Hwangnyeongsan Mountain: Scenic Shots of Busan

These days it is tough to find a decent vantage point around any worthwhile place in Korea where you are not shooting through glass. Cities like Busan, offer a few places that are actually designed to give youa clear view of the city and Hwangnyeongsan Mountain is probably one of the best.

Getting There

If you don’t have a car, the best way to get up the mountain is to hike up. It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour depending on your pace. I would highly recommend taking a taxi down if you are there for the sunset. This goes especially for the winter season as it tends to get really cold, really fast up on the mountain.

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Buddha’s Birthday in Korea

This year was the first year in a long time that I didn’t head out to any temples for Buddha’s Birthday. This is by far one of my favorite times of the year but with the COVID-19 still lingering in Korea, many temples put special restrictions in place. I felt that because I am not a Buddhist, I would not complicate things by attending. I would let people worship in peace.

I also heard that many celebrations would be postponed until the end of May. I think with the drop in the amount of cases in Korea, this might be a better option for everyone. Recently, Korea had 0 local cases and only 4 quarantined at the airport. That is a huge milestone.

With that being said, I decided to stay away from the temples this year and just look back through the years to find some shots to share with you anyway. These may not be the best shots in world but the temples themselves have a unique place in my mind, anyway.

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Top 10 Travel Shots

Recently, Darlene Hildebrandt tagged me in one of those facebook posts where you share 10 “somethings” without an explanation for 10 days and tag a bunch of people. Normally, I would not participate in these sort of “share and tag” posts as many of them are just annoying and are mostly likely used to try and figure out your passwords. This one was different.

It was not the fact that it was about travel photography but more of a way for me to go over some of the shots that I have taken over the years, re-edit, and even rethink the shots. The photographers that I tagged also had some meaning as well. It was a moment to check in and what others have in their libraries at home.

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Spring Blossoms of 2020

Much can be said about the first quarter of 2020. The sad part is that much of what people are saying is not good. The same goes for photography. With many places under lockdown and social distancing in effect, it made for a very difficult time for many of us to get out and enjoy this beautiful time of year.

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Photography Resources For The COVID-19 Outbreak

Over the past few months, the reality of the fact that the COVID-19 virus is not going anywhere and is only getting worse has settled in for many of us. For many, including myself, it also means that we have lost jobs, lost money and are forced to stay home.

It is a difficult time for pretty much everybody. Many photographers are struggling to figure out what to do when the bulk of their work comes from actually going outside. While I am sort of lucky that South Korea is not on full lockdown, many places around the world are. This effectively means that we have to get creative with out time at home to avoid going crazy.

With that being said, how exactly does one “get creative” with this situation and what can a photographer do when they can’t really go outside all that much. It is a time to study and recalibrate your passion.

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Seascapes: Shooting and Workflow

When you live in a place like Korea, you are surrounded by beautiful coastlines. Where I live, I can almost see the ocean from my apartment. So, shooting seascapes is something that is quite easy to do. However, it is not as simple as heading out and pressing a button. Here is how I shoot my seascapes.

Planning and Prep

Before I head out for any photo shoot I always have some sort of a plan of what I want to shoot. It is a little more involved than “shooting a pretty sunrise” or something like that. The first step is to check on the weather.

This is one of the more important factors here as the weather will dictate what kind of image you are going to get and especially with seascapes. Keep in mind, that you don’t have to have perfect weather for a good seascape shot. Clear skies also don’t make for a very interesting seascape either.

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Changing Skies in Luminar 4

There are a lot of so-called “solutions for the modern photographer” that are simply crap. You can see them every time you search for anything related to photography. The biggest issue is that the harder people work on trying to make things easier for a photographer, the bigger the pile of crap gets.

However, this is not the case with the sky replacement tool in Luminar 4.1. Initially, I wasn’t sure about it. I thought that maybe it was cheating or something. The examples seemed too good to be true or absolutely unrealistic. Suffice to say that I was sort of skeptical. Then I went to Japan and had crappy weather.

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A Morning in Gijang

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.

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Product Photography Experiment

With the Coronavirus running rampant around the country, it was advised that people stay in and avoid going out as much as they can. Being a landscape and travel photographer, this is not a good time. Getting out is part of the job. However, this down time allows me to experiment with different styles of photography.

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