Travel Photo Tips: Seoul, Korea by Aaron Brown

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Learn about HDR from professional photographer and former Ilsan resident Aaron Brown.

Korea: Seoul Workers

Korea: Seoul Workers by Aaron Brown.

The story behind the pic: I nabbed this shot while out photo-walking with my girlfriend in Seoul. I was just getting into HDR photography at the time and had not really “mastered” my approach to it – that’s why the man up front is bending down behind himself – but it ended up looking kind of cool regardless.

The style: High Dynamic Range is a stylized method of photography I employ from time to time to allow me to capture a greater range of luminance within a particular scene. The tone mapping process usually involved with it tends to turn everything a little painterly and surreal, much like in this shot. Lately though, I’ve been approaching my HDR in a much more “realistic” way, lending to a look that’s achievable with filters and controlled lighting. I have fun working out ways to get a higher range of light that my camera couldn’t normally get on its own – whether combining multiple exposures of the same scene, or by simply introducing light to places that were previously dark. Thankfully, digital technology allows me to experiment so much on the cheap.

Life in Korea: I was living in Korea just a bit northwest of Seoul in the Juyeop Dong of Ilsan Gu, within Goyang Si from May 2008 to June 2010. It was a great neighborhood and I’d love to visit the area again sometime. Ilsan has a nice range of both city-life and countryside and allowed me the opportunity to shoot wildly different scenes that were only a 10 minute walk apart.

Life now: Since returning home to Crown Point, Indiana – which is just a bit southeast of Chicago, Illinois – I’ve been doing photographic work full-time. I’m looking to specialize in portraiture and real estate photography in 2011, but I’m including weddings and live events into the mix as well. Starting your own business and making it successful is tough, but being your own boss and doing work you truly love makes any of the struggles along the way worth it… so far, ha!

Favorite travel Quote: The Star Trek mission really says it all, “…boldly go where no one has gone before!” And remember the “boldly” part!

Travel Photo Tip: Take your camera everywhere you go and shoot everything you see. You’re bound to get at least one shot that will make you smile.


Photo of Aaron Brown courtesy of Dylan Goldby.




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