the gold-n-blue filter saved the scene. I am proud to say it now holds a permanent slot in my bag.
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Dongmyo is a residential area in the northern side of Seoul, it also has a set of apartments that I enjoy shooting from because it provides a view of Seoul that most people never see. In my opinion, the less developed areas are just as beautiful. One can spend an afternoon getting lost in neighborhoods such as this one. In fact, one of my favorite things is getting lost in maze of back streets and alleys and stumbling across hole-in-a-wall cafes and restaurants.
I was hoping for a red sky during sundown, unfortunately the clouds were too low for that effect; however, I walked away with some lovely shots. Late summer and fall usually has very dramatic skies.
Previously, I had used the Nikon 14-24mm to get a view of the hill. This time around, I decided to go as wide as possible using the Samyang 12mm FE for full frame. For being a third-party lens, you get pretty stunning results. I’m also pretty impressed with the sharpness of the lens and how well it handles lens flares.
I would also like to note that I am especially fond of my previous shot, the clear skies makes the feeling very serene and peaceful – contrary to the hustle and bustle of the city.
Sometimes, you don’t have to travel too far from home to take good pictures. That is something I have come to learn lately and my photography focus at the moment is to shoot at “the right time” with “the right conditions.” If I follow these rules, then I’m confident that any area can be seen beautifully.1 Leave a reply
During late August, Korean forest floors are littered with 맥문동, also known as ‘monkey grass.’ Some areas more than others, the most famous being Sango-ri, Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The problem is that Sango-ri is far from Seoul, so you should take an overnight bus if you wish to photograph the forest floor with fog early morning. The fog makes all the difference. Initially, I thought fog could be added in post using the ‘dehaze’ feature in lightroom, but the effect wasn’t what I was hoping for.
I woke up at 4am and took a cab to Achasan where I met my friend. Sunrise was at 6am so getting there early was important, you need to have your composition ready. The cab driver left me at the parking lot near the entrance. Luckily, the entrance is where the flower patches are located. It didn’t take very long to find the spot. In hindsight, I should have taken a flashlight.
The lack of fog was disappointing, it didn’t provide the atmosphere I was hoping for. Also the shape of the land, doesn’t allow for a ‘flowers everywhere’ type of look like Sango-ri. But I didn’t walk away empty handed, the crooked trees and flowers look amazing in the golden hour.
It might be too late to return this year, but next time around I will take that night bus to Sango-ri and pray for there to be fog.1 Leave a reply
Opening a new website is not something I had anticipated; however, as my work becomes better known, more people have begun to contact me. It’s only appropriate to set up a space free from my personal life, where I can share my knowledge and love of photography. Having a place where potential partners can view my work and contact me directly is also important to me. It is the next logical step towards my professional development.
Therefore, I would like to thank my friends and family who continue to encourage me, and my photographer friends in Korea, who have helped shape me into the photographer I am today.
Special thanks to anyone who comes across this page, I hope you will continue to follow my work and don’t shy away from leaving a comment, that would be very nice.
PS. It’d be nice if you buy a print too!1 Leave a reply