Photographing a closed amusement park.
There are many genres of photography, which is one of the reasons if fascinates me so much, there seems to always be something to learn. Which I can usually always spin that off in to new blog content. One of the more fascinating genres to me has been urban exploration. Which is exploring and photographing abandoned locations or structures. I learned about Yongmaland from another blog back in 2014 (Click here to go to bobandchichi.com) and had wanted to visit ever since. I made an aborted attempt earlier in the year right before moving, (I was not aware they had raised the admission price from 5,000w to 10,000w and did not have enough cash for admission.
Before tumbling into the blog, a little history about Yongmaland. Located in Yongma-gu, which is roughly about 40 minutes by subway on the Eastern fringes of Seoul. Opened in 1980 as the local amusement park. Many cities in Korea, each have their own small amusement and boardwalk parks to keep children and teenagers entertained during the summer. Daegu had Suseong Lake Park and there is even one in the Civilian Control Zone of the DMZ in Paju. We even have one in Gunsan near Gunsan station and the bird observatory!
Contrary to urban legend and myth Yongmaland went into decline after the big theme parks such as Lotte World and Everland opened in Seoul and closed its gates as an amusement park in 2011. Not due to any deadly accidents, and the park is not haunted by the troubled spirits of children who met their untimely demise on rides at the park. Closure of the park however was not the end of the line for Yongmaland, as it eventually was discovered by urban explorers, and the owner instead of chasing photographers off the property with threats of being trespassed saw a chance for additional income and opened the park as an Urban explorers’ playground and photo studio.
Many people now make the trip out from Seoul for Cosplay, practicing their photography, or just playing around. The studio is also available to be leased for professional photoshoots, commercials, weddings, and music videos.
It got a little strange taking pictures, as you were never sure who was tehre for fun, who did not mind you taking their picture, or who might actually be doing a commercial photo shoot.
Here is a popular K-pop video bar bar bar by Crayon Pop.
If you like taking pictures of ruins and detritus, Yongmaland is definitely the place for you.
I had a lot of fun composing pictures of myself on the old rides. It presented quite a challenge at first because there was really no way I could climb onto the rides and get into position within the 20 seconds offered by the countdown timer. I then remembered that using the Canon Connect app on my phone I could remotely trigger the camera. I also discovered that since it used live view, I could remotely focus as well! This allowed me to use my new Canon 85mm f1.4L IS at f1.4! How cool is that!
The new Canon 85mm f1.4L IS, is just an awesome lens! I like the 85mm f1.8 but this lens has it beat hands down!
Here I am with the Canon 16-35 f2.8 @ 35mm.
And again, with the Canon 85mm f1.4 @ f5.6.
Let me be in control for awhile!
How to get there:
Go to Ichon station and take the Gyeongui-Jungang Line towards. Yongmun, Get off at Mangu Station. I would recommend using Waze or Naver maps to find your way.
118 Mangu-ro 70-gil, Mangubon-dong, Jungnang-gu
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