If you remember a little while ago, I wrote about how to buy a film camera in Korea. If you haven’t read that, please take the time to read that now, if you want. In that post I talked about a wonderful shop near the Dongdaemun Design Plaza called FilmLog.
After picking up the cameras, I set out to test each one. This was a great experience and a needed one. I soon found out that my Canon G-III, needs new light seals. Shooting film really puts you into a pure photography mode. You are not relying on the computer in the camera at all and that really pushes you to be careful about each shot.Sending in The Film
Once I had my 2 rolls completed, I sent them off to FilmLog. Now, if you lived in Seoul you could just head down to the shop and hand them in yourself. However, I live in Ulsan, so the method was a little different. However, it was not all that hard either.one camera that I picked up needs to have the light seals replaced.
Basically all you have to do is send them the film and their address and instructions is in the FAQ section of there site. Click here for that information. The info is in Korean but it is all there. Just clock on the second question from the top. Also, they do speak English, so if you have any questions you can call them or leave a message via their site.
Once you send in the film, you must transfer the money. I just wanted to test the service so I went with a basic develop and scan. For black and white film, this cost me about 8,000 won per roll and around 3, 000 won for the shipping.The Wait
The film got to the shop in about 3 days. Due to the fact that I sent in Black and White film, I was told that it would take about a week. The communication was amazing and in English.
When FilmLog received my film and payment, they gave me a call and let me know that I have to fill out a form on their site. Once that was done, they responded immediately letting me know when my films would be available to download.
Almost a week to the day, I received text messages letting me know that my images were ready. I logged in and it was amazing.
One of the great things about FilmLog is the fact that you have your images scanned and you can see them there on the site. You can also order prints from there as well.
Your photos appear in a set with the roll of film that you used. You then can cycle through each of the prints and download the ones that you want. You can also delete the crappy ones too.
The overall layout and ease of use is unlike anything that I have seen. That goes without saying for FilmLog as they are completely amazing and I love it. From their film vending machines to the amazing customer service, I will be using for a long time to come.
The bottomline here is that FlimLog is a great service to have in Korea and at reasonable prices. I can’t say enough good things about this shop. You really have to try them out. I certainly will be trying them out soon as I want to run a couple more rolls of film through these new cameras.
Check out their site here. This was not a paid piece, I simply really like their serive and I want you guys to check them out too.
Teaching Online using ZoomUsing Zoom for Online Teaching
It took a pandemic, but the ETW gang is ending its hiatus...at least for one show.
EdTechTalk#86 streams live at 2200UTC
with @davecormer @jenm @schinker and @jefflebow
Please refrsh this page at showtime to see the livestream.
Chris Tharp and Sam Hazelton join me to rant about the Coronavirus and the democratic primaries as we practice a semi-quarantined life here in Busan, South Korea.This may be the last podcast I record while living in Korea – we talk a little bit about my plans to move back to America. We get very drunk. Tharp shares a Memory of Regret and I turn Sam’s mic off.I don’t regret anything!
There has been way too much sensationalism about corona, so firstly, go wash your hands, drink a beer, and relax.
I was traveling for the holidays for awhile, so this is my first blog-post in awhile. Sorry.
My basic take on corona in South Korea is:
a) It is not a national catastrophe, and the foreign media has been too sensationalistic (CNN particularly). Yes, it is uncomfortable and disruptive, but it is not bringing down the state, creating panic on the streets, an apocalypse scenario like you’ve seen in zombie movies, and so on.
b) The big retrospective error will be understood as the SK president’s decision not to ban Chinese travelers. In fact, Moon Jae In still has not done that, which I find totally inexplicable beyond obvious political pressure from China not to do it
c) The disease’s spread is due in part to SK’s basic liberalism. The liberal state cannot coerce people to stay in their homes, take intrusive physical exams, throw them into camps, and so on (barring some really extreme national emergency which corona is not yet).
d) The South Koreans are actually doing a pretty admirable job in dealing with this. The population is broadly complying, and voluntarily so, with the government’s recommendations. There is no rioting, panic-buying, xenophobic explosions, and so on. As an American who was raised on the Reaganite idea that the government can’t do anything right, it is pretty damn impressive to see the deep capacity of the South Korean state and the cooperativeness of South Korean society once fully mobilized. I really doubt Americans will respond with the calm and discipline you see here.
e) The real Korean corona threat is an outbreak in North Korea. The government there is an incompetent mess when it comes to social services, and medicine is primitive for most of the country. So you know what Pyongyang will do with infected people – throw them into concentration camps to die with almost no assistance. It will be a tragedy which none of us will see.
