Having spent this entire month in South Korea taking photography sorties on a regular basis, it was not easy to choose a pick from the sizeable archive. But I narrowed it down to this one because of the steps that led up to it’s creation.
It was late in the afternoon, and I was on my way up to the top of what I call Hill #1. It is the first of 5 big hills (or small mountains, whichever you would like to call them) that are just a 10 minute bike ride from the apartment. It had taken me a while to find the trail and park the bike, so I now only had a few minutes before I needed to head back home.
The hill was steep, but as soon as I reached the top, I was simply awed by the peaceful view that met my sight. Purple wildflowers in full bloom grew thickly beneath oriental pine trees, constituting a colorful foreground to sprawled city and distant mountain ranges. I took in the view for a few moments before pulling the camera out for some pictures.
I soon found that it was impossible to capture what I could see with my eyes. The sun was still too high in the sky to be shot directly into, but that was really the only way to shoot. As I contemplated the situation, an idea came to mind from something I had read the other day: to reduce glare when shooting into the sun, partially cover it up. So I tried it out. To be in a position where the pine tree would partially cover the sun required me to get off the overlook platform and stand on my tippy toes. But it worked! Instead of having the picturesque foreground silhouetted against the sky or ruined by lens flare, I was able to reduce the intensity of the sun just enough to achieve a more correctly exposed picture. And, I must add, I think it is a brilliant effect too.