Friday, October 9, 2009

Chang Deok Gung/Palace in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea -- Part 2

During this past Chuseok (Korea's harvest festival holiday) weekend Julianne and I headed out to Chang Deok Gung (Gung means 'palace'). See Part 1 here for the first set of pictures.

As we continued to walk through the palace the sun kept getting lower and lower. The deepening blues of the sky and darkening shadows offered some really nice pics.

I usually don't get too crazy with my photography when taking pics of palaces and temples cause I think people want to see how they actually look . . . here, however, I decided to play with the perspective a bit.

Julianne and I began to realize that we weren't going to be able to finish walking around the entire palace grounds as the shadows began to climb the walls faster and faster . . .

Like I said in Part 1 of this post, the palaces I've visited in Korea don't generally have many cultural objects inside them to represent the lives and culture of the historical periods . . . it really sucks that so many things were destroyed during the Japanese colonial period.

A lot of the objects that are used to fill these rooms look very new, and 'too modern' . . . but if everything has been destroyed that used to be in the palaces then I guess you just have to choose the closest alternative . . . I don't know if that's the case here, I'm just guessing.

The deepening shadows began to present some challenges to getting nice pics . . .

Julianne and I both like the screened elevated walkways that connect buildings . . .

A few locations had enough sunlight to show the details and colors while at the same time presenting cool shadow lines . . .

I wonder if anyone has done a study of roof top and ceiling design and the meanings of the colors, symbols, and other things that are usually on them . . . might do some looking online later but I'm a little skeptical that the info would be available in English.

And the shadows began to get longer and longer . . .

The stone walls and courtyards really give the palace a great historical feel . . .

I mentioned before that I haven't done a lot of black and white photography . . . but I think I'm beginning to get a sense of when contrasting light conditions with the objects in a picture work well together . . .

I really like the way my Canon camera captures colors . . . the blues and golden tones of the setting sun came out really nice in these shots.

Julianne and I tried to move faster, and get our pics done, but time was running out in terms of lighting, and the palace grounds close at 6pm.

Another location where the sun was still able to get access . . . nice.

The large number of giant trees on the palace grounds is amazing, and they really add to the palace's overall atmosphere.

This shot took me a while as I tried a number of different exposures and locations to try and get the blue sky, trees and building details without having it be overexposed because of the sun . . .

I'm having some issues with my polarized lens filter right now (it may have been scratched by a cleaning cloth I was using, so until I can figure out if I can somehow 'fix' it it's out of commission)--I imagine if I'd been able to use it these shots might not have been so difficult with the sun in the background.

This little section kind of reminds me of a hobbit's home, lol.

Looking at the map, and how much of the palace grounds we had covered . . . Julianne and I realized that we're going to have to come back to finish taking pics of the rest of the palace--it's HUGE.

. . . and . . . another . . . gate, lol.

On this particular day I seemed to be paying a lot of attention to shadows and the patterns of trees cast by their shadows on walls . . .

Arriving in another section of the palace Julianne and I realized we had pretty much lost the sunlight and blue sky conditions . . .

I tried switching just to black and white to see what I could get . . .

Another of the fantastic trees on the palace grounds . . .

Wikipedia's entry on Chang Deok Gung/Palace has the names of the different buildings and areas on the palace grounds . . . for example, this is my picture of "The pavillion Buyong-jeon in the secret garden Biwon in Changdeok-gung palace in Seoul."

Sun dial (?) . . .

One thing I learned, or rather, realized is that black and white photography can produce some really awesome patterns made by objects that have a lighter shade background.

The color version of this picture is nice too.

Around 6pm we were shepherded out by another tour guide . . . and caught the last bit of sunlight and color while walking back towards the main gate of the palace.

I hope that Julianne and I can get back to Chang Deok Gung/Palace before the awesome clear blue skies of fall in Korea disappear. I really want to finish exploring the parts of the palace, and of course, take more pics.

J

2 comments:

An Acorn in the Dog's Food said...

Some very nice pictures here, Jason. Well done. You mentioned in your post --

I wonder if anyone has done a study of roof top and ceiling design and the meanings of the colors, symbols, and other things that are usually on them . . .

-- and I recall coming across a book that does discuss several of these topics. Unfortunately, I can't recall the title off the top of my head, but it is one that I remember seeing in the gift shop for the National Museum of Korea. (Okay, that might not help much, but it is a start ...) If I come across it again later I'll be sure to jot the name down.

You're also right that it is a sundial that you photographed; the specific type is a hemispherium, designed by Jang Yeong-sil.

Looking forward to your next batch of photos from the palace!

chalica said...

These are some really awesome pictures. I will put this palace on my list of places to visit. GREAT job on the photos. You are really getting good.