Landscapes made for shutterbugs

Home > Culture > Features

print dictionary print

Landscapes made for shutterbugs

When an abbreviation is seeing more use than the original word is, it’s a sign of a social phenomenon. That makes a “dica” ― the Korean nickname for a digital camera ― a significant social phenomenon indeed.
Wherever you go ― the subway, the workplace, your lunch hour, you name it ― you can hear the clicking sound of people pushing the buttons of their “dicas.” It’s everywhere, and it’s changed a lot of things. One of them is the Korean picnic.
In the pre-dica era, when you went on an outing, you’d take pictures to remember it by. People would line up in front of the picnic site, making “v” signs with their fingers or saying “kimchi.” A picture was just evidence that you’d been there; aesthetics were not the issue. The priority in the photo was the people, not the landscape.
Things have changed. Go to a picnic anywhere these days, and you’ll see pseudo-professional photographers taking pictures of the scenery, without a human being in the frame.
The main purpose of these picnics seems to be recording the landscape, not enjoying it. It’s not hard to find people equipped with professional-quality equipment, setting up tripods and adjusting exposures. The rationale seems to be that only a photo lasts forever.
So here you go, dica-hounds: some photogenic picnic sites in Seoul and the surrounding area, as selected by Shin Byung-tae, a fashion photographer who recently published “Tourist Attractions That Only I and My Dica Know” (Random House JoongAng Inc.), a guide to dica picture-taking.


Gardens, hanok, Korean art ― all this and Everland, too

Many people think Yongin has only one attraction, the Everland theme park. But your trip is not complete if you miss Ho-Am Art Museum.
Established by the founder of the country’s biggest conglomerate, Samsung, the late Lee Byung-chull, Ho-Am Art Museum opened in 1982. Mr. Lee founded the museum to exhibit his collection of more than 2,000 Korean works of art.
The collection is well preserved in the museum, located in a traditional, hanok-style building. The building comes with a garden called Heewon, whose Chinese characters mean Garden of Happiness. That’s not all: There is another garden dedicated to the acclaimed 20th-century sculptor Emile-Antoine Bourdell.
Heewon in particular is a must-see, with bamboo groves where you can take a relaxing walk. Inside the garden, a group of Jeju island-style beoksu, a type of guardian sculpture, welcomes visitors.

Shooting tips: Use an angle that includes both the sky and the building, along with the tips of the tree branches. For a hanok picture, you can shoot the entrance to the house in the foreground.
Getting there by car: Take Gyeongbu Expressway to Singal crossroads, then take Yeongdong Expressway to Maseong Nadeulmok. Drive in the direction of Everland, where you can take a shuttle bus.
By public transportation: Take subway line No. 2 to Gangnam Station or Seoul National University of Education. From the subway station, take bus No. 1,500 or 1,500-2.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except Mondays. Admission is 3,000 won ($2.50) for adults, 2,000 won for students. For more information, call (031) 320-1851 or visit www.hoammuseum.org.


Close to World Cup Stadium, it’s just you and nature

This is one of four parks around World Cup Stadium in Sangam-dong, western Seoul. Step into this park and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a field of reeds and weather vanes, a spot that’s exotic as well as trendy.
The charm of this park is that it makes the most of nature while minimizing the artificial conveniences. So remember to bring your own snacks and beverages ― you won’t be able to buy any once you’re here.
The stairway to the park is quite steep, which makes it a better idea to use shuttle buses from World Cup Stadium and the park.

Shooting tips: Try a variety of poses in the reed field, the way fashion models do. It wouldn’t hurt to tell yourself you are one.
Getting there by car: From Yanghwa bridge, Gangbyeon Bungno, drive in the direction of Seongsan Bridge. Pass the approach light to the Naebu Sunhwanno and take a right.
By public transportation: Take subway line No. 6 to World Cup Stadium Station and take a shuttle bus; they run every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hours: Open sunrise to sunset. For more information, call (02) 300-5539 to -5542.


A promenade in the woods, and a lesson in Korean history

Feel like taking a walk in the woods? Citizens’ Park in southeastern Seoul is the right place to be. With more than 100,000 trees, from pine to maple to zelkova, it’s always full of fresh air and shades of green.
Another attraction is the history lesson you can get from Maeheon Memorial Hall, which commemorates Yun Bong-gil, who fought in the resistance against Japan’s colonial rule. A children’s playground, basketball arena and inline skating area also welcome visitors. Behind Maeheon Memorial Hall is a “barefoot park,” where visitors can walk in a field of yellow mud, pebbles and wood, and relax.

Shooting tips: When shooting a portrait in a place full of trees, have your subject stand a bit back from the center of the layout, to make the scenic view come alive. If you’re shooting a landscape photo, incorporate the tip of a bench along with the wood, to give the photograph more depth.
Another idea for a portrait: Have your subject lie down on a mat, then set your camera to look down on the subject and take a close-up.
Getting there by car: From Yangjae crossroads, go 900 meters in the direction of Seongnam, Gyeonggi province.
By public transportation: Take subway line No. 3 to Yangjae Station, exit 7. Then take a bus in the direction of Seongnam or Bundang.
Hours: Open 24 hours daily. For more information, call (02) 575-3895.Shooting tips: Here are a few ideas for shooting a nice photograph of an avenue. First, reduce the shutter speed to 1/30 of a second, which will make the movements of the leaves come alive. The next secret is to control the color temperature to wash out the shade. You can also use a telephoto lens (100 to 200 millimeters) to compress the depth of field, giving the picture a more pastoral touch.
Getting there by car: From Gupabal, drive in the direction of Ilsan. When you see Samsongni checkpoint, take a left, then take a right when you see a sign for the Agricultural Cooperative College.
By public transportation: Take subway line No. 3 to Samsong Station, then take a bus. You can also take a bus from Seoul Station in the direction of Ilsan, getting off at Solgae Village.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays.
No admission fee is charged.
For more information, call (031) 966-2998.


Rolling hills, white fences ― it’s just how it looked on TV

This farm in suburban Seoul has long been a favorite of directors of TV dramas, music videos and TV commercials. Starting with a 300-meter-long avenue of trees, the farm has what it takes to make a romantic atmosphere ― vast green fields and white wooden fences, contrasting nicely with the green, gently sloping hills. You might feel as though you’re on a peaceful farm in Europe.

Shooting tips: Here are a few ideas for shooting a nice photograph of an avenue. First, reduce the shutter speed to 1/30 of a second, which will make the movements of the leaves come alive. The next secret is to control the color temperature to wash out the shade. You can also use a telephoto lens (100 to 200 millimeters) to compress the depth of field, giving the picture a more pastoral touch.
Getting there by car: From Gupabal, drive in the direction of Ilsan. When you see Samsongni checkpoint, take a left, then take a right when you see a sign for the Agricultural Cooperative College.
By public transportation: Take subway line No. 3 to Samsong Station, then take a bus. You can also take a bus from Seoul Station in the direction of Ilsan, getting off at Solgae Village.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays.
No admission fee is charged.
For more information, call (031) 966-2998.


by Son Min-ho

More in Features

Kakao TV launches this month, takes on Netflix

[TURNING 20] In a sea of hate, change flourishes

Criticism of sex ed books for kids raises more questions than answers

When it comes to sex ed, this Danish author says just talk about it

The traveling grandma who's 'alive and kicking it'

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now