I’ve posted photographs of this traditional residence before, though not since deleting the site in January, I think. I was there with the Nikon D810 and the usual 28, 50, and 85mm lenses. I also brought along my 180m lens to see if I could get some interesting photos with compressed perspective. It was a pleasant couple of hours at the residence except for the tour groups of older people who think a foreigner with camera and tripod is part of the sightseeing.


Nikon D810, 85mm lens


Hwallae Pavilion was built over an artificial lotus pond as a place for the owners to drink tea and do whatever ‘our betters’ did when not making life miserable for the locals. Joking(?) aside, it’s a beautiful building, and it must be very nice to sit there on a lovely spring or autumn day with a book, a cup of tea, and thou. To hell with the peasants. I used a short telephoto lens to cut out hedges in the foreground and ugly grey sky up above.  It also makes the foreground and background buildings look closer together. The owners of this estate now live in a walled-off area where tourists are not allowed to go.


D810, 180mm lens

Hwallae Pavilion, a bridge to the island in the lotus pond, a hedge, and a pine tree on the other side of the estate, all very nicely compressed by the long lens. I didn’t know what to do with the telephoto lens when I first bought it, but I think I’ve an idea now. I might bring it downtown to see if I can make the streets look more crowded than they actually are. Perhaps the bus stops, where people congregate on the narrow sidewalks.


D810, 28mm lens

I can’t read the Chinese writing on this gate. The small brown sign on the right has the owner’s name written on it. I used a wide-angle lens to get in a lot of the impressive gate roof as well as the building inside the gate. Using a wide angle also got the hanging light out of the way of the gate sign. This took me a long time to set up and compose because there are so many elements to the scene that had to be in just the right place and because the camera was pointing almost straight up and it was difficult to see through the viewfinder. But worth it! This was my favourite photo of the day.


Nikon D810, 28mm lens

Stepping stones, for when the rain turns the courtyard into mud. I set up the scene on a tripod and waited for tourists to walk into it.


Nikon D810, 28mm lens

The same, but with an older gentleman walking around with his hands in his pockets.

I used to get into Seongyojang for free, thanks to a professor/photographer I know who was doing a book on the place. Then there arose a ticket-seller who knew not the name and camera of Marcus. And the professor had moved on as well. So now I have to pay 5,000 Won whenever I want to get inside. A bit steep, but it’s okay if the light is good and there aren’t bus-loads of people walking around inside.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.





3 thoughts on “Seongyojang

  1. You see, that’s exactly what I was talking about. My favourites are the stones (you would have guessed that anyway!) but imagine . . a lotus pond. What a great concept with a house for reflection built onto it. There’s little over here like that, but I’d have one in my garden in a shot!
    Thanks again Marcus – keep ’em coming . . .

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