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Where to Shoot

An Evening in Kyeongju


For some reason, I kept thinking about heading to Kyeongju and getting some photos. Not really sure why but I could shake the feeling that something good was happening out there. Not sure what I would find, I jumped into my car, heeded my wife’s warning about the traffic and took off.

I can’t stress this enough, I had no idea what I wanted to shoot there. I felt like my shots of the Woljeong Bridge were a little boring and so I was heading out that way. However, beyond that I was not really sure what to do. I was just heading out to a beautiful city and hoping for the best and then something caught my eye.

What Happened to Nampodong?


When I first arrived I was in the company of some extremely talented photographers. They gave me a start into a world that would drain my wallet and fill my heart with joy, almost simultaneously. One of the best areas in Busan that a photographer could go to drain his wallet and walk away with some nice gear was Nampodong. It’s streets were lined with camera shops and underground was full of retro gear. It was a place where you’d give a friendly nod when you saw a camera bag or tripod.


Put 7 Photographers on a Tiny Island in South Korea and This is the Result

Nothing is better than an island getaway with friends, especially when those friends are all excellent photographers. Last week I headed out with some of the best photographers in the area to the tiny island of Somaemuldo. This island is located near Tongyeong but really is isolated from everything. People come to fish (I think??) and just to get away from it all.


Hongryongsa: Rainbow Dragon Temple


I first saw this place posted on the Busan Lightstalkers page and I was interested. Where else can you find a temple next to a flowing waterfall near Ulsan or Busan? I had to investigate further. I searched Dale’s Korean Temple Adventures site, which is my go-to site for temples. It has the most comprehensive listing and detailed descriptions of Korean Temples and it always has what I am looking for.

Tongdosa: Pine Trees Dancing in The Wind


Few places get to me as much as Tongdosa. I have always been a big fan of this place even before I came to Korea. I remember reading about it in a Lonely Planet although I can’t find it on their site. At any rate, I have been visiting here for over 10 years. When my parents came here they really wanted to see this place too and it is a great memory that I have of their trip here.

Ganjeolgot Cape Beauty

Haedong Younggunsa Temple 2014

This is the shot that hundreds of photographers shot during buddha's birthday

This is the shot that hundreds of photographers shot during buddha’s birthday

In the last Buddha’s birthday spot that I went to this year, I bring you Haedong Younggunsa! One of my favourite temples and a beauty of a temple to shoot at during this decorative time. The sad part is that you will be fighting for “the spot” with a few hundred other photographers.

Beomosa Temple


As you probably know, I now work at Busan University of Foreign Studies which sits right next to Beomosa Temple. I visited there a few weeks ago when the cherry blossoms were blooming. I returned there last night to check on the lanterns for Buddha’s birthday and was really impressed.



Junggwangsa Temple 2014

Bongwonsa Temple


While up in Seoul, we had the great idea to hike up Mt. Ansan at 5 am or so. This meant getting up at about 4 am and catching a taxi to the mountain to meet up with Simon Bond and the legendary Robert Koehler. Robert knows pretty much everything there is to know about Korea and especially Seoul. He was kind enough to take us up to the top despite the early rise and the lack lustre sunrise that morning.

The Dondaemun Design Plaza


When it first opened I wondered what exactly it was. This spaceship-like building has landed right next to one of Seoul’s historic gates adding an interesting touch to the area. It should fit with the surrounding fashion stores and cafes but it somehow doesn’t. That being said, it is one of the coolest buildings that I have ever seen.


Bujeon Market

bujeon market-7

This weekend, after visiting my Father-in-law in the hospital, we decided to take a look around Bujeon Market before jumping on the train home. This is a busy market full of fresh seafood and vegetables. While Jagalchi gets all the tourists, this market certainly should not be overlooked for those wanting to see a more traditional style market. Here at Bujeon Market, you won’t find your normal packaged/processed food items. What you will find are fresh fish from the region including the smelly “hongeo” or spoiled skate.

Bomun Lake

Bomun Blossom-6

One of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the area is the Bomun Lake area in Gyeongju, South Korea. However, it is also the busiest and most crowded outside of the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival. At any rate, I thought that if I went out while the festival was on, it would take the pressure off of Bomun. I was wrong.

The Colossal Buddha


One of the coolest things that I have seen in a long time happened when I was driving to my new job at Busan University of Foreign Studies. As I was driving along I saw a colossal Buddha statue on the horizon. It was huge! As I drove along I realized that this was infact a temple of some sort and was worth investigating.


Haedong Younggunsa

younggunsa (4 of 8)

If I were to pick a favourite temple in Korea, it would be a tie between Tongdosa and Haedong Younggunsa. While I love Tongdosa in the spring and fal for the leaves and blossoms, Haedong Younggunsa is great all year round.

younggunsa (1 of 8)

KTO Cheorwon Tour PT. 2


Day 2 started early with a trip to the Togyo reservoir to watch geese and other migratory birds do what they do best… migrate. Sadly the weather was not on our side that day and a thick fog rolled in, obscuring our view of pretty much everything. It still was great to see this mysterious fog and the sounds of the birds flying overhead. Soon it was breakfast time and a bowl of jook and fresh locally grown food hit the spot. Many of the vegetables were grown on site which is something you don’t find too often in the cities.