Here is my recent writing:
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
One of the last times that I got out before the major CORVID-19 virus broke out across Korea was to Gijang, South Korea. This is a smaller village out near Busan and it is quickly becoming a major tourism centre. With the addition of the new IKEA and the Hilton Hotel, it is a bustling place closer to lunch time. However, if you get there at the crack of dawn, it is still a quiet and peaceful place.
On this particular morning, I met up with a good friend and fellow photographer Lee Kelly. He is creating a name for himself in the Busan photo scene and it was great to finally meet up again. Not to mention that he brought me a box of girl scout cookies!
The morning started off fairly gloomy and I honestly didn’t think that I would get much more than a cup of coffee out of the day. However, mother nature was persistent and blue skies showed up just before lunch and that was a great thing.JukSeong Dream Cathedral
This is a popular site among many locals and kpop fans as it is an old drama filming location. It is easy to get to and kind of a unique site. Now that the area has been getting more and more popular, cafes and restaurants have started to occupy what used to be a sleepy little village.
What I like about this spot is that it is easy to get to in the morning and the landscape around the church is relatively interesting. If you follow me at all then you know my love for Korean lighthouses. This area in particular has a number of good ones.DaeByun Harbour
This is another place that is really great in the morning. This harbour is quite active with boats leaving in the morning to bring in the daily catch. If you are a street photograph and like this sort of thing, then it is second to none.
What I like about it is the fact that you get a taste of the local life here. People don’t care if you are a foreigner walking around with a camera. They have better things to do and as long as you don’t get in their way, they don’t care that you are there.Coastal Road
Outside of these areas there are a ton of great places to see. Just drive along the coastal road between JukSeong and Daebyun and you will find some spots to pull over and get close the the ocean. Just be careful along this road as it is quite narrow and many drivers feel that they have the right of way because their car is either bigger or more expensive. Just keep that in mind when you are coming around some of the corners, please.
The bottomline here is that there are some great landscapes or perhaps seascapes in some of the smaller areas. Granted Gijang is quite well known around here, it is sort of off the radar for many of those who are coming to Korea for the first time.
If you have any questions about this location or any others around Korea, I would be more than happy to help you out. Drop a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
BGN Eye Hospital 20th anniversary
To introduce BGN in more details we would like to answer some common questions about BGN Eye Hospital, our vision, services provided and why BGN Eye Hospital should be your best choice for Eye Care provider in Busan.
What is special about BGN Eye Hospital?
First of all, we have 20 years of experience and know-how for laser vision correction and cataract surgeries. For the last 20 years we successfully performed over 350,000 surgeries and are among the leading hospitals in Korea.
The second thing we are proud of is that our highly professional doctors will always recommend the best customized surgery. We deal with many complicated cases that other clinics cannot do. But at the same time if the patient does not need treatment, or some kind of treatment is not the best option for him, we will never recommend a surgery or procedure. Patient`s health and satisfaction are always our main priorities.
And finally we should mention reliability. We are the hospital you can trust. We cannot guarantee that there will be no secondary vision decrease after laser vision correction surgery, but we can guarantee that if you get into this small percent of patients (2-5%), who may have secondary vision decrease, than on condition patient has enough of the corneal tissue left after surgery, secondary surgery is guaranteed to be done by hospital free of charge.
Are all patients candidate for laser vision correction?
No, not all, but a vast majority of patients with myopia, astigmatism or hyperopia can have one of Laser Vision Correction Surgeries (LASEK,LASIK, ReLEx SMILE). Still, there is a small amount of patients that may not be candidates for procedure due to thin cornea, irregular corneal form etc.
This is exactly why we provide free LASIK examination and consultation to check if each particular patient is a good candidate for vision correction or not.
What kind of Laser Vision Correction has least side effects and is considered to be the safest?
BGN Eye Hospital recommends customized Laser Vision Correction, so there is no common solution for all of patients. But on condition, that after in-depth examination, patient is a candidate for all kinds of surgeries, ReLEx SMILE surgery may be a good choice, as the recovery process is the fastest available currently among the laser vision correction surgeries and BGN SMILE guarantees the least damage of the cornea with only 1,7 mm micro- incision.
