A Passion for Temples

Having recently finished my studies, I was worried that I would loose my edge and struggle to find things to photograph. I signed up for a short course covering the basics of light and exposure, thinking that it would not hurt to revisit some fundamental technicalities surrounding photography. For all that this transpired to be a waste of money and effort, I did have the opportunity to explore and learn new things, and as continuing our education is never a bad thing, all was not lost in the process! While waiting for the course to start I began revisiting some of the Buddhist Temples I had photographed in the past and it was during these exhibitions that I had my light-bulb moment; I really love visiting and photographing temples.

Seokbulsa Temple
Panoramic view of Seokbulsa


South Korea is moderately peppered with Buddhist Temples, most of which are nestled in the base of a hill or mountain; many of these temples are really nothing special to see, however some are really fascinating and hold a treasure trove of possible images to explore. With the need to find those with interesting vistas and histories I became a big fan of Dale and his Korean Temple Adventures. For me it is all about capturing the sense of a place and understanding how Buddhism has a place in the structure of Korean history; unfortunately most temples have little if no information in English, however with Dale’s guidance I can get the feel for a place before heading off with my camera.

SeokbulsaMy interest lies in those temples that are a little quirky, offering something a little different to the norm with hidden treasures and cubbyholes to explore. Thinking that this would mean lots of travelling to remote locations, I was surprised to find many of these gems in my local area, often no more than an hours drive from home. The first temple I visited this year was called Seokbulsa (석불사) when translated means, Seok [rock] Bul [Buddha] Sa [Temple], the history behind this temple can be found on Dales website.Seokbulsa

I have never seen anything quiet like this temple which is basically made up of a u-shaped hall containing various stone sculptures that stand around 10-meters tall. There are other buildings in the complex common to temple grounds however this open topped hall is the main attraction of the site.

Seokbulsa has seen the beginning of a new photography passion, which I have been exploring over the past few months and will continue to share. More photos from this amazing temple can be found here and as you can see, The Lone Hiker made a guest appearance.

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