One of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the area is the Bomun Lake area in Gyeongju, South Korea. However, it is also the busiest and most crowded outside of the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival. At any rate, I thought that if I went out while the festival was on, it would take the pressure off of Bomun. I was wrong.
Bomun was packed with cars and people for as far as the eye could see. However, I decided to push through and see what all the excitement was about. I would say that it was well worth the battle. I had to park about a 15 minute walk away from the main area of Bomun Lake but it did give me time to scout some locations.
I have started scouting and making decisions about the timing of my shots as I walk into a location. This was something that I tested out when I was out a Gaya land. I picked my shots as I walked in and then worked my way out. This does not always work if you are shooting for blue hour but if you have the time, I feel that it will greatly improve your photography and the overall theme of the shoot.
Once I got to the main area starting from the Hilton Hotel and then going along the path towards the other hotels, all I could hear were the sounds of people counting down for selfies. It was an interesting soundtrack and a great way to practice your numbers in Korean. It was great to see so many people enjoying something so simple as cherry blossoms. However, the number of photo-poachers were extremely high. These are not the typical ones that wait and take the same shot as you. I actually don’t mind those people because everyone usually ends up with a different take on the shot. Nope these are the people who see you setting up for a shot and jump in the frame to get a shot of themselves sitting in front of whatever it is that you are shooting as it must be good if you are using a camera and a tripod.
[box type=”info”] The best trick to getting rid of people in your shots is to use a long exposure or an ND filter to increase your shutter time. [/box]
I started dreading the drive home as I was walking out. I suddenly remembered a shot from the legendary photographer Roy Cruz and thought that I would give it a go. I was pleased with the result but desperately needed to get on the road and get some coffee. Thanks to a jerk trying to drive around me )as I was trying to cut into a seeming never ending stream of traffic) and then getting stuck, I managed to hit the road easily and by the time I was passing the Gyeongju love museum, it was smooth driving and even got a coffee at the Holly’s Hannock coffee shop. Suffice to say it all worked out in the end.