Currently BGN Eye Hospital is providing free examination and consultation for everyone, who would like to get rid of glasses or contact lenses. Feel free to contact us for free consultation and booking an appointment. You can refer to our Facebook page to learn more about our latest promotions or contact us for consultation at 010-7670-3995 or kakao: eye1004bgnbusan
S.Korea suddenly turned into "Land of Morning Virus'. Since the first Corona 19 case on Jan 20, it took nearly a month to reach 51 cases until Feb 18. The cases then doubled in one day to 104, with the first death on Feb 19, and have been increasing exponentially with 3,150 cases and 17 fatalities as of Feb 29. Nearly 85% of the cases centered around Daegu, 323km(201mi) Southeast of Seoul, that have 5.4 million people with high concentration of large auto suppliers. No auto suppliers have been shutdown yet because of the virus, but Hyundai had to stop its No.2 plant in Ulsan that produce Santafe, Pallisade and Genesis G80 SUV because of one paint shop employee with virus. Over 71 countries have placed either total ban or some control of Koreans entering their countries. President Moon Jae-in is under fire for his premature Feb 13 "Corona will soon end" comment, and he and his wife's loud laughter in a lunch with Parasite team on Feb 21 despite the news of virus hike. Imagine George and Laura Bush were all in smiles at a gala dinner on Sep 11, 2001.
This video helps you to protect yourself 100 percent out of Corona Virus and other germs. We hope you can be safe from any kinds of germs or virus. Stay healthy, everyone!How to protect yourself 100 % out of Corona Virus
Do you know Korean terms of endearment for your loved one? In Korea, it’s quite common for people to use words like “honey” and “babe” to refer to your significant other, rather than using their name.
So if you’re learning Korean, married to a Korean, or just want fun words to tease your friends with, let’s learn some Korean terms of endearment.자기야 (jagiya)
Perhaps the most popular term between couples, it means “honey”, “darling” or “baby”. You can also just shorten it to 자기.
자기야, 사랑해. → I love you, darling.
미안해, 자기야. 용서해줘. → I’m sorry, darling. Forgive me.
(mianhae, jagiya. yongseohaejwo.)내 사랑 (nae sarang)
This can directly be translated as “my love” and is similar to 자기야 with how couples use it.
잘 가요, 내 사랑. → Goodbye, my love.
(jal gayo, nae sarang)
그는 하나뿐인 내 사랑이에요. → He is my only love.
(geuneun hanappunin nae sarangieyo.)여보 (yeobo)
This translates as “honey” or “darling”. It is used exclusively between married couples.
여보, 생일 축하해. → Happy birthday, honey.
(yeobo, saengnil chukahae)
여보, 괜찮아? → Are you okay, honey?
(yeobo, gwaenchana?)애인 (aein)
“Sweetheart” is the closest translation for this word. It’s gender neutral, so anyone can use it with their partner.
애인 있어요? → Do you have boyfriend/girlfriend?
애인 없어요. → I don’t have boyfriend/girlfriend.
(aein eopseoyo.)공주님 (gonjunim)
“Princess” is a term of endearment a man can use when speaking with his girlfriend.
우리 공주님을 위해서라면 무엇이든. → Anything for my princess.
(uri gongjunimeul wihaeseoramyeon mueosideun.)
오늘따라 예뻐보여요 공주님. → You look pretty today, princess.
(oneulttara yeppeoboyeoyo gongjunim.)왕자님 (wangjanim)
Like princess for women, “prince” is what some girls and women may use with their boyfriend.
당신은 나의 왕자님이에요. → You are my prince.
(dangsineun naui wangjanimieyo.)
우리 왕자님, 너무 멋져보여요. → You look so cool, my prince.
(uri wangjanim, neomu meotjyeoboyeoyo.)오빠 (oppa)
Although the literal translation for this word is “brother”, it has deeper meaning. It’s also a common word of endearment for girls and women to use with their boyfriends and husbands. It’s used both directly with your partner and when talking about him to others.
오빠가 있어서 든든해. → I feel safe/secure to have you.
(oppaga isseoseo deundeunhae.)
오빠가 보고 싶어요. → I miss you.