KTO Chorwon Tour PT.1

Last weekend I was given the chance to be a part of a tour sponsored by the Korea Tourism Organization. We were asked to head up to Chorwon near the DMZ between North and South Korea to get photos of the area and it’s scenic sites. I was stoked to go! Mostly because I would get to spend an entire weekend with some of the best photographers in Korea. These are guys that I have been talking to online for years but rarely have had the chance to meet them and especially all at once. The guys that I am referring to are none other than Steve Miller, Simon Bond, and Douglas MacDonald. We were also joined by Busan’s best Keith Homan and Marc Potgieter, who are two awesome photographers.

Gyeongju Photo Walk


A while ago, I lead a photo walk in the beautiful city of Gyeongju. This was one of my favourite photo walks that I have been on recently. Aside from the horrible traffic that made me extremely late, which is bad when you are the host and the only one who knows where to go. At any rate, the weather was great and we started our walk beginning with the tombs around Daeureungwon and then into Daereunwon itself.

Tombs of Gyeongju


One of the most amazing things about Gyeongju are the magnificent tombs that seem to be everywhere. The main cluster of these are located in Tumuli Park or rather the Daereungwon Tomb Complex. This is a beautiful park that is a much needed green space in Korea. To be honest one of the things that I love about the area is that there is just so much green.

Wol-jeong Bridge and the Traditional Village

wol-jong bridge

After seeing this bridge on John Steele’s blog post, I just had to head out there and get some shots. I am little burnt that those guys traveled all the way down here and didn’t even call! (LOL, just kidding guys… but next time…) The Wol-jeong bridge is still under construction at the moment but  they light up most of the bridge for everyone to take a look at.

The Palace

building construction black and white

One of the buildings in the area being built back in 2007

One of the tragedies of Ulsan’s housing boom was the numerous “busts” that came when the prices of apartments exceeded what people were willing to pay. One of those was the Palace D’Sante or whatever it is being called now. In 2007, it popped up along the street next to two other high-rise apartments. These were to be the future of living in Ulsan. However, due to the changing markets and no doubt some shifty backdoor deals, it stood completed but empty for many years.

Samgwangsa Temple in Busan

Rooftopping in Ulsan

Thanks to Peter DeMarco, I realized that I have missed a few buildings on my previous list and that I should update my rooftopping list for Ulsan. Now before I get into that let me first talk a little bit about how to do this, so that I don’t a get message saying that you are locked on a roof or you are locked in the back of a police car.


First, remember that you are going to areas that the building security might not want you to be. So with that in mind, enter at your own risk. Second, be aware of locked doors and doors that only have an inside handle. The best thing to do is prop the door open when you enter the roof top area. That way you will always have an exit.

Jung Gwang Sa Decorated for the New Year

As I drove past my favorite temple in  Mugeo-dong, Ulsan last week and I noticed that it was decorated with many lanterns and banners. I would suspect that this would be for the upcoming new year. I looked around for the director, whom I met during this year’s Buddha’s Birthday festivities, but he was not in. At any rate, this temple is always such a beautiful place to visit and just walk around. Sadly, last night it was a little on the cold side. At any rate, I got a few shots and ran back to my warm car and headed home.

Night Shots of Onsan


With the December meet up of the Photographers in Ulsan Photography Club, I thought that I would make this post about how to get the shots from that location, so that people can get some practice and make the best out of their time.


Photographing the Busan Fireworks Festival 2012 Pt.2

If you haven’t read the first post you can read it here. At any rate, I am going to elaborate more on the topic and provide some great information about actually getting decent shots from this weekend. Since this will be my first actual time heading there with the intent of capturing images and not just enjoying the moment, I will be showing images of past firework events that I have been to. Don’t worry the information and techniques will be exactly the same.

Where to Shoot: The Jujeon Coast

I must admit at times I really wonder who created the “12 scenic Sights of Ulsan” as some areas fall short of the mark. One being the view of the petrochemical complex at night. You can find that one on the top of Muryongsan, yet the view is kilometers away and not exactly the one they picture. With that being said, the Jujeon Coast and the Black Pebble Beach is quite nice.

Where to Shoot! Anapji

You have all seen this same photo around and it may have put a few of you off from going there. It may have prompted some of you to go there. The fact of the matter is that Anapji Pond in Gyeongju is a beautiful place to visit when the weather is nice.

While the blossoms may have fallen, it is still a great time to head out to Gyeongju and relax in this popular site. The best time to visit, in order to get the “standard Anapji shot” is just after the sun touches down during the blue hour. However, this is the exact time that people go to shoot and trust me, you will no be alone, nor will your shots be original. Should that keep you from going? Hell, no! Go out and mingle. Find a new angle or go at a different time.

Where to Shoot! Weekend Edition

For this first post for what I hope to be a great series, I am going to give you a sort of mission and a place (if you are close by) to try and shoot. If you get something good, I will post if on next weeks edition. At any rate, the blossoms have sprung down here in Ulsan I am off to try and get some great shots. It is such an amazing time, but I think that these precious little flowers have been over shot in the typical sense. So your mission for this weekend is to check out the blossoms and find a new creative angle to shoot.

Getting the Shot 12: Fish with a Vignette Sauce

The Shot: This kind of shot that takes a common street (at least around the coastal areas of Korea) and draw attention to the subject by adding a slight vignette to the image. Some may say that this style is over-done but I think that with the right usage it is a nice effect to what would otherwise be  a boring shot.

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