The Time We Failed Three Times to Get the Shot

Woot Woot! This is the fifth and final post for the series. In case you wanna get caught up on the all of the awesomeness of these posts then here ya go




Ok now that you were super awesome and went through all of those and are caught up here is the latest and greatest story behind this video.

Unfortunately this one isn’t as fun or as awesome as our time in Sapa but the frustration we experienced may either make you laugh, shake your head, or if you have lived in Korea you may just feel like this is all too familiar.

It’s fall here in Korea and it is absolutely stunning. We were contemplating places to practice these and thought the Secret Garden in Changdeokgong would be sweet. Changdeokgung is World Unesco world heritage site literally 20 minutes from where we live. Unfortunately fall lasts about the blink of an eye here (which is actually 10x longer than it lasts in Southern California.) We couldn’t ever find a free weekend to try this until the first time we arrived at 3 and the last tour was already sold out!

Womp Womp.

No big deal we planned on shooting it the following weekend. Then it rained. Push it back again. More rain! We said screw it lets shoot it in the rain. We overpayed for bright pink umbrella just to add a splash of color in the grey rain just for these shoots so why not give it a go. Might actually be cool!

After three weeks we head out to the Changdeokgung in the rain, making sure not get the last tour this time. It’s starting to rain harder and harder so we spend one hour walking around and planning. Then 45 minutes into it everything is going well we finish 3/4 of the video and area about to shoot the last sequence and we are told the Palace is closing.


We have to stop. Total bummer. Bad planning on our part. Here is that video.


For the last couple weeks we have wanted to shoot another walk with us at the secret garden in Changdeokgung because of the beautiful colors during fall. Everytime we have planned it has either rained, been super gray or too late. So saturday we decide to go even during the rain. Only to get kicked out right as we are getting to the big reveal. What a bummer. So we will have to go again tomorrow. Here’s the first attempt.

Posted by Bobo and Chichi on Sunday, November 8, 2015

Take three. We decided we didn’t like that video and wanted to do it in reverse, starting with the big reveal. This time we arrive AS SOON AS IT OPENS! It’s not raining this time, but the rain took away a good 40% of the pretty leaves at the opening shot. RATS!

Almost immediately we get stopped by local staff saying we can’t continue. I probably should have explained this earlier, but to enter the “Secret Garden” you have to book a group tour. We booked a group tour but, as soon as possible, we high tailed it away from the group. Which is a super common practice. Literally every photographer does this. We’ve done this the 5 times before and never had an issue. But this day the gods were against us.

He said we couldn’t go. We pleaded for him to let us go and showed him the shoot from before and explained in our limited Korean skills we just need to shoot that one last shot and we are done. After about five minutes of this he gave in and let us proceed.

Sweet! All was good, I mean even though we literally saw a group of 8 local Korean photographers walking around with tripods, not on a tour at all and many of them carrying two camera’s and just running and gunning around the park like there wasn’t a care in the world, we could now feel free to shoot!

So I did lie to that guy and make him think that was our last shot, but in reality it was the first shot. So when we came back he was confused because we were continuing to shoot. He asked us to stop and to leave. We then came clean and said we have to re-shoot the rest because there is no rain today. He’s cool with that for about 5 minutes then interrupting us saying NOPE STOP. STOP NOW!

He explains we can’t be here with a tripod. AAAAAARRRGGGGGH! If you could only be there and see all the people with tripods running around the dang palace you would feel my frustration. This guy is trying to kick us out because we have tripods, like everybody else?

We explain to him we have been here three times trying to do this, paid for three different group tours each, and will be done in just fifteen minutes. He says OK OK and shoos us off. We continue our shoot and then in the middle of it he changes his tune. He is yelling (not yelling like he is angry with them but more just because they are far away) at foreigners to get off the grass and then tells us to stop shooting. Just then he sees a lady he recognizes doing a private tour to a group of six or so Korean businessmen ( I assume businessmen because they were all wearing suits.) He flags her down because she speaks perfect english. You can actually see a part of it in the video.

The conversation went something like this

Her: Please stop taking pictures and leave.
Me: We can’t take pictures?
Her: Not with a tripod, I’m sorry.
Me : A lot of other people are taking pictures with a tripod why is it just me?
Her: Well not everyone has a very big and nice camera.
Me: Lot’s of people have cameras this nice and nicer.
Her: That is our policy, please understand.
Me: I don’t understand. So many people are walking around with cameras and tripods.
Her: Well you need to be in a group tour.
Me: You are the only tour guide right now and there are so many other people here that aren’t in your group.
Her: Umm how much longer will you be?
Me: Just 5 minutes, we are almost done.
Her: Ok fine. But just 5 minutes and then you need to leave. Understand that this is our policy.
Me: Ok, thank you.

Phew! We got to finish, but all the hassle is a bit frustrating, especially since we were shooting this before we went to work! I’m not sure if we were actually violating some rule. Maybe we were, maybe we were able to get away with it because we were foreigners but to be honest I never understood the policy or the point of holding us up. While we were talking the five or six dudes she was giving a private tour to were running around like kids literally going in restricted area’s that you aren’t allowed to go at and where the original guy told foreigners that they couldn’t go. Sometimes these things can get on your nerves when living abroad. Don’t get me wrong, the pros definitely outweigh the cons!

The guys running around!

The guys running around!

After that everyone leaves us alone and lets us finish in peace. All in all we spent 45 minutes shooting, and 30 minutes trying to negotiate our ability to shoot.

At least we finally finished this. All in all I guess the lesson is don’t give up trying to do something you really want to. When things aren’t working out just keep trying and hopefully you can either play the foreigner card or make something work. Also maybe do more research than we did :).

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I’m thinking about making a how to guide for hyper-lapse photography. If your interested click here and I’ll e-mail you FOR FREE when it’s complete. May take me some time to figure out how to structure it.

Thank you so much for reading this series. It has been a lot of fun to make and share. If you enjoyed it consider joining us facebook, instagram or snapchat (boboandchichi.) Were really active there.

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