Is Travel Photography Possible in Korea?

Let’s face it, 2020 was a terrible year. Many people such as myself have not only lost jobs, income, but family members as well. We are all hoping that this year heals those wounds and puts us on a better path. However, much of what happened last year is still currently happening with the only exception being a certain former U.S. President.

That means for travelers coming into Korea, it is still a no-go situation. At the moment, Korea is not issuing any tourist visas and that puts a serious damper on the travel market. It is even difficult for residents like myself to get in and out of Korea.

While the COVID numbers here in Korea may be dropping, it is not likely that we will see any changes with regards to travel and tourism in the near future. The Korean government is not exactly eager to open the flood gates just yet. So what can travelers do in the meantime?

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Photographing The Canadian Prairies and Korean Cityscapes Takes a Different Mindset

As you may know, I recently had to return home Canada due to the sudden passing of my Father, Don Teale. It was an difficult and unexpected journey home. Like most international travel these days, I was required to spend 14 days at home in quarantine. It was another difficult time because I could not see my family at all or even leave the house.

So by the time that I was finished with the quarantine and made sure that my Mother and family were ok, I needed some time to myself to just digest it all and come to terms with everything that happened. I also needed to spend some time exploring Brandon and using my photography as a way to help heal.

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Exploring The Markets and Alleyways of Daegu

Recently, I had the chance to explore the alleys of Daegu with a TV crew from Busan MBC. It was an amazing experience and I have to give a huge shoutout to Noe Alonzo for recommending me for this project. It was filmed over 4 days in Daegu and will air sometime weekly on MBC in Busan.

Before I get into the locations, I just want to touch on the experience as a whole, as this was part of a tv series where the team from Busan MBC follows a foreign photographer around the alleyways of not only Korea but abroad too. However, due to the COVID travel restrictions this season is dedicated to Korea.

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2021: A New Year or a New Hope

Every year, I try and write one of those posts like other photographers that tells you about what I was up to this past year. Honestly, this year has been one that I don’t really want to remind anyone about… ever. 2020 sucked… big time.

I had a terrible year. Sure, I worked a few jobs, started a podcast and even managed to get on TV thanks to Noe Alonzo. However, for the most part, this year was downright horrible. It was supposed to end on a high note with a 2-episode spot on a TV show called “Forbidden Alley” with Busan MBC. The year ended with the death of my father and an unexpected trip home.

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My Top Seascape Locations in Korea

One of the luxuries that I have here in Ulsan is that I am minutes away from the ocean. Coming from Manitoba, Canada I am always amazed at the ocean as the closest thing that I got to it was a very large lake. Even after going to university on the shores of Lake Superior, it didn’t match the feeling that you get standing next to the Pacific Ocean.

Being that Korea is a peninsula, the question often comes up as to where to shoot. This is not as simple of a question as it sounds. Sure, you could just pick up your camera and head out to any spot along the ocean and take a shot. You might get something useful but it is better to go out and be prepared.

This is why I have put together a list of my favourite spots. Now, keep in mind that I live in Ulsan which puts me on the Eastern side of Korea. There are a number of great spots elsewhere in the country but these here are my absolutely favourite places.

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Seoknamsa Temple

There are days as a photographer where you need to take some time and just explore with your camera. No shot lists, no deadlines, just exploration. The other day, I was in such a bad mood that I needed to get out and visit Seoknamsa. It’s a temple that I have not been to in a while.

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1 Year with the Canon EOS R

It’s been just over a year since I picked up the Canon EOS R and it has been a great experience. When I first purchased the Canon EOS R, it was on a trip to Tokyo and it proved to a great testing ground. With all of the fuss surrounding the release of the EOS R5 and R6, there hasn’t been too much talk about the EOS R these days. Here are my thoughts after extensively using it for a year.

Build Quality

The EOS R has really stood up with regards to the quality of the materials used for the body and how well they have stood up to constant use. It is one of those cameras that just feels right. You don’t have to be delicate with it or worry that it is going to break.

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The Sajin Photography Podcast

Over the past week or so I have been putting in hours recording and editing my brand new podcast. I cannot explain how much I have enjoyed the learning process here. I am also really nervous about publicly announcing this for some reason.

I love listening to podcasts and until now never really thought that it could be something that I could do. I always considered myself a better writer than a talker. After failing miserably with youtube I was kind of put off by projects like this. I guess in someway I was sort of hiding behind the keyboard.

Korea-Based… For Now…

The basic focus of the podcast will be about photography and Korea as is similar to this blog. I am directing this more for people who have an interest in Korea and for photographers who want to know a little bit more about where to photograph in the country. If you are already living here then what I cover, you probably already know.

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Exploring Gampo: A Hidden Gem

For a while, I was seeing some amazing photos of these rocky formations out at sea. I had always assumed that they were further up the coast around Samcheok or somewhere like that. It seemed that many Korean photographers knew about these places and I was at a loss to try and find out where they were.

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How GuruShots and ViewBug Can Help You Be a Better Photographer

It is the rainy season in Korea and that means that most days are grey and rainy. There have been a few nice sunsets here and there but during this time of year, you can’t really make a plan to go and shoot as you can never 100% be sure that it will be a clear day or not. This means that I have not been getting out as much as I would like.

Truth be told, I haven’t got out as much as I normally have during this time of year. First, with the virus outbreak and now with the weather. I have also realized that I have just been returning to the same old places that I have been going to for over a decade. Suffice to say that I was feeling like I am in a bit of a slump.

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