In a vibrant city such as Seoul, everything takes on a different charm and character as soon as dusk sets in (sunsets during the Summer season are as late as seven to eight in the evening, by the way).
With my trusty Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens, plus the lightest tripod that I’ll ever own, the aptly titled “BeFree” Manfrotto travel tripod, I made my way to Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a silver meandering bastion by day and a spectacular structural lightshow at night. Designed by legandary Iraqui-British architect Zaha Hadid, the impressive structure houses a fashion design information center with seminar rooms and a lecture hall.
The DDP is distinctively neofuturistic in design and is characterized by the “powerful, curving forms of elongated structures”, according to Hadid.
The DDP has a lot of interesting and playable angles and definitely photographs well especially in the evening. It actually felt like walking through a sci-fi movie set or a vast and futuristic space fortress.
I love shooting in cosmopolitan cities such as Seoul with no hassles from city authorities, unlike in Manila, where the mere setting up of a tripod in public warrants permits with exorbitantl and ridiculous fees. It’s a shame really.
This was definitely a great chance to admire and appreciate a formidable piece of architecture as well as brush up on long exposure evening photography skills. I wasn’t able to go inside because of the late hour but the immense exterior was already enough to awe and inspire! My tripod is both compact and lightweight which easily fits into hand luggage and backpacks and it is easier to carry than any other tripod of its kind. I carried mine on the train from my hotel with such ease. Also, I think I would get a cable release next time. This “Be Free” Manfrotto tripod line may be the lightest but it isn’t the most stable especially if you have to make a long exposure, manually press the shutter, shoot in Bulb mode or bracket shots!