So you want to take better pictures? Someone once said that success leaves clues. Given the load of photographic talent here in Korea, you don’t have to look far for hints.
There is already a large group of skilled foreign photographers living in Korea who are sharing their knowledge on the web. It’s true that there are many amazing photography and travel blogs by foreigners in Korea. But only a few actually teach you how to get better.
The following sites have the best tips, tricks, and stories about photography. And you might even see some amazing images of Korea as well.
Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Hermit Hideaways
In addition to being a great writer and photographer, Gregory Curley is like the connector described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point because he links us up with the photographic world. His “Weekly Snapshots” posts always showcase the best of what is happening in the Korean photographic world and abroad.
The Canada-born Curley is a professional photographer based in Seoul. His work has appeared in The Korea Herald, The Korea Times, SEOUL, Elle, MTV, 10 Magazine, Morning Calm, CNNGo, and CNN. His site Hermit Hideaways explores South Korea’s familiar and lesser-known travel destinations.
Two helpful posts: Go to “Weekly Snapshots | 12.10.10” and click on the link “What Yeonpyeong looks like post-shelling” for some chilling images of the island that was bombarded by North Korea. Next, can you name one Korean photographer? You can’t. Check out this post: “Kim Jung-man | Korea’s Ace Photographer.”
2. Korean Photography Blog
Jason Teale writes his blog from Ulsan. He’ll tell you that he is always learning, but he’s also always sharing some awesome information. As his site says, his blog is full of stories, tips, and photos from around Korea.
Two helpful posts: Can’t think of any new ideas? Check out the post “Creativity” if you’re in search of new ideas, or learn how to get your work in front of more eyes by reading “Getting Published.”
3. WelkinLight Photography
This site is a fantastic resource for photo tutorials and videos. One of my favorite features is the photographer’s “deconstruction” of some of his more complex and stylized (think Photoshop) images.
WelkinLight Photography is a Seoul-based freelance photographer by the name of Dylan Goldby of Australia. He has been in Korea for six years now and has found true his true passions in travel and photography. His work can often be seen in various expat publications around the peninsula.
Two helpful posts: Want to take pics of your friends playing in the snow but can’t figure out how to photograph snowflakes? Check out “Quick Tip: Flashing in the Snow.” Another helpful post is “Shooting Portraits.”
4. Flash Parker
Are you dreaming about becoming a photojournalist and looking for some inspiration? Shawn “Flash” Parker worked in Korea for some time before setting out on a global tour shooting and writing about places from Brunei to New York. He is also a wedding, engagement, and portrait photographer.
Flash is originally from Toronto and spent two years living in Osan (2008—2010). He had articles and photographs published in Condé Nast Traveler, American Way Magazine, CNN Traveler Magazine, SEOUL, Groove Magazine, SE Asia Backpacker Magazine, Eloquence Magazine, 10 Magazine, and more. He has been nominated for a 2011 PATA Gold Award in destination journalism.
Two helpful posts: Learn how to use filters with the “Basic Filter Guide.” What about if you’ve just published some of your photos and you want to upload them to your website, but you need to convert the PDF file to a JPEG file? Read “Published” to learn how to convert the file.
5. Pictures By Jay
Jay Boyle is taking his photography to the next level, and he is taking you along for the ride. Follow him as he tries to complete his 365 Project (taking one photo every day of the year for one year). Although Jay only recently started his blog and hasn’t published as much stuff as some of the other photographers on this list, he still has some good info to share.
Jay left his hometown of Liverpool in search of adventure. His images have appeared in several Korean publications including Groove and The Korea Herald, and he has had work published internationally in Totally Taekwondo.
Two helpful posts: Your photographs—yes, yours—can make a difference in someone’s life. Don’t believe me? Read “Help Portrait 2010.” Also, check out his review of a recent photo workshop held in Seoul called “Learning Curve: SPC Lighting Seminar.”
6. Seoul Photo Club Blog
Aaron Raisey ran a column for The Korea Herald called “In Focus.” It was made up of articles written by himself and other photographers living in Korea. Today, you can still find over 20 articles online that will help you improve your photographic skills.
Two helpful posts: Learn where and when to be to take great pictures by reading Mario Taradan’s article “Be at the right place, at the right time,” or check out Aaron’s article “Top 10 Photographic Locations.”
Peter DeMarco is a photojournalist and teacher living in Busan. His website (www.koreahow.com) gives tips on how to live, work, and travel in Korea. It also includes a travel photography column that highlights some of Korea’s best photographers.