Hongryongsa: Rainbow Dragon Temple

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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.

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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.

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Getting to this temple is really tricky if you don’t have your own set of wheels. It sits up in the mountains of Yangsan and I did not see any signs for buses past the little village. Thus, it is better to catch a ride with someone or even take a taxi up. I did see many taxis waiting around there.

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Shooting was great and the rush of the Rainbow Dragon Waterfall was amazing. It was unlike any other temple that I have been to in Korea. Not to mention that is was nestled into the mountain, so along with the waterfall you had a dark quiet place to relax as well. However, even during the rain, it was still packed with people making photography and relaxing a little challenging.

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One of the things that I recommend is bringing a ND filter or something to stop-down you camera to not only get the flowing water but to give a longer exposure that will effectively remove people walking through your shot. As I found out here and in many other places, ajummas simply will not wait a couple of seconds and will push right through. Having a longer exposure will help eliminate their presence in your frame.

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This time around, I wanted to shoot wide and used my Tokina 16-28 mm. This lens is not designed to be compatible with most filter systems. So I had to increase my f-stop up to f/22 and hope for the best. I normally bracket my shots in case I want to do some HDR but in this case it works because I can get a full range of exposures to choose best. I found that +1 stop worked well here as the surrounding forest was quite dark and overexposing a bit really brought out some of the shadows.

If you are a fan of my blog and site, you will know that I normally shoot HDR. However, for situations like this, you don’t really need it. Instead, I used NIK’s Analog Efex Pro 2 for most of the shots and Color Efex Pro 4 as well. I am really loving Analog Efex Pro 2 these days and I wrote about it before. It really adds a lot of depth and creativity to your images.

Other than that, I must say that I will be visiting this temple a lot more. The waterfall is simply too amazing to pass up. If you would like more information on this place drop me a line or check out Dale’s post



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