(oppaga bogo sipeoyo.)서방님 (seobangnim)
Or 서방 more informally, this term simply translates as “husband”. It has deep historical roots in Korean, although you’ll perhaps hear it more for son-in-laws than husbands in modern day Korea.
서방님, 집에 일찍 들어오세요. → Please come home early.
(seobangnim, jibe iljjik deureooseyo.)
서방님, 식사하세요. → Please eat, your meal is ready.
(seobangnim, siksahaseyo.)X 엄마 / X 아빠 (X eomma / X appa)
Once a couple has kids, they occasionally start calling them as their child’s mom or dad, the X marking the name of the child. It’s meant to be a bit cute, but also practical. Especially for those outside immediate family, they would refer to them using these terms.
영수 엄마는 선생님이에요. → Youngsoo’s mom is a teacher.
(yeongsu eommaneun seonsaengnimieyo.)
영희 아빠, 영희 엄마랑 싸웠어요? → Did you argue with your wife?
(yeonghui appa, yeonghui eommarang ssawosseoyo?)How to talk about your partner with others?
You wouldn’t use most of the above words when talking about your partner. Instead, you’d simply call them “husband” (남편, nampyeon), “wife” (아내, anae / 와이프, waipeu), “boyfriend” (남친, namchin) and “girlfriend” (여친, yeochin).
Now that you’ve learned these Korean terms of endearment, you can shine by showing your significant other what you know! Let us know in the comments which of these terms you’ll be the most excited to use!
Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn
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Talking Corona Virus with my Children -
내 아이들과 이야기하는 코로나 바이러스 [국제 가족,국제커플, 혼혈아기]
I wanted to see if Malli and Liam were aware of what was causing the stir around town these days, and since we may be potentially dealing with something more than just a stronger form of SARS, I thought a wee bit of a chat with them would be a good idea. Children here in Korea are made to wear masks and kindergartens check childrens temperatures upon entering the space, but will all of that prevent anything in case of a serious problem? I am not sure. The best thing to would be to stay in your house for the duration of the Coronavirus, and not get in contact with anyone outside of your own household. Not really a viable solution really as there are things that need to be done out in the world to make life possible. Stay safe out there people. Remember to keep yourself clean, wash your hands, wear a mask if you can. There are a few really good videos out there that may be helpful to watch, like Clif High, Dr. Mike, just to name a couple. I will ling their videos below here.
Clif High https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qnCK...
Dr. Mike https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI90i...
Talking Corona Virus with my Children
JK Loma Dental Clinic is located in Jangsan, Haeundae, Busan. We offer orthodontic treatments, implants, esthetic treatments, and general procedures (scaling, whitening, restoration, wisdom tooth extraction, etc.)
The lead doctor, Dr. Bok, has more than 20 years of experience in both the U.S. and Korea. He has active licenses in California and Virginia, and received his D.D.S. from Loma Linda University and Pusan National University.
Dr. Bok finished his orthodontic residency program at Pusan National University hospital and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago Advanced Prosthodontics Fellowship program.
Address: Haeundae-ro 802 A-dong 317-ho, Busan 48111
Located on the 3rd floor of the Starbucks building (Exit 9 from the Jangsan Station)
Phone Number: 051-703-2323
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgDSC_5545_보정.jpg DSC_5665_보정.jpg DSC_5623_보정.jpg DSC_5639_보정.jpg
There are so many useful resources for learning Korean that go unnoticed by most learners, so I wanted to highlight my top 10 lesser-known YouTube channels for learning Korean. The prerequisites for this list were that the channel has under ten thousand subscribers, at least 20 videos (and at least one video uploaded within the past three months), and contains Korean language lessons (not just vocabulary lists).
You can find links to all of their channels below. Here are links to all of the channels mentioned in this video: "All Things Korean"
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC649... "Hur Language School" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMx6... "Korean Friend Jeen 한국친구" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKYb... "Ms. Kiki_Korean tutor" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1v... "WBKT YUJIN" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-SY... "Song Won" https://www.youtube.com/user/thewonko... "kwaterbottle" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaci... "Teacher Kim’s Korean Class" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcjp... "Kstyleyo" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1Xo... "KoreanBabo with Jemma" https://www.youtube.com/user/LOJworld... Honorable Mentions: "Boli’s Korean" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFNJ... "Seoul Fellas" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkDJ... “Korean Arah 한국어 아라” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzS... “Top 5 YouTube Channels for Learning Korean” (my previous video):
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10 Korean Teaching YouTubers You Should Follow
Before I get into the discussion about my images, I want to share a little exercise to help you in 2020. First, make one of these images here and see which images people liked. Look for any trends that you can see. What patterns can you find? What style of images connected with people last year? I am not an instagram influencer by any stretch of the imagination, so that is exactly why I am doing this little exercise as well.
