Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bongwonsa Through the Seasons

One of the advantages about living vs. just traveling to a place is that you have the opportunity to revisit places. This is especially advantageous when a location experiences distinct seasons. Posted are a few photos I've taken of Bongwonsa Buddhist temple in Seoul, located near my school. Which is your favorite season?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Autumn Walk at School

In addition to having impressive facilities, Seoul Foreign School also provides some areas to enjoy nature. When walking through such areas, it's easy to forget that SFS is in Seoul, a city of 10 million inhabitants.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Japanese Maples - Fall Variations

The Japanese maple trees are one of my favorite autumn trees in Seoul. Every year I look forward to the time when these tiny leaves transform into blazing beauties. The intensity of the reds is particularly notable. They beg to be photographed and provide excellent practice at shooting the same subject with variation. These were photographed on campus at Seoul Foreign School

Sunday, November 23, 2014

SFS in Living Color

The campus at Seoul Foreign School is beautiful at any time of the year, but in fall it becomes ablaze with the multi-hued palette of autumn.
"C" Dong apartment building

Soccer field, Business Office, "E" Dong apartment building

Elementary playground

Trees by "D" Dong apartment

Friday, November 21, 2014

Looking for Details

Revisiting places gives me an extra challenge of looking for new things to photograph. This lonely azalea bud looked a bit out of place amidst the flaming red leaves of its bush. I guess it wanted to make a second appearance of the year. Red made another appearance in the photo below, this time at the ornamental carved porch of Jeonggwanheon - a beautiful pavilion I've photographed before.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Japsang and Gargoyles, Deoksugung

A splash of color around the more neutral creatures at Deoksugung Palace.

Hamnyeongjeon rooftop with japsang

Distant shot of Hamnyeongjeon pavilion

Monday, November 17, 2014

Changing of the Guard

Warm autumn hues added an extra splash of color for the Guard Ceremony at Deoksugung Palace in Seoul. Although the yellows on the gingkoes was subdued due to the overcast sky, I still liked the repetition of color with these guard's uniforms. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Deoksugung Palace, Autumn 2014

Nearly a year to the date that I visited Deoksugung, I made my annual autumn visit to this downtown palace. The overcast sky prevented the beautiful backlighting of leaves or the shadows at the Jeonggwanheon pavilion, but the softer light brought its own unique qualities. 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Seoul Lantern Festival 2014

One of my favorite annual festivals in Seoul started this past Friday. The Seoul Lantern Festival, held from November 7-23 at Cheonggye Plaza, transforms the downtown stream into a colorful display for all ages. I went with some colleagues on Saturday night. With no wind and pleasant temperatures, it seemed like all of Korea also thought it was a good night to attend the festival. The line just to get down to the stream was jam packed, snaking up the main sidewalk and all around; thankfully people were civil during the LONG wait.
When we finally got down to the stream, a beautiful array of lanterns were before us, enhanced by music. Many were different from last year, but some of my favorites were there once again. Some such as the Jongmyo musicians were life-size. The leaping fish (larger ones seemed to be made from silk fabric) varied from much larger than life-size to quite small. A few such as the turtle ship were even animated; its sail folded up and down and the dragon head puffed smoke.
The large crowd (made a bit more challenging by very narrow pathways in some points) made it difficult to take the time needed to truly appreciate the intricate craftsmanship of these wire armature works of art covered with handmade hanji paper. Photography was more difficult as well, between the large number of "selfie sticks" competing for space and sheer numbers of people sometimes forcing you to move on. I didn't see anyone fall into the creek, but it wouldn't surprise me if it happened. 
The Seoul Lantern Festival still is a "must see" for me and one I'd recommend to others. However, I'd recommend going on a weeknight or right before it gets dark, in order to avoid the crowds.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Here's a short video by the Globe and Mail on this year's Lantern Festival.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Gentle Glow

The morning light softly illuminates these autumn leaves, creating a warm, gentle glow. How I wish these colors would last!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Presenting the Autumn Display

Yonsei University, which shares the "hill" with Seoul Foreign School, takes great pride in its landscape. Because of its beauty, the walk to reach the nearest subway station is so much more engaging.  In Autumn, the vine-covered buildings offer an extra splash of color. The statue of the university's founder H.G. Underwood seems to beckon the colors to come forth.