This is my third time this year coming back to Damyang. I had some extra vacation time to spend and my dad was having a conference there, which meant free hotel rooms. This time, I had two days to explore unlike before which were just short weekend excursions. After a quick lunch around the area, I headed down to the famous Juknowon (bamboo forest).
I navigated through the relatively large park with ease since this was my second time exploring the place. I found the spot that I really enjoyed photographing from the last time I was there. Unlike in the winter, anywhere other than the general walking area were blocked off with small ropes. The park was trying to prevent people from pulling the baby bamboo shoots for food. Without much choice, I hopped over the small ropes to get the shots I wanted.
I find fisheyes lens perfect for capturing the essence of the bamboo forest. Fisheyes can add motion to the still forest by stretching out the tall thin bamboo.
This shot is very similar to my other shot from the winter. But this time I set my iso down to 100 and used a tripod for stability. It took a while to center that sun ray. I probably spent close to 30 minutes wondering around the forest trying to find a spot with the sun ray in a relatively center position. After fighting off a horde of mosquito (who knew they liked to stay in bamboo forest), I found one very satisfying spot to set my tripod.
In summer, vines and wild bushes were clambering up the bamboo forest. I found them particularly interesting since they swirled around the perimeter of the bamboo.
You can get very pretty round bokeh by aiming your camera up in a bamboo forest. I find these round bokehs much more pleasing than just smooth ones. Maybe because they help to fill the frame which I try to achieve.
I set my camera horizontally right under the these vines. Luckily I was also able to capture the sun rays coming down. The shadows and lights under these tall bamboo trees were just amazing. The red bamboo on the left is actually a baby bamboo tree. You can pull the skin out and eat the baby bamboo shoots. Of course this is not something allowed in this park. ;)
I exit out of the park when the sky was still relatively clear. It is hard to get clear blue sky since Korea is entering the raining season. This is a shot of the Gwanbang Riverside (관방제림). It is a small park where many local elders and tourists relax under the shade or stroll along the river. On the left side of the frame is where the city is preparing for the annual bamboo festival. You can keep walking up for about 20 minutes and reach the metasequoias area.
These are rental bikes you can get in front of the bamboo forest park. Tourists usually ride them all the way to metasequoia area. I decided to just stroll along the river enjoying my afternoon coffee and trying to capture some street capture.
Almost towards the end of the Gwangbang Riverside park, I found two farmers planting rice on the paddies. Initially I was more interested in the reflections of the building, but farmers were lining up almost on the rule of thirds line. I hid behind the bushes waiting for the composition to happen. Patience always pays off :)
I went back to the bamboo forest in the morning. I was hoping to capture the morning fog through the bamboo trees. There was a slight fog but the sunlight was too weak to achieve those brilliant sun rays.
FYI both Juknowon (bamboo forest) and Metasequoia park are free to enter before and after the park operating hours.