Looks like I am going a bit drama mama just 1 day before the trip to Korea. Yup, this would be my second trip with NX Traveller, the first was last year’s Australia trip. You could read the summary post here and for the rest of the trip, just search the tag “Travel Thru’ The Lens” in the right column and you can see the other posts too. What’s the difference this year? Well for starters I am going to Korea during one of its most beautiful seasons – Spring and Cherry Blossoms and yes I never experience Cherry Blossoms (yes yes I getting drama mama here which I did warn you about didn’t I?)
Then again this is not the first time visiting Korea so yes it would be easier and I truly enjoy this trip. You can see the blog post here and the photos here. These are great resources for the other group going towards Jeju Island.
One thing good about having a tourism board behind a trip is that they are places only the locals would know. Well most people would assume that shopping will be top of the list. Honestly I really like the street stalls at night. Really colourful and beautiful but there are more things about Korea than shopping (yes cosmetics galore!!) and nature and culture should be top of the list.
This time round, instead of going there as a blogger for this website or journalist with Techgoondu, I am going as a Mentor Photographer. Yup, a teacher/ trainer/ guru/ shinsei/ shifu/ seongsaeng whatever label that take your fancy. Good thing is that through so many trips via Travel Thru’ The Lens with the members from SPIN, giving tips is not exactly a taxing thing to do now. What’s taxing is perhaps, how to help those going when the consumers can be amateurs with no formal training. So it would be tough for them to even ask a question since they do not where to start. I can only hope they will open their mouths and ask anything, even mundane stuff and take the effort to really understand that the best equipment when it comes to photography is not the tool but the grey matter behind the tool.
In a sense, they are pushed to the deep end of the pool in terms of learning but what better way to learn than to have beautiful subjects right in front of you?
Let me tell you a story. Actually I learnt a lot while I was on a Princess Cruise trip to Alaska. At one of the stops, a photographer by the name of Tom Garner of Rainbow Glacier Adventures took us around to do some wild life photography. Yes I was pushed to the limit with the equipment that I have and at that time I sorely wish I have the lens for nature photography. But Tom was pretty helpful, even bringing us to places where we can take wild life up close with our limited lens reach. That to me, was an experience but it also mean learning on the spot, be quick to apply what was taught and get the shot the best you can do. In the end, the effort is well worth it. Who says experienced photographers couldn’t learn new tricks?
Well, you’d be the judge. Here’s the link to Alaska if it interests you.
Ok back to Korean Drama Mama.
We have a total 7 days of shoot and below are the highlights of the trip (or I think will be the highlight of the trip). By the way, if you see another blog that has a totally different program, it is because we have split into two groups so there are more things for you to use for your reference.
Day 1 – Arrival and soak in the Cherry Blossoms.
Day 2 – Check out the Samsung Delight showcase and then go to Samsung HQ at Suwon to check out the Samsung Innovation Museum. Man if you are a gadget guy, you would be in tech nirvana!! Suwon Hwaseong for some night shoot.
Day 3 – Yongin Folk village and Everland. I have been to Everland before and it is a huge theme park and there’s a great wildlife park with a pretty interesting bear. Then there’s Muju Taekwondo center (will there be a Taekwondo demonstration?).
Day 4 – Mai San & Jeonju. Gwangju
Day 5 – Juknokwon and Metasequoia Street, Naganeupseong, Sunchoen Bay Sunset, Yeosu
Day 6- Yeosu / Sea Cable Car, Sea Rail bike experience, Gamcheon Culture Village, Taejongdae Park, Danubi Train, Roasted Clam Village (sound so Naruto), Raw Fish Restaurant (let me guess, eat raw octopus), night cruise on Tiffany 21.
Day 7 – Sunrise at Haeundae, Gyeongju Bomun Lake, Royal Tomb
Day 8 – Own time Own target Seoul (shopping shopping shopping)
So from the way it looks here are the things I will consider to bring after looking through the highlights:
- Filters – graduated ND filters perhaps super stopper ND for sea scapes, landscapes. Polarisers definitely by the looks. Tripod is essential!
- Nature shoot – not sure about Sunchoen Bay but it may have wild life given the wetlands environment. Any lens that can go 150mm and beyond is definitely needed. And how about ultra wides? 10mm and 16mm lens would be great too.
- Culture/Street – looks like a 30mm/50mm prime or kit lens should do the trick here.
Well since this is Samsung NX trip, then the weapons of choice would be the NX system cameras. The flagship, the NX1 which just won the ‘Best Compact System Camera Professional‘ Award by TIPA, will be leading the charge during the trip. Then we have a second back up camera, the Samsung NX500. The NX500 is called the mini NX1 as it comes with a lot of similarities with the NX1 apart from some features being left out. This camera is best suited for advanced photographers who wants an able camera without the size. My first impressions of the NX500? It is actually very good if used with the primes. But still I would want to go through a good test bed called Korea before making a in-depth review of the camera.
So do come back soon as I will do a day-by-day blog of the going-ons during this trip starting Sunday 12th April!