Moving on, you will see a lot of these posts floating around instagram and facebook right now. However, I thought it would be best to go through each of the photos and tell you a little bit about them. Hopefully, they can give you a bit of inspiration or a location to go to in 2020. If you want to make your own grid you can download the app “Best 9” or visit their webpage and go from there.
The first shot in the grid is the Jukseong Dream Cathedral. This is a very popular location for Korean photographers and foreign tourists. This shot is all about colour and contrast. Basically, I like the church in the background but what makes this photo pop is the fact that it goes from dark ( on the bottom) to light (on the top). The colours gradually go from purple to yellow which makes this more pleasing than if it was just a single colour. There is not a lot of detail here and I purposely made it that way to bring out the colour more.
Location: Jukseong Dream Cathedral, located near the town of Gijang just outside of Busan, South Korea. This building was built for the Korean Drama “Dream” and has since become a tourist attraction. The best time to go there is at sunrise. Then spend the rest of your day exploring the coastline back towards Busan.
This photo I was very surprised with. I went to Gyeongju not really expecting much. I actually wanted to catch the sunset at Weolji (Anapji) Pond and ended up getting a ton of shots of the lily pond out front. I really wanted to capture the sense of calm muted beauty and also convey a feeling of isolation in this image. I used one of Peter Mckinnon’s presets for the muted tones and then added a bit more of a vignette to really emphasise the “light in the darkness” sort of feel.
Location: This image was taken in front of Weolji Pond, which was formerly known as Anapji pond. There are lily ponds in front of the main gates and a larger set behind the pond. The shot was taken in July during the height of summer and typically this is when the area is overrun with tourists. This was also taken just before golden hour as people started to gather at the pond for the famous blue hour “Anapji Shot” which was one I managed to get printed by National Geographic a number of years ago.
This was one that I took a while ago and reposted. It is one of my favourite shots because it is taken on the other side of this impressive temple. Most photographers head to the main temple building in the background of this shot. However, I wanted to get more of the lanterns and just show the grand spectacle that this place really is. I wanted to show the colour and the sea of lanterns flowing from all sides of the image.
Location: This was taken at Samgwangsa in Busan, South Korea. It is arguably the most popular location for viewing the lanterns on Buddha’s Birthday. This event usually takes place around the beginning of May to Mid-May depending on the Lunar Calendar each year. It is a magical time to visit the temples in Korea. This location gets very busy during this time of year and I have seen photographers get a little pushy especially in the popular spots overlooking the temple.
I took this shot out my back window. If you follow my work then you know that I take A LOT of photos out my back window. To be honest, when we were first looking at this apartment, I was most impressed with this view. What makes this image work for me is similar the Dream Cathedral shot. Colour and contrast. Here, it also has to do with the movement in the clouds and the leading lines. The bright reflection of the Taehwa River cuts through the darker buildings and diagonal movement of the clouds draws your eye to a similar point of the horizon.
Location: Ulsan is a great city and one that has many views like this. Thanks to the moronic efforts of some local photographers… perhaps even myself. Many of the rooftops are now locked. You could try and get permission but typically you will be turned away as they really don’t want to deal with you. This is why I shoot from my window more and more these days. It beats getting kicked off a roof or having the police escort me out of the building.
As I mentioned earlier about getting kicked off the roof, well I had it happen when taking this shot. Typically, you can get into most buildings without a hassle. However, being a foreigner in Korea also means that you stick out like a sore thumb in many cases. Here, it was the fact that they now have CCTV everywhere. When the security guard found me, I just asked if I could say a little longer and he agreed saying that he’d come back in a bit to get me. What makes this image work is the balance. Light and dark, man vs nature. It was shot during golden hour which means that I didn’t want the sun to overpower the frame because I wanted to keep the detail in the buildings below. That pattern to me is very important.
