Yesterday afternoon Julianne and I went for a walk in the Jongno area of Seoul.  We headed down to Cheonggye stream because I wanted to see if I could spot some cranes and take pictures of them with my Sigma 120-400mm lens.  I’ve been trying to get a good shot of these birds for years and now that I have a telephoto lens I think I have a good chance of finally getting some good pictures of them.

When we got to the stream we saw one section had these mist fountain things and there were tons of people taking their picture with the mist in the background.  Unfortunately there were no cranes to be seen anywhere . . . I think I’ll have to make a trip into the more rural areas to get my shot.

After taking a few shots with my Sigma 120-400mm I changed lenses and put on my Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens because Julianne and I were heading towards Jogye Temple.  I also put on my Speedlite 580EXII flash.  I’ve been trying to practice takings shots more with the flash in daylight conditions.  I really like how the colors are so vibrant in the pictures I took of paper lanterns sitting in front of the shops leading up to the temple.

Julianne really wants to make a paper lantern at the Lotus lantern street festival this year.  You can also buy them ready made at the shops near the temple.  (Oh yeah, you gotta love the ajumma hiking crew, lol.)

Julianne thought this lantern was very cute . . .

Arriving at the main gate of Jogye Temple we could see that nearly all the lanterns had been hung.

I always try to go to the temple and get my lantern shots with blue sky before the actual festival because the temple grounds are packed with people once the festival begins.

Each year they do a different pattern picture with the lanterns . . .

Here are the guys putting up the last few strings . . .

I love the very old gigantic tree that sits in the courtyard of the temple.

This area right in front of the main temple building, with the giant tree, is absolutely stunning at night.

Further at the back of the temple grounds you can see white lanterns too.

There’s also this cool pagoda just across the courtyard.

And the ginormous awesome tree . . .

The temple itself has some really nice murals and the color patterns are neat too.

I can’t wait for the street festival to begin, and in particular the lantern parade which is on Sunday May 16th.  Click on this link, 2010 Lotus Lantern Festival and Parade, to find out out more info.