Photography at Gyeongbokgung Palace

10 Tips for Stunning Photography at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Welcome to my guide on stunning photography at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul! As a passionate travel photographer for years, I’ve visited this iconic and historic landmark more times than I can count. With its grand architecture, beautiful gardens, and rich cultural history, Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must-visit destination for photographers of all levels.

In this guide, I’ll provide you with 10 tips for capturing breathtaking photography at the palace, from choosing the right equipment to finding the best lighting and perspectives. Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just starting out, these tips will help you capture the beauty and majesty of the palace in your own unique way. So, let’s get started!

I love taking photos at Gyeongbokgung Palace

Tip #1: Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon

Visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace early in the morning or late in the afternoon can be a great way to avoid the busiest times and get the best lighting for your photos.

The palace can get quite crowded during the middle of the day, which can make it difficult to get clear shots of the architectural features and landscaping.

By visiting in the morning or late afternoon, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds and take advantage of the softer, more directional lighting that these times of day offer.

The golden hour, just before sunset, can be especially beautiful for photography at the palace.

Additionally, the cooler temperatures in the morning or evening can make for a more comfortable visit, especially during the hot summer months.

Gyeongbokgung Palace opening hours:

MonthsOpening HoursTicketing Time
January to February9:00 – 17:009:00 – 16:00
March to May9:00 – 18:009:00 – 17:00
June to August9:00 – 18:309:00 – 17:30
September to October9:00 – 18:009:00 – 17:00
November to December9:00 – 17:009:00 – 14:00

Admission Fees
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Groups (10 people or more): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Groups (10 people or more): 1,200 won

* Free admission: Preschoolers (age 6 and younger), seniors (ages 65 and older), people wearing hanbok, the last Wednesday of every month (Culture day)

Stunning lighting during golden hour at Gyeongbokgung

Tip #2: Bring a wide-angle Lens

Bringing a wide-angle lens to Gyeongbokgung Palace can be a great way to capture the grandeur of the palace buildings. The palace is known for its impressive architecture, and a wide-angle lens can help you capture the full scale and beauty of the structures.

With a wide-angle lens, you’ll be able to fit more of the palace into your frame, giving you the ability to show off the majesty of the buildings in a single shot.

Additionally, a wide-angle lens can help you create a sense of depth and perspective in your photos, making the palace look even more impressive. So, if you want to capture the full splendor of Gyeongbokgung Palace, be sure to bring a wide-angle lens with you on your visit.

This is the wide angle lens I use, for example:

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Easily capture the beautiful ceiling with a wide angle lens
wide angle shot of Gwanghwamun gate

Tip #3: Experiment with Different Perspectives

Experimenting with different perspectives, such as shooting from a low angle, can be a great way to add visual interest to your photography at Gyeongbokgung Palace

By shooting from a low angle, you can emphasize the grandeur of the palace’s architecture and give a sense of the building’s size and scale.

This can be especially effective for capturing the grand entrance gates, which are some of the most impressive features of the palace. Shooting from a low angle can also help you create a sense of drama and tension in your photos, making them more visually appealing.

So, don’t be afraid to try different perspectives and angles when photographing Gyeongbokgung Palace – you may just discover a new and unique way of capturing its beauty.

Tip #4: Use a Polarizing Filter to Reduce Glare

Using a polarizing filter can be a great way to reduce glare and enhance the colors in your photos at Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Glare can be a problem when photographing brightly lit scenes, and it can wash out the colors and details in your photos. A polarizing filter can help reduce glare by blocking out certain wavelengths of light, resulting in more vibrant and saturated colors.

This can be especially useful when photographing the palace’s beautiful gardens and landscaping, as the plants and flowers will appear more vibrant and lifelike.

Additionally, a polarizing filter can help reduce reflections on shiny surfaces, such as water or glass, allowing you to capture clearer and more detailed photos.

So, if you want to improve the color and clarity of your photos at Gyeongbokgung Palace, consider using a polarizing filter.

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Capture crystal clear images with rich colors with this polarizing filter for your camera.

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02/03/2023 02:43 pm GMT

Tip #5: Include people in your photos to add a sense of scale and give the palace a sense of life.

Including people in your photos at Gyeongbokgung Palace can add a sense of scale and give the palace a sense of life. The grand architecture and sprawling grounds of the palace can be intimidatingly large, and including people in your shots can help give a sense of the size and scope of the place.

Additionally, many visitors to the palace choose to wear hanbok, traditional Korean clothing, which can add an element of cultural interest to your compositions. Including people wearing hanbok in your shots can create an interesting contrast between the traditional and modern features of the palace, and can help tell the story of the place in a more engaging and authentic way.

Tip: Renting a hanbok is quite cheap and a great opportunity for memorable travel photos from Korea!

Just be sure to be respectful of the people you photograph, and ask for their permission before taking their picture. Including people in your photography at Gyeongbokgung Palace can help you create more interesting and engaging shots.