Location: This image was taken on top of Ulsan’s many tall apartment buildings. Due to the popularity of rooftop photography, many of the places now have CCTV cameras pointed exactly at the popular photo spots. This tells me that a combination of popularity and poor manners resulted in the installation of the cameras. When accessing rooftops, please either ask for permission or failing that, keep a low profile. In my time, I have seen groups of people on helipads drinking and whatnot and that is the whole reason why they have taken steps to prevent people from going up there.
It’s not too often that we get snow in this part of South Korea. So when we do, you have to take advantage of it. This day I went to a number of different locations and lucked out with Bulgulksa Temple. I have been waiting for a shot like this for a long, long time. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a snow-covered temple. However, this particular shot was taken simply because it is a popular angle. Out of all of the photos taken at this spot, I wanted this one to stand out because of the bright blue sky and the snow on the ground. The rest of the shots that I took that day focused on the snow and icicles contrasting with the temple architecture.
Location: Bulguksa Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Gyeongju. This is one of the area’s top spots and gets a lot of tourists, both domestic and foreign. It is really worth the trip out to see it because the temple itself is beautiful but also the grounds surrounding the temple are also wonderful as well.
This was a great day, when I took this shot. I just decided to head out to Bulguksa as I have not been there in a long time for their Buddha’s Birthday celebrations in many years. I ended up running into a number of great photographers there including Lee Kelly (check out his site!). The funny part about this shoot was that I had failed to check my batteries. So just has blue hour was finishing, both my camera and phone died. Basically, I just had to suck it up and enjoy the moment.
What I like about this shot are the lines. The lanterns create a very colourful and striking image but it is the lines that make this shot what it is. Also using a very wide angle lens will help show how impressive this display is. I shot this at 16mm at F2.8 which was intentional as I wanted the shallow depth of field to direct the eye to the lanterns and not the people or whatever in the lower part of the frame.
Location: This was again at Bulguksa in Gyeongju. It was taken during the Buddha’s Birthday celebration which was around Mid-May this past year. It was a great experience and I believe that the entrance fee was free and they kept the temple open later as it normally closes around 5 or 6 pm.
This is another shot that I have wanted to take for a while. The Weoljeong Bridge in Gyeongju is now finally completed and they turn on the lights at night. For whatever reason, not many people were there and I loved the pattern that that the bridge makes when framed like this. What makes this image work is the compression from the telephoto lens. I shot this at 105mm, so I had zoomed right in using my trusty 24-105mm L lens.
Location: This is another favourite location on mine. Located near the Kyocheong traditional village in Gyeongju, the Weoljeong Bridge has taken a number of years to comeple but it was worth it. It is simply an amazing structure. The best times to photograph this bridge in my opinion are around blue hour or sunrise. This shot was taken at blue hour and is my favourite time to shoot it.
This was an image that I almost scraped. However, I was experimenting with Skylum’s Luminar program when they added their famous “sunrays filter” which you can see has added a few long rays in the image. Compositionally this image works because of the rocks going right to left and getting smaller as they move upwards across the frame. The sunrays were added because overall this is somewhat of a boring image. Had the water been rough that day, I would have used a 10-stop filter and blurred the water. However, I had to make do with what I was given that day.
Location: This is one of my special hidden spots that I found simply by scouting out new lighthouses. Located near Jeongja Beach in Ulsan, this spot sits right by a little village around the corner from the famous whale lighthouses. It is just a small pile of volcanic rocks but for some reason they speak to me. Perhaps it is because you can drive up and walk right out to them. Maybe it is just because it is a quiet peaceful place where you can go and just take the view in as well.
The bottom line here is that I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about these shots and locations. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you want to know a little more about how to get to these places or how I shot them. I would be more than happy to take a group of you out and show you how I got these shots.
Cityscapes are one of those amazing styles that, if done right, can really capture the size and scale of a city. Done poorly, it “just looks like a bunch of buildings” as a friend once told me when I first started photographing cities.
So how exactly do you capture a city? Just like any other form of photography, you have to have some idea of what you want to show. How can you show it? What makes this view so interesting?1. Find A Good Vantage Point or Location
This may sound easy but it is actually one of the hardest things about cityscape photography in my opinion. Good locations are hard to come by. Popular places are usually overrun with tourists and other photographers. In some cases, I have even heard that photographers have paid off security guards to stop other photographers from going up to the same rooftop!In Tokyo, I wanted to show how big the city was but also the enormous skyscrapers .
