Night Shots of Onsan


With the December meet up of the Photographers in Ulsan Photography Club, I thought that I would make this post about how to get the shots from that location, so that people can get some practice and make the best out of their time.


With any night shot you are going to need a tripod. I posted about them a while back but in you still are on the fence about it, give it a read again. You may also want a shutter release that will eliminate the shake from pressing the button with your finger but you can always just use the timer function as well. If you have a *canon camera with of the advantages of this is that it will fire all three bracketed shots for you.

[box type=”info”] **edit: This feature which I am not sure is unique to Canon or not but is handy. When you have your camera set to the timer and AEB is turned on. It will fire all three shots consecutively. This means that you don’t have to keep pressing the shutter release just stand back and wait.[/box]

Other than that the best shots of the area come from when the temperature is low. The steam from the condensing towers or whatever they call them looks the best when it is cold, so dress warmly and maybe bring a hot beverage with you as well. Also don’t forget a flash light. Often people forget these and then they drop a lens cap and have to hunt around in the dark using only their cell phone as a light source.

As for lenses, you will want at least a wide angle to depict the vastness of the Onsan Petrochemical Complex. A medium telephoto lens would also be great. I normally use my 70-200mm lens to shoot this area. This time around I am going to bring my extender to see if I can get some more abstract shots.

Location and Time

The spot for the meeting is just across the street from the Jangsaengpo Elementary School. You can get to the top of the building by using the exterior stair case from with it is a few floors up but the view will more than make up for it.  The meet up will start at around 4 and the reason for that is because you want to be up on top of the building with enough time to get set up with out rushing when the sun drops.


The shots out here can been the usual landscape shot of the factories to more abstract close up. With the wide shots you are typically wanting to not go too wide but enough to show just how big the area is.

Panoramas work really well out here. If you do decide to shoot a panorama here is a tip, rather than shoot say 3 shots in landscape, flip your camera to portrait (not the picture style but the orientation) and shoot a series of shots that way. You will find in some cases you with get a wider frame rather than a long skinny shot.

The last thing to try and why getting there a bit early helps is to shoot at a higher f/stop. Anything above f/8 works great and will give you a lot of detail from front to back. An added bonus is getting a bit of a starburst effect which makes the scene look really cool.


  1. Dave Reply

    Nice Work Jason. I particularly like the 1st & 5th (2nd from last) ones. I’m not a fan of HDR but you, unlike others, make it easy to look at! Good luck with the talk/lecture on Tuesday.

    • Jason Teale Reply

      Thanks! I try to at least calm it down a little so that it doesn’t make people’s eyes bleed. However, I do love the saturation and detail it can bring out. here down in the petrochemical complex is a great backdrop for this style.

  2. Matthew Theron Reply

    Hi Jason, most modern cameras, even some point and shoot ones, do AEB (auto exposure bracketing). Some Nikons will even fire 9 shots bracketed, so its not only a canon advantage.


    • Jason Teale Reply

      Yes, that is correct. What I was meaning was that when you use the timer feature with AEB on, canon cameras will fire all three shots consecutively. I will update the post to make that clearer. Sorry for the confusion.

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