Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A second trip to Gyongbukung: Photography

So, this past weekend I headed to Gyongbukung palace (yes, I know that's redundant) for a field trip with my Korean class. It was a beautiful, but cold and windy day... even a few flakes of snow fell while the sun was shining. I met some cool people and I took a couple good pictures. I wish I were better at photography... I have taken two courses one of which focused heavily on composition... why do I still suck at it???

Any photography critics out there with any critiques?


  1. IANAPC (I am not a photography critic) but I love photographs. Top photo: I took a dozen or more shots of the gargoyles last time I was Changdeokgung, and none of them was any better. Of course, I blame my cheapo Canon!
    Middle photo: This is brilliant! The swirling clouds mirror the swirling fly of the flag! The colors are true, I like it.
    Bottom photo: kind of boring: either too much blue or not enough. What are you getting at with this shot?

    HTH. Keep up the good work on the blog!

  2. one simple way to start out compositions with is "the rule of thirds". this simply means that you should imagine the pictures being evenly split up into 9 squares/rectangles (or more like superimposing a grid of lines). place the important stuff of the picture/main motif on one of the cross sections that makes up the grid. think of it like cutting up a newly made big brownie cake into 9 smaller ones.

    this is pretty basic so u prolly already know about this. so the next step is then to break the 9 rule u learned and get creative by applying or not applying your knowledge in compositions.

  3. Well, like I said, I've taken two photography classes, so I know this stuff in theory... why is it, though when I try to line up the perfect shot, it just comes out looking like junk?

  4. What are your favourite type of photos then (created by others)? Study photos that you like, what makes them good, is there a pattern in the photos that you like?

    Emulate to start with and then break free, find your own way of seeing/depicting things and occurances. It might take alot of practice and finding a personal "style" might take the rest of the life. That is one of the fascinating aspects of photography (and different forms of art), you always find more and more ways on how to see and depict the world around us/inspiration.

    As you might already guessed, this requires taking alot of pictures, study them and see what went "wrong or right" with the picture and remember for the next shooting session. One can read books or take classes on how to create a technically perfect picture, that is the easy part... but we're dealing with a visual content that in most cases evokes feelings inside the viewer/audience.

    Try to take pictures that evokes feelings (no matter which feeling) inside you while applying some of the theories and technicalities that you've learned so far from your classes.

  5. Thanks for the advice... I really want to get better at photography....

  6. You know, I love portraits... but I'm always too scared to ask people if I can photograph them. There are these old men that play korean board games in the park near my work and I'd love to photograph them... but how do you walk up to someone just going along with their daily life and ask to take their photo???

  7. How much of a difference does the camera make? Would it be worth it for me to go out and buy a better digital camera? Mine is very old, and the resolution is pretty low.

  8. Street photography can be pretty intimidating, as you said, walking up to strangers and start taking pictures of them isn't easy. Try to think of ways to approach ppl in different situations. In this aspect, it's much easier to shoot (no pun intended) in conflict areas or war zones because ppl are more busy trying to stay alive rather than jump on a photographer taking pictures of them. Alot of other more serious risks involved in that kind of photography though.

    In many cases it's easier to look like an innocent tourist touting a camera on the belly when doing street photography. Try such an approach. If they give you "a stare of death", just apologize and explain in short that you're a tourist or foreign student who are fascinated/interested of the country's culture and daily life (and that you just want to show the pictures to your family/mother/father back home). ;-)

    Resolution wise on digital cameras, it basically comes down to how large you wan't to print your pictures, more pixels = bigger prints without noticable pixelation. You can do amazing things with a low resolution camera, the imagination/vision/creativity is the limit. That being said, CCD/CMOS chips are getting better and better, no doubt. Aside from the fun factor of photogear in itself, newer cameras sports better lenses, chips and other technical stuff that strives to enhance picture quality. Most cameras use alot of automatic features that simplifies picture taking. What you should remember though, is that the software in cameras are preprogrammed to handle a multitude of different picture situations to make the picture correspond to a general view on how pictures "should" look like (basically we talk about how the camera reads different light situations). A well exposed picture is the end result with these automatic settings. Many professionals turn off all automatic settings to be able to create the image they want, they don't want the camera to decide for them bcz then the image wont turn out how they visualized the image to start with, So yes and no, new camera gear usually improves the technical part of an image, but it does very little to improve your own visualization of the scenery.

    It can also be good with new gear because it inspires you to use it even more than your old camera, or use both at the same time.

  9. Thank you so much! I saw the photos on your blog and they are amazing. I feel really lucky to have an expert giving me photography advice! I'd ask you what you think of the photos that I have posted on these two posts, but you can probably find too many bad things about them, maybe I don't want to hear it.... hahaha