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Samgwangsa Temple in Busan

By on May 15, 2013 in Korea, Photography, Where to Shoot | 5 comments

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During the weekend, my wife and I decided to take a trip to one of the more popular temples in Busan. Typically if you see an elaborately decorated temple from Busan, is will be Samgwangsa. This temple is huge as temples go for the area and is decorated with over 10,000 lanterns.

This Friday is Buddha’s Birthday a public holiday and one of my favorite times to photograph in Korea. Almost every temple in Korea is decorated for the event along with many parts of the city. Photographers head out by the thousands to get “that shot” of the famous temples and their lantern displays.


For me, I always head out during the evenings before the big day to catch the lanterns and miss the people. This is also when you can meet many other like-minded photographers. It is a quiet time, think “calm before the storm” and a great way to focus on your work.


However, Samgwangsa was not at all quiet. I did meet other photographers like Robert Koehler who I was pleasantly surprised to see.  As well as Ryan Griffiths and his girlfriend Erin, who are up and coming photographers from Ulsan.



As the light started to dim, every imaginable window had lenses poking out of it. With the lanterns on, out came the saxophone music and other random bits of entertainment. It showed just how busy Friday will get.    All in all, it was a great evening and  I was happy to get some shots of this landmark of a temple.







  1. Great shots! You’ve captured the temple beautifully! 🙂 Buddha’s birthday is one of my favorite times to photograph in Korea too!

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