Tip #6: Look for reflections for a unique composition

Looking for reflections in the palace’s ponds and streams can be a great way to create a unique composition at Gyeongbokgung Palace. The calm waters of the ponds and streams provide a perfect surface for capturing reflections of the palace’s beautiful architecture and landscaping.

The most popular reflection to capture is that of Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, a beautiful pavilion located in the palace grounds. By including the reflections in your shots, you can create a sense of symmetry and balance in your compositions, and add an element of visual interest.

Additionally, the reflections can help give your photos a sense of depth and dimension, making them more engaging and visually appealing.

Next time you visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, be sure to look for reflections in the ponds and streams – they can provide a unique and creative way of capturing the beauty of the place.

Hyangwonjeong Pavilion in the fall

Tip #7: Visit during one of the Palace’s Special Cultural Events

Special cultural events are perfect to add some interest to your photography at Gyeongbokgung Palace

The palace hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year, such as the reenactment of the royal changing of the guard ceremony (more details on this in my Gyeongbokgung visitor’s guide), which can provide interesting opportunities for photography. These events often feature traditional Korean music, dance, and costumes, which can add some Korean aesthetics and authenticity to your photos.

Additionally, these events often draw large crowds, which can add a sense of activity and vibrancy to your shots. So, if you want to capture something a little different and unique at Gyeongbokgung Palace, consider visiting during one of the palace’s special cultural events.

Performance at Royal Palace Festival

Tip #8: Don’t forget to capture the palace’s beautiful gardens and courtyards.

It’s important not to forget to capture the palace’s beautiful gardens and courtyards when visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace. The gardens and courtyards are an integral part of the palace’s beauty and character, and they provide a stunning backdrop for photography. They are filled with a variety of plants and flowers, which can add an element of color and life to your photos.

The courtyards are also worth exploring, as they often feature beautiful architectural features, such as stone bridges, pagodas, and fountains.

By including the gardens and courtyards in your shots, you can add a sense of tranquility and peace to your photos, and help tell the story of the palace in a more complete and authentic way.

So, be sure to take the time to explore the gardens and courtyards when visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace – they’re an essential part of the place’s beauty and charm.

spring blossoms at the palace

Tip #9: Use a tripod for sharp photos, especially in low light.

Using a tripod or other stabilizing device can be a great way to ensure sharp photography at Gyeongbokgung Palace, especially when shooting in low light.

The palace is known for its beautiful architectural details, and a tripod can help you capture these features with clarity and sharpness.

When shooting in low light, a tripod can help reduce camera shake and blur, which can be a problem when handholding the camera.

A tripod can also allow you to use slower shutter speeds and lower ISO values, which can help improve the overall quality of your photos. So, if you want to capture the beauty of Gyeongbokgung Palace with the best possible image quality, be sure to bring a tripod or other stabilizing device with you on your visit.

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Any travel photographer should invest in a high-quality tripod to take sharp, well-composed photos, experiment with creative angles and perspectives, and capture dynamic and unique shots with long exposures and time-lapses, all while on the go.

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Tip #10: Take some time to look for hidden gems and interesting details to photograph.

Taking some time to explore the palace grounds at Gyeongbokgung Palace and look for hidden gems and interesting details to photograph can be a great way to add depth and authenticity to your photos.

The palace is vast and sprawling, and it’s easy to miss some of the smaller details and hidden corners if you’re not looking for them. Personally, I especially like to photograph the intricate roof details of the buildings and the colorful design of the building walls.

These details can add a sense of visual interest and beauty to your photos, and can help capture the unique character of the palace. By looking for these hidden gems and interesting details, you can add a sense of depth and authenticity to your photos, and help tell the story of the palace in a more complete and engaging way.

In short, don’t be afraid to take some time to wander and explore – you never know what you might discover at Gyeongbokgung Palace!

Focus on the smaller details like statues
Zoom in to show the detailed architecture of the buildings
Intricate roof details

Bonus tip: Take Advantage of the Seasons

If possible, visit Gyeongbokgung Palace during all four seasons. The palace is beautiful at any time of year, but it takes on a different character during each season.

During the spring, the palace is awash in color, as the gardens and courtyards come to life with flowering plants and trees.

The summer months offer warm, sunny weather, which can be great for outdoor photography.

In the autumn, the palace takes on a golden hue, as the leaves of the trees turn a fiery red and orange.

Winter can also be a beautiful time to visit, as the palace is blanketed in a layer of snow, creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere.

By visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace during all four seasons, you’ll have the opportunity to capture a wide range of different photos, each with its own unique character and beauty.

Spring at Gyeongbokgung Palace

Enjoy your next visit at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul!

I hope these 10 tips have given you some inspiration and ideas for capturing stunning photography at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting out, the palace offers a wealth of photographic opportunities, from its grand architecture and sprawling grounds to its beautiful gardens and courtyards.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to capture the beauty and majesty of the palace in your own unique way. So, the next time you visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, be sure to bring your camera and get ready to capture some beautiful shots!

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Linda

Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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