However, once you find a proper location, it will tell you what you need to carry with you. So a little location scouting is probably a good idea. If you have to zoom in to get past some trees then your ultrawide angle lens may not be needed.
What I look for in a good location is a spot that doesn’t have a lot of “stuff” in the foreground. Meaning that if there are trees and branches poking up into the frame then I try and look somewhere else.
I also look for a spot that has a good foreground to background balance. If there are a lot of distracting elements in the foreground or the city is too far away and the foreground is bland then I may try and find another spot.2. Time of Day
Typically when I am shooting cityscapes, I am looking to shoot around golden hour to blue hour. The reason being is that on a basic level I am looking at the colour and the detail of not only the city itself but the sky as well.I took advantage of the leading lines heading towards the horizon and the sunset.
Shooting too early usually gives you an okay shot but again if there is no story or rather nothing of interest beyond just buildings and sky, then there is little to hold the viewer’s interest. So that means if you wait until there is a decent sunset or until shortly after, golden hour, you will be able to do a lot more.
I use photopills to get the accurate information on when these times will be. Their AR feature also will show you exactly where the sun will set as well. This feature will also help you get your composition. By knowing where the sun will set in relation to your cityscape, you can move around a bit to place the sun in a better position or angle.3. Find Your Story
Going back to the “just a bunch of buildings” comment, it stung at the time but it was true. What separates a good image from a snapshot is the story and how it is delivered.
Have you ever seen a movie that had a great cast, amazing special effects, a top notch director but it still fell flat? Typically, it is a problem with the story and how the director conveyed it to the audience.Here I wanted to get the reflections and the bridge in the distance. Also I wanted to get this at blue hour so that it would add to the colour of the overall image.
Your photos are no different. How do you take a bunch of buildings and turn them into something really scroll stopping? It starts with your vision. What are you looking to achieve from this shot?
From there you can craft your image to show your vision. I am not talking about photoshop here but rather composition, light, and settings. Do you want to show the light trails of traffic by taking a longer exposure? Do you want to freeze the crowds of people to show how busy it gets?
This is what you have to have in mind before you even set out, ideally. However, if you are already set up at a location then you can take a few minutes to find that story.4. The Gear
Whenever I take cityscapes, I absolutely have to have a tripod. Even if I just have my phone. Normally, I have one of those clips for a selfie stick or something that can support my phone. I have even used the clip with my L-bracket to get a decent shot. However, a decent camera is irreplaceable… at least for the time being.I know the L-Bracket is a little off but I need it like that when I was using my cable release and my 5D mk iii
The reason is that you may need that support in someway. You don’t have to go all out but do cheap out either. Meaning, look at brands in the $150 to $250 rance and you will be good.
Depending on your vision, you can go wide or zoom in. So your lens choice will have a great impact on the overall outcome of your shot (of course!). However, this is not permission to bring along a sherpa and every piece of gear that you own.
Think about your story and a couple of variances. I use my 24-105mm lens a lot for this. I also have my 16-28mm ultra wide lens for those occasions where I want to capture how big the city is. Use your tools (camera+lens) to tell yours story. Do not just stick it on and hope that it will take something nice.5. Editing
Editing is essential and I really hate seeing the “straight out of camera” kind of nonsense. Unless there is a beautiful sunset where the colours are insane and you really want to show people how great the natural sunset was, then you can get away with this. Otherwise, edit to create your vision or story.
I use a combination of Lightroom and Luminar. I use lightroom mainly for the basic edits. That would be sharpening, horizon adjustments, cloning out unwanted objects, etc.
Luminar is where the magic happens. With either flex or Luminar 4, you really can transform a bland image into something amazing. Typically, I am looking to further enhance the story that I am telling for the cityscape.
The bottom line here is that there is not a lot that goes into the actual creation of a cityscape image but it all rests on how well you create your story and communicate that in your frame. Having an idea of what you want to say will dictate where you go, the time of day, and the angle at which you shoot.
If you keep these five steps in mind the next time you go out, you will see an improvement in no time. It is just a matter of communicating your story more than it is about about recording an image of what you see.